Does Cross-platform Mobile Application always Work?

When researching for a mobile app development company to build your business application for iOS, Android and Windows bearing the minimum cost, you might come across some developers that will try to convince you to use cross-platform approach, saying that it can reduce your cost and time as well. No, this is not completely true, and may not work in all cases.

  • Many companies have experienced several issues by using a cross-platform approach to develop their mobile application and being unable to resolve the issues, they have recreated their application using a native app development approach. Well, cross-platform and native are two different approaches. In layman terms:
  • Native app development – takes separate developers for same application but for different platforms. Viz. iOS developer to create the application for iOS; Android developer to create an application for Android app, and App Developer for Windows Phone to create Windows applications.
  • Cross-platform app development – takes just a single developer to create the same app for different platforms – iOS, Android and Windows. And to build the application, it uses different frameworks. To name a few, JQuery Mobile, Sencha Touch, PhoneGap, and Titanium.

At first glance, Native or Cross-platform, which approach you to think would be the best for your project? For sure, it would be a cross-platform approach, as it can reduce your cost, time and efforts. But, be careful when making the decision. The cross-platform approach does have the chances to create a slow, buggy and non-scalable mobile application.

Really, it could be a very tough task to decide the best approach. There are several critical considerations to be kept in mind while making your decision. Consider:

If your UI design is very graphics intensive – If the application you want to create requires a sleek user interface or is having animations or custom graphics, then cross-platform mobile app development approach might not work. IOS and Android have lots of popular devices with different screen sizes and resolutions.

It can get really messy if you try to reach all screen sizes with the same source code. Again, if you want to have different layouts in terms of design for different platforms, a cross-platform developer will mostly need to work not less than two native developers to handle various screen constraints.

Cross-platform app development approach can work well if the interaction points in your app don’t take a lot of server-side interaction. Hence, brochure apps, information apps with simple contents can better go with cross-platform app development approach. But, interaction, graphics, and apps with heavy contents should go for the native approach.

If you are planning to integrate external devices with your application – The cross-platform approach might not be the right technique if you want to create an app that can integrate with external devices through your Bluetooth phone, WiFi, or Audio Jack connector. A lot of external devices, just to name a few fitness sensors or credit card readers, don’t integrate robustly using the cross-platform approach.

The device manufacturers normally provide native Android SDK (software development kit) or iOS SDK that supports native technique only. Your developer might somehow make the code work with the help of JavaScript code, but this would not support all iOS and Android devices.

If your local database is going to be large – Mobile applications with large databases and which works offline and needs frequent syncing with the server might not do well with a cross-platform approach. You do get the option to add SQLite or WEB SQL for server syncing and offline functionality.

In any event, if the application does not make several asynchronous queries to the database – local or server – and if your layout is very large, you will experience slow performance and there would be more chances of the app getting crashed. Therefore, avoid cross-platform approach if you are sure your app is database driven and need to sync frequently.

If your application would use native mobile APIs and how many – If your application uses Push notifications, or address book API, or any other advanced phone APIs, you need to be very careful. Check out if your mobile app development company can make sure to get these through a native approach bearing no performance issues. Most of the time these integrations take more cost and time by using a cross-platform approach rather than a native approach.

If your application needs 508 compliance – Several healthcare apps or other government apps needs to be 508 compliant, so that blind, deaf or other disabled people can use them easily. The cross-platform approach would not work for these type of apps, especially for Android phones. Because it needs a Talkback feature, and the cross-platform approach can create issues while creating them. A native approach can rather ensure to make an easy-to-use 508 compliant app for all iOS as well as Android devices.

In addition, the Native approach provides you with numerous benefits, to name some incredible performance and all other native functionality, whereas a cross-platform approach reduces the time and cost of the development. But as indicated, maximum developers prefer to use native approach rather than the shortcuts of cross-platform.

Source: Consumer Sketch