The growth of mobile technology is undeniable, with more mobile devices in the world than there are people. The market for smart mobile devices continues to expand at an unprecedented rate, affecting the way we conduct business, communicate, and access information. Mobile devices are powered by mobile operating systems (OSs), which support various applications, or apps, that enhance the functionality of the device. These apps, which can be games, books, shops, and more, are generally distributed through online application stores.
With the majority of mobile usage spent within apps, mobile app development has become increasingly important. One question that arises is whether to focus on developing for specific platforms (native) or to stay flexible and open to cross-platform development. Cross-platform app development refers to the creation of software (a single codebase) that runs on multiple operating systems.
Given the rapidly expanding mobile device market and the numerous devices and manufacturers, cross-platform app development is often the better choice. The number of mobile operating systems is already significant, with more than a dozen allowing apps to run in their native environment. Developing for all of these operating systems simultaneously would require substantial resources and costs.
To address this issue, tools for cross-platform development have emerged, with a total addressable market for multi-platform app development estimated to be worth $2.4 billion in 2013. Another option for app development is using browser-based
web apps or HTML5 apps, which simulate the look and feel of native apps but are actually websites that can be accessed through a bookmark on the home screen. However, these web apps have limitations in their functionality as they do not have direct interaction with the device’s hardware.
To overcome these limitations, hybrid app development has emerged as a solution. Hybrid apps are native apps that wrap web apps, allowing access to device capabilities and can be distributed through application stores just like native apps. As the competition among mobile operating systems continues, hybrid app development is seen as the future of mobile app development.
Which is better, native app development or cross platform app development?
It’s important to note that the best approach for app development will vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the app, and the target audience. It’s also worth considering the potential cost and resources involved in developing for multiple platforms and weigh the benefits of cross-platform development.
10 Advantages of cross platform development over native development
- Cost-effective: Cross-platform development allows for a single codebase to be used for multiple operating systems, reducing the overall development cost.
- Faster development: Since a single codebase is used, development can be completed faster and more efficiently.
- Wider reach: Cross-platform development allows for apps to be accessible on multiple operating systems, increasing the potential user base.
- Easier maintenance: With a single codebase, updates and maintenance can be done more easily and quickly.
- Shared code: Code written for one platform can be reused on other platforms, saving time and resources.
- Consistency: Cross-platform development allows for a consistent user experience across different operating systems.
- Access to device features: Hybrid app development allows for web apps to be wrapped in native containers, giving access to device features and functionalities.
- Flexibility: Cross-platform development allows for more flexibility in app development, as developers are not limited to a specific platform.
- Lower development costs: Cross-platform development allows for lower development costs as the same code can be used for multiple platforms.
- Better return on investment: Cross-platform development allows for apps to be accessible to a wider audience, increasing the potential for a better return on investment.
Cross platform app development frameworks