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Why Cross-Platform Isn't Really Worth It

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We are diving more into technology every day and integrate its tools with the modern world. Companies’ demand for mobile apps is increasing like never before. As software developers, we see the decisions a developer needs to take on a daily basis.

When making plans of launching an app, the first thing to consider for a developer is to choose the type of development framework they will follow. For mobile app development especially, there are two basic ways to take: native app development or cross-platform app development. We’ll show you why native apps are really cool and cross-platforms are just mainstream and boring in this two sequence Native vs Cross-Platform blog series.

What is Native App Development?

To explain its very basic definition: a native application is a software program created to be used on one specific platform and OS (operating system). An example of this type of apps can be Twitter. This highly popular social media app is designed, coded, and maintained by developers differently on different platforms such as smartphones, computers and tablets. And every platform also has to be coded differently for each OS, such as Apple’s Mac and IOS or PC and Google’s Android.

If the developer would like to use a native mobile app framework, they could choose to use specific programming languages. For example, Kotlin for Android, and Swift for IOS.

The details that the developers get to focus on give the end product a well-thought result.

What is Cross-Platform Development?

Cross-platform development is designing and maintaining an app with a single code base on multiple platforms and OS. Skype is a cross-platform mobile app and it is a good example of this type of framework as it uses the same base for IOS and Android. The developers need to have the skills to be able to think about how the line of code they’re writing will look on the end product for both OS and write accordingly. 

Cross-platform mobile development tools include React Native and Flutter. When these programming tools are used, the same base code can be applied to mobile devices, computers and more. 

In a way, it is to make programs abstract in order to fit in with the desired platform and OS -- which brings many problems with it, as you might have already guessed.

Which one is better?

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both types of frameworks together and we’re sure you’ll see the obvious results and choose between these mobile app development frameworks.

Pros of native apps

- The app itself is coded to be highly responsive and fast

- Ability to send push notifications

- Detailed, clear, specialised coding

- Ability to work offline

- Creative freedom to designers and developers.

- Secure data protection

- Honestly? It’s awesome

Cons of native apps

- Development process is a bit long and expensive because the aim is greatness if not perfection

Pros of cross-platform apps

- Development process is cheap and fast but why would anyone choose coal now if you can get diamonds later?

Cons of cross-platform apps

- Hard to maintain and fix bugs since it has to work on all platforms

- User experience (UX) isn’t really the best due to the slowness of the app

- Developer experience isn’t really the best either because it limits developer’s and designer’s creativity 

- Hardly ever offline apps

- Inability to utilize native features 

- Limited access to API

- No one likes them

Need we say more? It is, in fact, quite easy to conclude that the native app framework is simply better. It aims for the best for the companies, the developers, and maybe it can even bring about world peace one day. 

Plot twist

We believe you have understood that we like native app development. However. Cross-platform development can do something that native app development cannot do. 

This is exactly why we still use cross-app development.