What Is The Best Mobile App Development Approach For You? Learn Here!
Last Updated on: April 27, 2023
Do you have any out-of-the-box application ideas to solve consumers modern day problems? Let’s finalize a development approach for it!
A survey by Statista recently projected an annual growth rate of 6.58% in the revenue of app market, resulting in a projected volume of $542.80 billion by 2026.
Deciding to build a mobile application is easy. It’s the decisions you have to make later that makes the whole application building process difficult.
Things like, should I go Native? Is Cross-platform app development a better choice?
Can Progressive Web App Development really enhance my application performance? How much time will it take to reach the market and is it going to leave a hole in my pocket?
Most importantly, what is the way to go to meet my business needs?
Well, if you are trying to find answers to the above questions, you have come to the right place. In this blog, we will look at what is Native App Development, Cross-platform App Development, Hybrid App Development, and modern day app development preference PWAs along with, when to use which and their advantages and disadvantages.
Finally, to give you a more clear understanding, we will look at a case study and decide which approach to choose.
So, Let’s get started.
What will you learn in this blog?
- Native App Development
- Hybrid App Development
- Cross-Platform Development
- Progressive Web App Development
- Case Study – Building a Blog App
- What mobile app development approach to choose?
Native App Development
In native applications, we build software applications in a specific programming language for a specific device platform. This means you will have to use platform-specific programming language, software development kits, development environment, and other tools offered by the Operating System. For Android and iOS this would look like:
When To Go Native?
- You have time and resources to have separate teams for iOS and Android development.
- You have the money and are willing to spend an extra buck for superior UI and performance.
- If you need full-access to hardware-related features like gestures, geolocation, touch ID, go Native.
- Building a graphic-rich app/game and need topmost performance and speed.
Advantages of Native App Development
- These are the apps that offer the fastest, most reliable, and most responsive user experience.
- They make using the wider device functionalities like camera, microphone, compass, swipe gestures, easy!
- Offer best-in-class UI/UX experience to users.
Disadvantages of Native App Development
- You will have to maintain a separate codebase for iOS, Android, and any other platform you wish to deploy your app on.
- They will definitely cost you a lot more money and take a longer time-to-market.
Examples of Native Apps
Some of the most popular applications are fully Native like Pokemon Go, Twitter, Google Maps, LinkedIn.
Hybrid App Development
When to choose Hybrid App Development?
We have seen the key benefits of Native App development, but we also know they cost a lot of money and take a lot of time. But say, you have come across an idea for an application, and want to see market responsiveness, build an MVP, a Minimum Viable Product.
Test the Market? Get something usable in the hands of people, quickly and without wasting your resources. Hybrid app Development will allow people to download your app and use it on their devices.
Advantages of Hybrid App Development
- The biggest advantage, manage one codebase for your application.
- Save time and money by hiring fewer developers and reaching the market quickly.
- Easily scalable if you have built the application for one platform.
- Hybrid apps also allow you access to device features.
Disadvantages of Hybrid App Development
- The performance of Hybrid Applications is not at par with Native Applications.
- UI/UX of the application is, let’s say just not the same.
- Cross-platform app development is tough especially if you are looking for “native user experience”.
Example of Hybrid Applications
There are a number of well-known hybrid applications in the app store. Some popular ones are Yelp, BaseCamp, Untappd.
Cross-platform App Development
It may look like it, but remember, hybrid and cross-platform app development are not the same. They do share a common feature of code-reusability, resulting in faster development. But, that’s about it. Cross-platform app development uses a single toolset to deliver apps across multiple platforms. Some of the popular solutions for cross-platform app development are Xamarin, React Native, Flutter, Titanium, etc.
When Should You Go For Cross-Platform App Development?
- Don’t have much time? If you want to reach the market in less than six months, then a cross-platform app development could be for you.
- If you want to build a low budget app that has simple UI but heavy logic.
Advantages of Cross-Platform App Development
- Cross-platform app development can be 30% cheaper and 40% quicker than Native app development.
- Build applications on different platforms with consistent brand identity.
- It allows for up to 70% code reusability.
Disadvantages of Cross-Platform App Development
- Compared to Native apps, you will definitely have a lower performance.
- You have to adapt design and functionality not just to different platforms but also devices, making code design difficult.
