The Demski Group | Native App Versus Cross-Platform App Versus Web App
2001
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Native App Versus Cross-Platform App Versus Web App

The age-old question, well, as old as mobile apps are: Which type of app is best for my project? Do you build a completely native app? Should you build a hybrid cross-platform app? Or not even worry about the App Store and just go with a web app? This is a question all app creators will have to address when they go to build their app.

First, what is each option? A native app is completely written in code native to iOS or Android and uses native libraries. A cross-platform app is usually written in some form of web languages such as HTML5 and JavaScript for the frontend views and native code for the backend. Finally, a web app is a website that is mobile optimized so it looks and functions great on a mobile device.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Native apps are generally more expensive and take longer to build but are usually more stable, and because every aspect is native, it allows the developers greater control over the end product. Cross-platform hybrid apps are a bit cheaper and quicker to develop but the development process is restricted to capabilities of the platform being used. Web apps are the cheapest and fastest to build but don’t have access to many standard device features such as GPS.

Determining the right fit will come down to a few factors: budget, the timeframe to launch, requirements, and the need for stability. If the app requires GPS or Touch ID then a pure web app will not work. In the case of a native app, it can be more expensive to develop and maintain. The right answer is: a consultation with an expert is needed to determine the right fit as each option can work for a different situation. There have been wildly successful apps developed using each method.

A good practice is before having a consultation with an expert take the time to educate yourself on each of the options and clearly define the requirements of your app project. This will save time on both ends when meeting to discuss which fit is the right one for your project.

Here at The Demski Group we work with each of these options and have produced many products in each one. For native apps, we use Java for Android and Swift and Objective C for iOS. Hybrid apps have a wide range of different platforms and some we use are Xamarin, Ionic, and Phonegap. We use a number of languages including Angular JS, Node JS, and HTML5. Web apps can be developed using several different languages including the ones already mentioned plus PHP, Python, or ASP.NET, which we use as well.

Having a developer you can trust go over the project in depth with you and determine how to properly execute it is the best method for ensuring that your project gets developed the way it should be.

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