Mobile Development : Native Platforms

Ever since smartphone app development became a mainstream trend back in 2010, there have been various interesting developments on the apps development front. Initially, Apple’s iOS attracted the developers worldwide and a lot of programmers worldwide started developing apps for Apple’s iTunes App Store. Later came Google’s Android and its apps and they’ve been providing a strong competition to iOS apps since then. There are other players in this arena as well like Blackberry’s smartphone apps and its store, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 platform and its apps, etc. But they don’t exercise a stronger market hold as much as iOS or Android does. All these 4 platforms have their own App Stores. Developers can write apps on any of these platforms and publish them on the respective app stores. All 4 platforms have their distinct development platform and framework. They offer various development tools that allow software programmers to write apps on their platforms.

Apart from these 4 major platforms, there has been a development of a new trend in the field of development of Smartphone apps, and that is developing cross platform apps. Technologies like Titanium, PhoneGap, Xamarin, etc. have surfaced up in the last couple of years and have been making a significant impact in the app-o-sphere! Basically what these technologies do is, they let you develop apps for multiple platforms just by writing one set of code. So, what one has to do is, just make one project and write code in it and the end product you get is an Android app, iOS app & apps for other platform as well. All at once, in just one code base.

Now, when it comes to normal people who aren’t familiar with development or don’t belong to the field of software engineering, they face a real difficulty and confusion when they come across an idea for an app but they don’t know which platform to choose and which technology to pursue. They go to various consulting agencies and the agency advises them based on the agency’s convenience. Thus, in the end it is the customer who has to suffer because he didn’t get the best form of consultation. Let us explain you in brief which way you should focus and spend your energy to develop your app.

Native Platform Development

First of all let us start with developing apps in native platforms. There are advantages to this approach as well as disadvantages to it as well. For example, each platform natively offers a wonderful environment to develop apps for their platform. Apple’s iOS, Android, Blackberry & Windows Phone all of them offer excellent features & rich libraries that support and encourage developers to develop apps for them. But the flip side is that these platforms support development of their platforms only. One cannot develop apps for other platforms using one platform. So, if you are developing an iOS app then you cannot develop Android app in it. For that, you’d have to use Android’s development platform and begin your project from scratch. Thus if you are targeting an app to work on multiple platforms, going for native development approach might prove to be a little cost intensive and time consuming for you. Also you’d have to have separate teams for developing your app simultaneously across different platforms leave aside the constant care you’d have to take to keep the user experience uniform across all those different platforms. But the native platform isn’t about these problems. Several people still prefer native development of apps across different platforms as well. This is because since these platforms and their development frameworks are created simultaneously, keeping each other in mind, they have very rich libraries and offer amazing features that allows you to develop best quality apps which otherwise won’t be possible using any cross platform technology. So, here is the summary for developing apps in their native platforms:

Pros of Native apps development

  • Best quality tools available for development.
  • Feature rich libraries, development support & documentation readily available.
  • End product feels much better in quality since it is developed using native platform guidelines.
  • If there is a major upgrade in the native platform, the cross platform takes time to get adapted to it, while Native developers have the tools and guidelines with them as soon as the upgrade is launched.

Cons of Native apps development

  • Cost intensive if you’re targeting to launch your app on multiple platforms simultaneously. You’d have to set up separate teams for development on each platform.
  • Time consuming. Since there are separate code bases for different platforms, there are a lot of chances of things getting stuck at some place or things going wrong, ultimately leading to delays in product launch.
  • You’ve to consume energy behind ensuring a uniform user experience of your app across different mobile platforms. Since there are different teams working, all of them have to be instructed accordingly.

More on this topic is covered in the next post. We carry forward this discussion and discuss about the Cross Platform technologies for Mobile apps development and the pros and cons of using them. If you wish to know anything more regarding Native Mobile app development or if you are looking forward to making a native mobile app for yourself, we at Elan Emerging Technologies would be glad to help you with it.