- When new features are introduced in Android or iOS, SDKs are provided much faster for Native apps than for cross-platform frameworks.
Examples of Cross-Platform Applications
Some of the cross-platform applications built using Flutter and Xamarin are Google Ads, Picturex, Reflectly, Birch finance, etc.
Progressive Web App Development (PWA)
Progressive web app development is a step towards getting the functionality of native apps in web apps. They bring in features like push notifications, offline mode, load on the home screen, access to device hardware like vibration, improved touch gestures to web apps.
Progressive Web App development is just a set of best practices to make a web application function like a desktop or mobile application. They aim to deliver such a uniform and seamless experience that users can’t differentiate between a Progressive Web App and a Native Mobile App.
When to go for Progressive Web App Development?
If your goal is to build a mobile-friendly application, with a huge reach and a wide range of users, a Progressive Web App Development might be a good approach. It can be loaded in your browser, so you don’t have to download it like native applications. They are a cost-effective way to put your app in front of millions of people.
Advantages of Progressive Web App Development
- Smaller and Faster with a Huge Market Reach.
- You can access PWAs even when you are Offline.
- Since you are not putting your app for download in app stores, you can bypass the rules and restrictions that app stores enforce.
Disadvantages of Progressive Web App Development
- Supported only by limited browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera.
- PWAs are still new and have limited hardware and software support. GPS, fingerprint scanner is still out of reach.
- No presence in App Stores.
Examples of PWAs
A huge number of popular players have seen an enhanced user experience and a boost in an overall performance like Flipkart, AliExpress, Instagram, etc.
Case Study – Building a Blog App
Let’s say, we want to build an application for your Blog website.
We know what different approaches of mobile app development look like and we need to choose one for our blog application. What are the factors we need to consider:
A blog application doesn’t look very complex. All we need to do is display information in text, image, or video format. It would look very similar to Medium, Tumblr, etc.
It would consist of sections, articles, pages, and comments. You can add push notifications to send alerts to your users in case a blog of their interest is published.
You would probably need to integrate with a CMS for the content. If you add notifications, you need a backend too. It’s still a simple application that can be built using any of the above-mentioned approaches.
UI/UX is extremely important here. You don’t want the user to see a lot of text and lose interest. You need clear navigation with a simple and intuitive design element that makes your app feel breathable. Well, we wouldn’t want to compromise on the UX, so hybrid app development is out of option. We would choose native app development or cross-platform app development or a progressive web app development.
Your app needs to display pages full of text or images, be well-structured, well organised, and run fast. This level of performance can be easily achieved using any of the approaches considering it’s still a small app.
Based on the above factors, we have 3 approaches:
- Native App Development – expensive
- Cross-Platform App Development – not so expensive
- Progressive Web App Development – again, not so expensive
So, if you have the budget, we can definitely go for Native, otherwise, we should be good even with a cross-platform app development or PWA.
Time to Market
If you go for a Native app development or a cross-platform app development, it could take a few months. A PWA, on the other hand, could be ready in a matter of weeks.
Finally, what type of app meets your business requirements?
Considering that this blog application is pretty simple, our aim is to reach a huge audience, at the same time enhancing customer experience and boosting performance, PWA could meet our needs.
If you have some time, going for a cross-platform app development would fulfill all your needs.
Which mobile app development approach is right for your project?
The decision to build either a web, native or hybrid app should be based on your business objectives.
Before jumping into development you should consider asking yourself the following questions:
- What are your goals with the app?
- What is your target audience?
- Do you need a MVP or FFP!
- What is the feasible budget for the app?
- How fast do you need the app?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can then may be connect with an app development consultant or mobile app development company to check if the factors you are considering are practical or not.
If you’re confused in choosing one between web, native and hybrid app, check the infographic below:
Think about what’s most important for your application and any limiting factors in terms of budget, time or resources in front of you before you decide on a mobile app development approach.
Talk to different mobile app development agencies and understand who will be able to add value to your application in terms of technical expertise and business know-how.
Choose an experienced tech partner who can not only help you understand the best approach for your application but also deliver a high-quality build within the decided budget and timeframe.
With years of experience, Systango has helped clients across various industries build next-gen digital products. We can help you too..!!