insight
mobile app development
By: Sagar Sharma

Pros & Cons of Cross Platform Mobile Apps Development

Mobile apps have been with us from the past 10 years, and since that time, they have significantly changed how we do business.

For instance, cross platform mobile apps development has now become a common approach among businesses today.

Earlier, however, mobile app developers had limited native-specific options. But, due to the growing demand for different mobile apps, new cross platform technologies such as React Native, Ionic, and Flutter have emerged.

In fact, these technologies have shortened the development time and are offering better opportunities for building near-native mobile applications.

In today’s blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of using cross platform technologies for mobile application development.

What is Cross Platform App Development?

Cross Platform mobile apps development is basically a practice of developing a mobile app for multiple platforms such as Android and iOS using a single code base.

As a result, it drastically reduces development costs. On the other hand, however, cross platform app development does have a few disadvantages.

For example, the rendering time in cross platform approach is usually longer than the native approach as each OS needs a separate code base.

That being said, let’s look at the pros and cons of cross platform mobile apps development individually.

Pros of Cross Platform Mobile Apps Development

1 – Lower Development Costs

Compared to native app development approach, the cross platform app development is proved to be 30% cheaper.

With cross platform approach, the developers need to create only one project for both Android and iOS. However, as the need for customization increases, the cost of maintaining the mobile app on both platform increases as well.

2 – Fast Development

With cross platform app development approach, mobile app developers don’t need to write unique code for each platform.

The cross platform frameworks allow developers to mostly work with a single codebase to handle both iOS and Android app development.

Simply put, cross platform frameworks make it possible to reuse a big chunk of codebase between two platforms, making the development process faster than native.

3 – Greater Market Reach

Businesses often face the same dilemma – For which platform to build a mobile app first, iOS or Android?

No matter how much research you put into finding on which platform majority of your audience is using, it is always a trade-off when you choose to develop your mobile app for just one platform.

Cross platform approach, therefore, is a better approach if you wish to capture a wide audience in the beginning. Cross platform app development allows you to target users from both platforms at the same time.

4 – Support for Cloud & Enterprise-Level Solutions

Cross platform frameworks like React Native, Ionic, Titanium, and PhoneGap can be easily integrated on Cloud due to Exchange Integration Code.

These frameworks basically provide easy-to-use plugins that help developers to upgrade app functionality, aesthetics, and validity.

As a result, developers can easily integrate the cross platform apps into popular cloud services like Salesforce and AWS.

Cons of Cross Platform Mobile Apps Development

1 – User Experience

Since each platform has its own style, creating a cross platform app that provides flawless user experience across all platforms becomes a bit challenging task for mobile app developers.

As a result, it requires extra efforts for developers to get it right, especially for complicated functionalities and features.

In native apps, however, these UX design issues don’t occur which helps developers focus more on solving real problems of users.

2 – Slow Performance

Performance is one of the most important aspects of mobile apps and it depends on multiple things.

But, if you compare the performance of a native app with a cross platform app having the same functionalities, then the performance of the native app will be slightly faster.

Although, the difference in performance is usually a small one, especially if your app is a simple one.

3 – Functionality Limitations

If your mobile app involves complex features and functionalities, then cross platform app development might not be the right approach for you.

This is because the cross-platform frameworks don’t usually provide support for every native feature. And as a result, this restriction might impact the stability of your mobile app as a whole and make it sub-optimal.

4 – Long Wait for New Features

Every time Apple and Google release a new feature for iOS and Android platform, it takes some time for cross platform app developers to add support for the new feature.

This is because the native apps are provided with new SDKs much faster than the cross platform frameworks.

This gives your competitors an advantage over you if they have built their mobile apps using the native approach.

5 – May Lack 3D Support

If you want to design eye-catching graphics or add 3D elements, then cross platform approach may not be right for you as you may face quality issues.

Although you can use third-party tools such as Unity 3D to fill the quality gap, but the overall efforts will be increased compared to the native approach.

Concluding Thoughts

With all things considered, whether or not should you go with cross platform mobile apps development boils down to one thing. – Type of your mobile app.

Simply put, not every mobile app should be built using cross platform frameworks. But, the cross platform approach is also definitely worth considering as it drastically decreases the cost and time of mobile app development.

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