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Mobile App Development Approaches: Native, Cross-Platform, and Web Apps

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The mobile application market is growing, as more and more users start relying on smartphones not only as a means of communication but also as effective maintenance, management, financial, and collaboration tool. No wonder mobile apps enjoy enormous popularity these days, and the number of appreneurs eager to enter this lucrative market is also growing. If you also want to jump on the bandwagon, you should do thorough research learn more about the nitty-gritty of mobile app development, and enlist the help of an experienced mobile development partner. And once you embark on your app development journey, you’ll need to choose dedicated development tools and techs that will help put your app idea into practice.

In today’s post, we’re going to review the most popular types of mobile app development, which will hopefully help you pick the tech that will work best for your own project. 

Native Apps 

Native applications are famed for their enviable performance. They are fast, highly responsive, and well suited to the needs and peculiarities of a platform they are meant to be deployed on. To create a robust and effective native solution, one needs to be well familiar with its restrictions, requirements, specifications, etc. It’s also necessary to have relevant experience with a specific platform’s core languages to create the best solution possible. 

Native apps boast significantly faster load times since all their content and visual elements get stored on a device once a user downloads it onto it. Native apps are also commonly considered as more secure and protected against cyber-attacks and unauthorized access. Plus, native solutions are more resistant to bugs and crashes than others of their ilk. 

The only downside that often prevents developers from adopting the native approach is its high costs and long development times. Coders need to develop such an app from scratch separately for each individual platform. So, beginner appreneurs normally cannot afford to build native apps. 

  • If you want to try your hand at native development, such tools and languages as React Native, Swift, Objective-C, and Kotlin might come in particularly handy.  

Cross-Platform Apps

There is a decent alternative to native solutions, though. Today, more and more businesses opt for a cross-platform development approach, which involves using one and the same app’s code to deploy it on multiple platforms. This approach saves lots of time and cost since it’s not as labor-intensive and narrow as its native counterpart. 

If you opt for the cross-platform app development approach, you won’t require a separate tech stack to make your app run on different operating systems. Just take advantage of a dedicated app development tool that will enable you to use universal code and deploy your app in a desired OS environment without sacrificing much of its functionality. 

In practice, developers might need to make some tweaks to the initial code to make their app more compatible with a specific platform and boost its performance. That being said, a good deal of code remains unchanged and can be reused in different digital environments successfully.   

Since cross-platform development doesn’t require as many resources as native development, it makes it possible to reduce your development costs and roll your app out to the market faster. 

  • Among the most efficient tools commonly used for cross-platform development are Cordova, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, RubyMotion, and others.  

Mobile Web Apps 

If you want to create an app that will automatically adapt to your users’ devices, consider the web development approach. 

In essence, mobile web applications are web pages that are optimized in a way that makes them more compatible with mobile platforms. At first sight, such apps might look and feel like native apps. But in reality, web apps are implemented to run directly in a browser. So, your users just access them as they would access a website, and if their experience with it is satisfactory, they might opt to install it by bookmarking it. 

  • Though there are no standard development kits for mobile web apps, today, such tools as HTML5, JavaScript, and Python can help you put together a nice web-based app. 

Now you can choose the mobile app development approach that best suits your individual needs and budget and develop a successful app of your own. 

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