by Sydney Stone
There are two ways to go when developing a mobile app: native or cross-platform. A native app is designed for a specific operating system…either iOS or Android. A cross-platform mobile app is designed to work on both.
A lot of developers and industry experts will tell you that native development is always the right choice because it delivers the best possible user experience. However, there are certain circumstances in which choosing cross-platform development is the best bet.
Here are 3 cases where cross-platform mobile app development beats native.
1. Cross-platform beats native when you don’t quite have the budget to develop two separate native apps.
Creating two separate native mobile apps is double the work, literally. You’ll need to hire two development teams with different areas of expertise. This can prove to be quite costly.
By choosing to do cross-platform development, you’re able to deliver your solution to a larger audience in a faster timeframe and at a much lower cost. Think about all the time and effort you can save in just the QA process alone.
When you’re starting with a limited budget, cross-platform is almost always the right choice.
2. Cross-platform beats native when you have a simple app without a lot of bells and whistles.
With the exception of gaming apps, most users just want an app to solve a common problem in the easiest way possible. They’re not looking for a ton of features or special effects. In fact, sometimes users get turned off by complicated UIs.
If you have an idea for a basic app of this type, cross-platform is definitely the way to go. While there may be an argument that an app without a lot of features should be easy and not too expensive to develop for both iOS and Android, consider what we mentioned above about the need to hire two separate teams and having to double your QA process in order to create two native apps.
In the same way that it’s a good idea to keep it simple by focusing on your minimally viable product to start, it’s an even better idea to build your MVP as a cross-platform solution.
3. Cross-platform beats native app development if you’re planning to monetize.
This is a pretty simple and obvious point. If you’re planning to monetize your app, you want to appeal to the widest possible audience. If you only develop for iOS, for example, you’re literally cutting your potential profits in half.
Why would you not want to cast the widest net possible? If you create a great mobile app that works perfectly on both iOS and Android and users on both platforms love it, that’s monetization gold!
Just make sure that you plan for monetization in the very beginning stages of development. What you don’t want is to have poorly designed pop-ups or intrusive ads that may cause loyal users to delete the app. It’s probably even a good idea to not even turn on the monetization function of your app until you’ve got a solid user base and some great reviews under your belt. Get people to love and use your app every day, and later down the road, they won’t mind being sold to.
In conclusion, there are many schools of thoughts and opinions as to whether cross-platform or native app development is best. It really does boil down to each individual app, what it’s designed for, what features it requires, what your budget is, and who the target audience is when determining the particular type of development that is right for you. Carefully consider all your options before deciding to go cross or go native.