Choose the Right Mobile App Development Approach for Your Next App
Deciding to build a mobile application is easy. It’s the decisions you have to make later that makes the whole application building process difficult. Things like should I go Native? Is Cross-platform app development a better choice? Can Progressive Web App Development really enhance my application performance? How much time will it take to reach the market and is it going to leave a hole in my pocket? Most importantly, what is the way to go to meet my business needs?
Well, if you are trying to find answers to the above questions, you have come to the right place. In this blog, we will look at what is Native App Development, Cross-platform App Development, Hybrid App Development, and PWAs along with, when to use which and their advantages and disadvantages. Finally, to give you a more clear understanding, we will look at a case study and decide which approach to choose.
So, Let’s get started.
Native App Development
In native applications, we build software applications in a specific programming language for a specific device platform. This means you will have to use platform-specific programming language, software development kits, development environment, and other tools offered by the Operating System. For Android and iOS this would look like:
When To Go Native?
- You have time and resources to have separate teams for iOS and Android development.
- You have the money and are willing to spend an extra buck for superior UI and performance.
- If you need full-access to hardware-related features like gestures, geolocation, touch ID, go Native.
- Building a graphic-rich app/game and need topmost performance and speed.
Advantages of Native App Development Disadvantages of Native App Development
- You will have to maintain a separate codebase for iOS, Android, and any other platform you wish to deploy your app on.
- They will definitely cost you a lot more money and take a longer time-to-market.
Some Native Apps Out There
Some of the most popular applications are fully Native like Pokemon Go, Twitter, Google Maps, LinkedIn.
Hybrid App Development
When to go Hybrid?/Why Hybrid App Development ?
Advantages of Hybrid App Development
- The biggest advantage, manage one codebase for your application.
- Save time and money by hiring fewer developers and reaching the market quickly.
- Easily scalable if you have built the application for one platform.
- Hybrid apps also allow you access to device features.
Disadvantages of Hybrid App Development
- The performance of Hybrid Applications is not at par with Native Applications.
- UI/UX of the application is, let’s say just not the same.
- Cross-platform app development is tough especially if you are looking for “native user experience”.
Some Example of Hybrid Applications
There are a number of well-known hybrid applications in the app store. Some popular ones are Yelp, BaseCamp, Untappd.
Cross-platform App Development
It may look like it, but remember, hybrid and cross-platform app development are not the same. They do share a common feature of code-reusability, resulting in faster development. But, that’s about it. Cross-platform app development uses a single toolset to deliver apps across multiple platforms. Some of the popular solutions for cross-platform app development are Xamarin, React Native, Flutter, Titanium, etc.
When Should You Go For Cross-Platform App Development?
- Don’t have much time? If you want to reach the market in less than six months, then a cross-platform app development could be for you.
- If you want to build a low budget app that has simple UI but heavy logic.
Advantages of Cross-Platform App Development
- Cross-platform app development can be 30% cheaper and 40% quicker than Native app development.
- Build applications on different platforms with consistent brand identity.
- It allows for up to 70% code reusability.
Disadvantages of Cross-Platform App Development Popular Cross-Platform Applications Out There
Some of the cross-platform applications built using Flutter and Xamarin are Google Ads, Picturex, Reflectly, Birch finance, etc.
Progressive Web App Development, PWA
Progressive web app development is a step towards getting the functionality of native apps in web apps. They bring in features like push notifications, offline mode, load on the home screen, access to device hardware like vibration, improved touch gestures to web apps.
Progressive Web App development is just a set of best practices to make a web application function like a desktop or mobile application. They aim to deliver such a uniform and seamless experience that users can’t differentiate between a Progressive Web App and a Native Mobile App.
When to go for Progressive Web App Development ?
Advantages of Progressive Web App Development Disadvantages of Progressive Web App Development Popular PWAs in the Market
A huge number of popular players have seen an enhanced user experience and a boost in an overall performance like Flipkart, AliExpress, Instagram, etc.
Case Study — Building a Blog App
Let’s say, we want to build an application for your Blog website.
We know what different approaches of mobile app development look like and we need to choose one for our blog application. What are the factors we need to consider:
A blog application doesn’t look very complex. All we need to do is display information in text, image, or video format. It would look very similar to Medium, Tumblr, etc.
It would consist of sections, articles, pages, and comments. You can add push notifications to send alerts to your users in case a blog of their interest is published.
You would probably need to integrate with a CMS for the content. If you add notifications, you need a backend too. It’s still a simple application that can be built using any of the above-mentioned approaches.
UI/UX is extremely important here. You don’t want the user to see a lot of text and lose interest. You need clear navigation with a simple and intuitive design element that makes your app feel breathable. Well, we wouldn’t want to compromise on the UX, so hybrid app development is out of option. We would choose native app development or cross-platform app development or a progressive web app development.
Your app needs to display pages full of text or images, be well-structured, well organised, and run fast. This level of performance can be easily achieved using any of the approaches considering it’s still a small app.
Based on the above factors, we have 3 approaches: Native App Development — expensive
Cross-Platform App Development — not so expensive
Progressive Web App Development — again, not so expensive
Time to Market
If you go for a Native app development or a cross-platform app development , it could take a few months. A PWA, on the other hand, could be ready in a matter of weeks.
Finally, what type of app meets your business requirements?
Considering that this blog application is pretty simple, our aim is to reach a huge audience, at the same time enhancing customer experience and boosting performance, PWA could meet our needs.
Think about what’s most important for your application and any limiting factors in terms of budget, time or resources in front of you before you decide on a mobile app development approach.
Talk to different development agencies and understand who will be able to add value to your application in terms of technical expertise and business know-how. Choose an experienced tech partner, like Systango, who can not only help you understand the best approach for your application but also deliver a high-quality build within the decided budget and timeframe.
With 13+ years of experience, Systango has helped clients across various industries build next-gen digital products. We can help you too..!!
Originally published at https://www.systango.com on April 29, 2020.