Mobile development has been a must for many years now. Especially in FinTech, which is based almost entirely on mobility and easy access. What does native vs cross-platform mean? What is the nature of a native vs hybrid mobile app development? Finally, what is the best framework for app development in 2022 and beyond?
Native vs cross-platform – what’s what?
Native applications are made with a specific operating system in mind. They leverage platform-specific features, offering users benefits that originated in a local environment. Software developers use programming languages, frameworks, libraries, and other tools at least partially exclusive to the platform. May it be Android, iOS, or any other kind of environment in a digital space, one thing remains the same – the application made for a particular system can’t be run on another. This, naturally, has benefits and disadvantages.
When you should consider making a native app?
- When you know you want to make a product specific to one platform
- When the app is heavily relying on the hardware to run (camera access, for example)
- When you plan an exclusive deal with the platform holder or you’re a part of their business environment
- When your application consists load of heavy animations
- When you want to deliver the highest level of consumer satisfaction and customer experience
On the other hand, cross-platform applications are a mix of two worlds. Sometimes the approach is also called “hybrid development”. In this case, software developers build an app to be compatible with multiple platforms and operating systems. The “hybrid app vs native app” approach is not always clear, since you can choose to build a product specifically for one platform and then port it to another. Or simply build one app for iOS and another for both major mobile systems.
When you should consider making a cross-platform application?
- When you want to maintain and operate an app on multiple platforms and operating systems at once but don’t have time or resources to manage platform-specific challenges
- When you want to target a broad audience that will use the app on a PC and mobile devices
- When you want to test a new product through a Minimum Loveable Product (MLP) concept
- You don’t need access to platform-specific hardware features like a camera or other vital modules
Benefits of native apps
There are quite a few benefits. Native vs cross-platform battle should be won by arguments, so we have a few:
- Native apps work faster. You don’t need high-level complexity in your code to handle multiple devices. That’s why a native app is faster, runs smoother, and even loads in a blink of an eye.
- Offline preserves functionality. Your audience can use the app even without an internet connection. It’s great for airplane mode or when a user wants to optimize the internet package for the month. If a person wants to make a financial projection for the upcoming quarter, he or she can easily write down costs known in advance and compare them online with the previous months, later on.
- User experience is superior. It’s easier to maintain two codebases for two major versions of the same mobile application. It’s also easier to design a platform-specific app. UX, UI, and all subjects related to the quality of life are easier to plan and implement when the team is solely focused on one platform at hand.
- Greater optimization and a smaller number of bugs. This is self-explanatory but nonetheless – if the software development team is dealing with an exclusive code base, then the product quality is simply higher.
- Greater performance. Natives run better. They are more responsive and faster than multi-platform apps. Even more so, they are made through native API development which further increases performance and stability.
- Greater security. With the use of modern programming languages and security techniques (it also includes quality assurance procedures), native applications are less vulnerable. It’s the technology stack that makes the difference.
Benefits of hybrid apps
An article about native vs hybrid mobile app development wouldn’t be complete without the advantages brought by multi-platforms. Here they are:
- Fast time-to-market. The testing of new product is great with native apps but if you know what’s what and want to earn money fast, then go with hybrid apps. A hybrid app development framework (more on that in a second) is perfect when you need an application fast.
- Easier maintenance and future enhancements (including post-launch support). You can do important work once, instead of distracting yourself and fighting with platform-specific problems and limitations.
- Cross-platform marketing initiatives. Implementing something twice takes twice the time. Do it once.
- Data gathering and comparison. With cross-platform development, you can easily compare data and customer activities. Find out what’s working, and what doesn’t, and plan for the future.
Best mobile app development framework 2022
It’s hard to pick one specific environment that you can call the best mobile development framework in 2022 or beyond. Each of them has specific pros and cons. There are, however, few candidates that can expedite the process of introducing the product to the market. Some of them are great for FinTech mobile app development.
Another great example is this open-source and highly scalable framework. At Code & Pepper we prefer React Native due to the previously mentioned technology stack landscape and the benefits that it brings to the table. Nonetheless, Ionic is quite proficient as well. It has a large library of HTML, CSS and JS components optimized for mobile development.
Another example of a great open-source tool. Originating from Microsoft, the Xamarin framework relies on the C# programming language and works in tandem with the .NET framework. It’s compatible with any mobile platform and provides similar performance and user experience.
How to choose the best hybrid app framework?
Consider the size of your company, and your ability to work with a certain technology. Think about the skills of your internal developers and the option to hire agile teams for complementary work. Prepare a detailed roadmap for the product, including support for the upcoming two to three years.
Take into consideration the real needs of your development team, as well as the user’s perspective. Don’t forget about mobile app development trends, which can, at least every few years, turn your plan and available technology upside down.
There are clear pros to both approaches. The best framework for app development doesn’t exist. The native app vs hybrid app consideration is still going strong inside many companies. It’s your individual plan that has the deciding factor.