The debate between cross platform apps and native apps for business use is one that may rage for a while. Native apps have an inherent use because they're built specifically for a platform. Be it Windows, Unix, Android, iOS, etc, they're coded in the same language as the device they're on. Cross platform apps, on the other hand, can be used on multiple platforms using one code that plays nice with others - with a few custom tweaks.
So, which way is best for you and your business?
The dreaded OS update is often the bane of existence for cross-platform apps. Oftentimes, these apps need to be revised so they can work with updates. Since native apps are made specifically for the operating system on which they're used, an OS update doesn't usually affect them. Prompt support is available and the framework is already in place to make sure native apps work smoothly.
Native apps tend to be more expensive. They're limited to one operating system or platform, thus limiting their reach and requiring a more specialized skill set from developers to maintain them.
Cross platform apps are often built by smaller companies to cover more than one platform and achieve deeper market penetration. That cost can be offset by the ability to reach deeper into the market.
When you run a business, apps simply must be reliable. Crashing and spontaneous updates mean lost revenue. Native apps are generally reliable for the versions of the platforms they are designed for. Cross platform apps can be constrained by their code and may have to work harder to access the processes of the operating system, often fighting for dominance.
The shelf life of an app. Updates come and go, but if the app isn’t seeing significant changes you'll be switching to something else. This is where things like reusability come into play. You don’t want to keep changing apps for your business when you have everything dialed in. Cross platform apps usually have the most longevity because the code they use can often be reused as a foundation to create new apps and build updates on. Native apps have to be recreated for each platform it uses.
The processes of a business often tie directly into the success of a business. Your customers and employees get accustomed to how an app works and operates and then are able to better utilize it. The user interface and user experience directly ties into this. A native app suits those who are accustomed to a particular OS and UI. There can be a challenge in creating a cross-platform app that pleases all users (consider the differences between iOS and Windows), but with the right guidance and expertise, it can be achieved.
There are many apps available for your business and they range in price, flexibility, and longevity. Native apps can be more versatile and will help maintain the processes you need for success. Cross platform apps may lose something in translation from platform to platform depending on that framework’s limitations. Sticking with iOS, Android, etc. and the apps specifically made for them can create stability for your business.
When in doubt, ask experts in custom app development, custom web development, and Drupal CMS to tailor new apps to best suit your needs.
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