A Deep-dive into Mobile App Development Approaches

Today delivering a mobile experience to users is not limited to a native app. The scope goes beyond to hybrid and cross-platform development as well. For better understanding, let us put light on each one of these approaches to mobile app development.

Native app Development

It is one of the expensive methods of mobile app development and is limited to a single platform only. For that purpose, developers use a programming language that is native to the operating system in use. For instance, it can be Java/Kotlin for Android and objective C/Swift for iOS. Native App development comes with high performance and customizable feature as per the platform UX.

Tools used:

For Android

  • Android Studio
  • Android IDE
  • Intellij IDEA

For iOS

  • XCode
  • AppCode
  • Atom

Hybrid App Development

It is an economic and fast-to-develop & deploy alternative in mobile app development, which also allows code sharing. Though developers can create appealing UX and navigation patterns, low performance and sub-optimal user experience come as an attachment. Since Hybrid apps mingle well with mobile web elements, the developers use HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding technologies before wrapping it in a native container called the WebView.

Tools used:

  • Ionic
  • Apache Cordova
  • Visual Studio

Cross-platform app development

This platform also permits code shareability like hybrid approach and has fast deploying speed. The coding platform is JavaScript which connects native components via bridges. The cross-platform system uses a native rendering engine and provides a native-realistic UX. Cross-platform apps are platform-independent and offer seamless functionality, easy implementation, and cost-effective production. The downside is average performance and painstaking customization as it is limited to the framework you use.

Tools used:

  • React Native
  • Xamarin
  • Flutter

Important points to consider while choosing a mobile app development approach:

  • Budget
    If you have a limited budget, going for a native approach could be a tough cookie. In that case, the other two options can give you survival. But if you have an open budget, you have the choice to go will any of the three options. Though in any case, you must check the viability and suitability of approaches for your scenario before making a budget-based decision. For instance, you have a reasonable budget in hand, but your requirements can suffice with hybrid or cross-platform options, then you should save money by not going with native.
  • Deployment Time
    If you have limited time in your hand, you should go with hybrid or cross-platform. But if there is no time crunch, go with native as it will give you quality as well.
  • Market Reach
    To reach masses, go with a hybrid or cross-platform approach as both have a hold on iOS and Android markets. Native comes with its limitations.
  • Performance
    If app performance is the criteria, then there is no other better choice than native. Hybrid and cross-platform come with other useful features but with a low-performance graph.
  • UI/UX
    Visual appeal is the only element which creates the first impression. If you prioritize that, go with a native approach as it comes with better scrolling, dynamic animations, and other alluring elements along with superior performance. The remaining two approaches still lag in many factors.
  • Functionality
    When it comes to functionalities, hybrid and cross-platform approaches are less efficient. Though both offer code sharing but other features are not as utility packed as in native course, which comes with no restrictions.


Progressive Web App(PWA) approach for mobile app development

It is like a hybrid approach. PWAs are based on web technologies and run in a browser. They do not require prior installation, and yet you can access the app on the home screen. Its highly optimizable nature for UX makes it progressive. A PWA works offline and provides GPS access, push notifications, and much more for Android. iOS (latest 12.2 release) has constraints as there is no camera access, no default launch image, no installation API, and other issues. Development of PWAs is cheaper and faster than a cross-platform or a native one. PWAs stands as an excellent medium for E-commerce mobile app.

Tools used:

  • Angular
  • React
  • Polymer

Wrapping up:

Consider the above vital points to decide upon the approach that can best fit your mobile app requirement.

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