Which platform does your mobile app target?
This may sound like an easy question – ALL of them! But the implementation for targeting all mobile platforms can be a bit tricky. From both a business and a technological perspective.
First up, we have the traditional native apps. As you have probably gathered, a native app is one that is specific to a particular mobile platform. Therefore, you would have to choose between iOS or Android and you have to build your app in the right language, as talked about before.
What are the benefits? The first is the UI consistency. You can ensure that the UI components you build out for a native app will do what they are intended to do because they are isolated to that specific platform.
You also have the fastest data transfer and graphics. If a business use case calls for a lot of data being moved around and/or lots of graphics in the app, then this approach makes the most sense.
The problem with this is you would need to develop 2 or more separate codebases. Since each native platform uses a unique language, as a business you are taxed with higher development costs.
The benefit with this is cutting thousands of dollars in development costs. The cost cutting comes with a performance impact, however. There are performance limitations as the app is not directly sitting on the phone. Whether it’s packaged into an app or accesses through the browser, some native functions like camera use, calendars etc may be unavailable. Working with graphics, large datasets and requests is not recommended when taking this approach.
Hybrid apps take a little bit of everything from both web apps and native apps. Using the same technologies you would use for the web, there is an extra layer that sits between the application code and the native hardware. This means our hybrid code can access all native functionality through this bridge and at the same time cutting costs by only developing on one platform.
As you can see, there are many different angles that you need to consider when developing an app for your business. It is important to understand WHY you are building your app and what problem is it solving. That way you’re not spending thousands of dollars creating native iOS and Android apps, when a simple web app would suffice given the use case.