When we talk about how mobile applications can enhance your business, the first thing that would come to any business owner’s mind is the cost and time of developing the app.
These two play a huge role in deciding whether you can afford to have an app right now or not.
But technology has made everything possible!
Whether you have a tight budget or a complex requirement, there is a solution for all. You just need to find the right technology to build your app.
We have categorized mobile app development into three major categories. It depends on your business which method you should choose to develop your mobile app.
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Let us understand different types of development processes and their pros and cons. It will help you choose the one that goes with the requirement:
1. Native App Development
Native app development includes apps for Apple or Google. They both provide their SDK, interface elements, and development tools.
So, if you wish to build an Android app, you must use Java or Kotlin. And if you wish to develop an app for iOS, you can use Objective C or Swift. There are a lot of pros and cons you should know before choosing native app development.
- Best Performance: Native apps deliver the best performance in class as they are built and optimized for a specific platform. As a result, they are fast and responsive. These apps are more efficient as they use core programming languages and APIs.
Even the app loading time is quick as it leverages the device’s processing speed. All the elements required to navigate an app are already stored on the phone, making it fast.
- More Secure: Native apps inherit the security features of the device’s operating system. Additionally, the performance enhancement updates of the OS are available for native apps as well.
Hence, the device management features protect the app data from threats and compromises.
- More Intuitive: Native apps inherit OS’s interfaces as well, so they look and feel like they are part of the device. These apps follow the guidelines, meaning the app’s flow is according to its standards.
As the users are familiar with UI, it eliminates the learning curve. The interaction with the app becomes natural, delivering a superior user experience.
- More Feature Access:
Native apps directly access the device’s GPS, microphone, camera, etc. These elevate the user’s experience. The other major advantage is push notifications. In short, you will have access to all the APIs and features of the OS.
- Expensive: It is costly to launch apps for both iOS and Android as it requires two different teams to work on different platforms.
- Time-consuming: In native apps, the development process is platform-specific. You cannot reuse the same work for another platform. It will require a separate team to develop the alternative version.
2. Cross-platform Development
To eliminate the need for different platforms for app development, cross-platform development uses a single source code that can run on multiple platforms. You will have an app that looks and feels like a native app but is built with one codebase.
- Code Reusability: One of the most significant advantages of cross-platform development is code reusability. You don’t need two different teams to develop two different codes. Developers can target both platforms with one piece of code, saving a lot of time and effort. These advantages of cross-platform development attract a lot of business owners.
- Speedy Development: This approach eliminates the need to rewrite the code from scratch. It enables reusability, which instantly speeds up the development process. Thus, the developers can finish the project quickly. The delivery of apps is faster compared to native app development.
- Wider Audience Reach: Businesses often can’t afford to develop the app on Android and iOS. But with cross-platform, you will have both apps. You can easily market the app on Google Play Store and Apple Store to reach a larger audience.
Cross-platform development is not just restricted to mobile apps. The code is useful to deploy web apps as well using the same codebase.
- Cost-effective Solution: Cost is something that is a notable factor when businesses take decisions. Not everyone is ready to spend a lot of money on building mobile apps, especially startups and small businesses.
They have budget constraints, so they can have both apps at comparatively less costs if they choose a cross-platform development. Additionally, they can develop a web app with the same code if required.
- Consistency in Apps: Customers enjoy a consistent experience. Mobile apps are no exception to this. Cross-platform development allows developers to choose the UI/UX expectations and make apps with a similar user experience.
- Poor UX/UI: Unlike native development, which uses user-focused designs, cross-platform development uses a single code for both platforms. Thus, it can’t use the built-in features provided by mobile devices. So, compared to native development, cross-platforms have a poor user experience.
- Limited Integration: As one code goes for both apps, it becomes difficult to integrate the app with local settings, set preferences, notifications, etc. There are high chances you have to use a third-party cloud service.
- Late Updates: Whenever there are new updates in the OS, it takes a little time to reflect them in the apps. Because the frameworks need to be updated first, those functionalities can be used.
3. Mobile App Builder
Mobile app builder ditches the usual way of developing a mobile app. It is a pre-build framework that allows you to build an app. These frameworks are so easy to use that anyone from a non-technical background can use them.
- Easy to Use:
App builders have simple frameworks, so anyone from non-technical background can easily use them. You don’t need any coding knowledge to build the apps for Android and iOS.
While building the app, you have to simply drag and drop the widgets you want on that particular screen. You can change its position unless you find the right spot. Once you finalize the place, the app will have that feature exactly at that position.
Thus, you can build an app without writing a single line of code.
Native app development and cross-platform development are both expensive compared to app development using an app builder. Another development process requires native developers, backend developers, designers, and others to build an app.
Whereas with app builder, you can build an app on your own. You will have to invest only in an app builder once. There is no need to outsource the project or in-house team. Compared to the fees of all the engineers required to build an app, you can have native apps at an affordable rate with an app builder.
- Fast Development and Execution:
App development with an app builder is faster than cross-platform development because developers need time to develop code. Here, you have to just drag and drop most of the features or add details in the required fields.
Thus, you can execute your idea within a week. Your app will be on the market within a week. This in itself gives you an extra edge to compete with your competitors.
- Low Risk:
In developing an app with a custom development approach, the investment of time and money is way too high. This means higher risk because if your app doesn’t work well, it will cost you a lot.
On the other hand, if you choose app builder, the time and money invested are way less than the former methods. Thus, the risk involved is also low. So, in case if the app doesn’t work well, you can easily make changes to the app and relaunch it. You will not have to pay extra to make any changes to your app.
- Fixed App Flow:
It is possible that an app builder have a fixed flow or fixed features for you to choose from. If you need anything not present in the app builder, you might have to get it customized. It can cost you a few extra bucks.
App builders mostly work for eCommerce businesses. If you have complex business requirements, then app builders are not for you.
If you are still confused about which development process you should choose for your business, list your business requirement. If you have an ecommerce business, you would probably have complex requirements. Then it is best to choose an app builder. It will save you money, and your app will be on the market in no time. There are a lot of app builders out in the market, like Magento 2 mobile app builder. They are the best for eCommerce businesses.
But if your business demand something complex, you can choose Flutter for cross-platform development or follow the native development process. So, whether you don’t have a huge chunk of money to spare on a mobile app, you can still have it because mobile apps will surely give you good ROI because of their increasing demand.