augustus 22, 2018 • 5 minutes read

Cross-Platform vs. Native Mobile App Development

NATIVE VS. CROSS-PLATFORM

The global mobile app market — which is expected to top $ 77 billion this year — has undergone several major changes. Today, 99.6% of all smartphones run on either iOS or Android. Companies now treat mobile apps as a channel for raising brand awareness, not as a business of its own. The “native vs. cross-platform” mobile app development argument is hotter than ever. Should your company invest in a native application or make do with a cross-platform one?

First, let's start with the definitions of the two:

  • A native mobile app is an application which meets the requirements of a particular operating system by using its SDK (as well as hardware memory, gear and other applications installed on a device).
  • A cross-platform application is a mobile app which is compatible with multiple operating systems and can, therefore, run on any smartphone or tablet.

This table illustrates the comparison between different mobile development approaches:

According to Pavel, the popularity of cross-platform mobile applications can be attributed to the growing demand for enterprise mobile applications as the advantages of building a cross-platform application include:

  • Shorter dev time: Provided you choose the right tech stack and plan your project thoroughly, your vendor will be able to re-use up to 80% of the original codebase;
  • Cost-effectiveness: Building a native mobile application will cost you at least $ 10 thousand. Multiply the cost by two (iOS and Android) and add 30% (Android dev is more expensive), and you’ll get the approximate cost of launching an application on both the App Store and Google Play;
  • Exposure to a larger number of users: Most cross-platform apps run on both Android and iOS (as well as Windows, Linux, Tizen and even Symbian);
  • Updates synchronization: In a world where successful app publishers roll out updates up to 4 times per months, maintenance costs can consume a great part of the entire app revenue — and that’s where cross-platform development wins.

Sioux, the biggest Xamarin development house in Asia


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