App developers can make cross platform or native apps. The choice will depend on many factors. There are pros and cons for each method and I will shed some light on this to help you choose the right approach.
Cross platform apps
These are apps developed that can be used on a wide range of platforms. It is based on the concept of coding once to be run everywhere. This is to mean that the app could be used on android, iOS, blackberry or any others by developing it only once.
The ability to run on manyplatforms helps the app reach wider market. As a commercial app developer, this will mean more potential earnings.
Easy to market
Since the app can run on many devices, the advertising and marketing can be more general. This is easier than running it on just one platform; it would mean a more specific marketing strategy to reach the target market.
The app is coded just once. So, it’s a cost effective option as you get multiple apps for the price of one.
Since the app can be used in many platforms, merging or syncing will be easier across all the platforms. This also means that upgrades can be more easily integrated.
Loss of flexibility
Cross platform app have the con that since it has to be common, you cannot develop the app to fully exploit the advantages of one platform.
Since the different platforms have different interfaces developing an app to fit all these interfaces can be tricky.
These are apps that are developed for a single platform. Hence they run on only one platform.
The main advantage of native apps is the benefit of being the “master of one”. Native apps are able to use all the benefits and features offered by one platform. This way, an app can be more interactive and can have more features.
Speed and ease of use
Native apps perform faster and more easily since they integrate better with the built in features of the platform they are developed for.
The major con of a native app is that if you chose one platform you will not be able to reach the many other platforms available. This means less market share.
We are not sure what the future holds for any of the platforms. Some platforms may be out competed or dated in the future.
This is because of the app store rules. If they decide that your app does not meet the threshold they want they will remove it from the store and you cannot do anything about it. There are many reasons why this may happen and hence a major con of native apps.
Other cons are that native apps cost more and take longer to develop due to the high level of specification needed.
In our experience as mobile developers, we have seen clients go for Cross Platform apps only to return to native because their users don’t like the “feel” of the app.
Hence in our opinion, going native is the best approach and the one which yield best results in the long run.