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