A couple of years ago, development firms teetered between hybrid app development and native development. But, technology changes fast! Back then, hybrid apps were useful because they allowed for development on multiple platforms with one codebase. However, they were sometimes slower and had more bugs.
Now, mobile app development has moved on from “hybrid” app development to more-capable “cross-platform” app development. Cross-platform app development offers multi-platform efficiency and native capabilities without the limitations of traditional native development and “buggy-ness” of hybrid.
Pros and Cons of Native Development
Native apps provide platform-specific functionality, meaning that each app is developed for iOS or Android, but not both. Developing an app for only one operating system allows you to better optimize an app’s speed and functionality. Even so, native’s limited nature comes with its fair share of headaches.
For instance, if one mobile application – such as a banking app – was developed natively for iOS and Android, there would be two separate codebases; one for each platform. When a feature, like an automated bill-pay function, is added to the app, it cannot be coded for both platforms simultaneously. Instead, it must be coded from scratch for each operating system. This creates complicated, redundant work for the development team.
This “double work” applies to several areas of development and maintenance, including security and hosting. Having two apps means two instances hosted on your server, both of which need to be monitored. Because so much work needs to be done twice, producing app updates takes twice as long OR requires twice the development staff to get them done quickly.
Why Cross-Platform App Development Wins Over Native Development
These headaches are the primary reason why native app development doesn’t make sense for most businesses. When efficiency and ROI are top priorities, native development struggles to compete. Let’s explore how cross-platform apps solve these problems and provide added benefits over traditional native and hybrid development processes.
1. A Simple Unified Codebase
There are several benefits of cross-platform app development, but one particular benefit stands out among the rest: a unified codebase. A unified code base is a technical term for code that applies to both Android and iOS operating systems (and others, if needed).
Having code in one place means each adjustment and update goes out to every device, regardless of OS, for greater efficiency and consistency – no separate development teams required. It also makes it simple for users familiar with your app to swap from iPhone to Android and back again without running into discrepancies.
2. Reduced Development and Hosting Cost
Since cross-platform apps rely on a unified codebase, their hosting and development costs are much lower than native apps. They won’t require two hosting solutions and two codebases that need regular updates. Like any business process, a more efficient approach that achieves the same or better quality is the right choice. With cross-platform apps, even the processes of debugging and testing are sped up and accomplishable by smaller teams.
3. Faster Development and Access to Reusable Code
Thanks to the years of work we’ve poured into STAX, we have a large catalog of customizable features we can add to any client’s mobile application without starting from scratch. It’s a resource that’s far beyond templated mobile apps but still provides undeniable efficiency.
Ready to develop a cross-platform mobile application?
Cross-platform development offers more than these three efficiency-centric benefits and we’d be happy to explain them further. If your team is looking for a mobile application development partner to tackle your next leap forward, reach out to 7T today. 7T has an insanely talented team that’s up-to-date on the latest technologies, including augmented reality and IoT integrations, which makes reaching your goals highly attainable.