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This blog post is a part of the "App Development" series.This blog is an introductory blog to the world of app development. Looking to start building apps? This is where to start!

Getting Started with App Development

All of us have been using apps on our phone on a daily basis but have you ever wondered how they are developed. In these times there are now two categories in which app development can be divided, Native and Cross Platform

What is Native Development

Native app development is in simple words building a mobile app for a specific platform. The app is built with programming languages and tools which are specific to that particular platform For example, you can develop a native Android app with Java or Kotlin and choose Swift and Objective-C for iOS apps.

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Pros of Native App Development

1. High Performance:
With native mobile app development, the app is created and optimized for a specific platform. As a result, the app demonstrates an extremely high level of performance. Native apps are very fast and responsive because they are built for that specific platform and are compiled using platforms core programming language and APIs. As a result, the app is much more efficient.

2. Broad Functionality:
The biggest advantage of native over cross platform is the former’s ability to access all the features of the platform it is made for. This ultimately results in faster execution & better user experience. Additionally, native apps can function without internet connectivity making it the best solution for complex mobile applications.

3. Higher Security and Reliability:
Native apps are programmed using the core language of the platform, which makes them more secure and reliable. Also, features such as proactive security upgrades, multi-factor authentication and remote management controls ensure the strictest data security and privacy.

Cons of Native App Development:
1. More than one Codebase:
Since the languages and tools are platform specific, the code written to build an Android Application cannot be used to build and iOS Application

2. High Cost and Slow Development Speed:
The biggest drawback of Native development is its cost. Native app development is complex due to which professional development and support consumes a lion’s share of the project budget and in order to cater to two different sets of audiences i.e., Android and iOS, it requires two distinct native apps, leading to setting up two development teams and It consumes significantly more time to develop a native app than its cross-platform counterpart does.

What is Cross Platform Development?

As the name suggests Cross Platform App Development uses a single codebase to build apps for multiple platforms. Nowadays there are quite a few frameworks use for Cross Platform Development

Examples: Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, Ionic etc.

There are also quite a few apps built on cross platform frameworks like Bloomberg, Coinbase, Instagram, were made using React Native and eBay Motors, Stadia, Google Ads, Dream 11 and Groupon are made using Flutter

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Pros of Cross Platform Development:

1. Cost Effective:
Built on the concept of ‘write once, run everywhere’, cross-platform app development enables you to use a single codebase on multiple platforms which results in a significant cut in the cost of development.

2. Quick Development:
Cross Platform App Development enables the developers to reuse a significant portion of the code for different platforms, many times they just have to change the code for platform specific functions or UI components. And once the app is finished it is ready to be deployed on multiple platforms

3. Easier Maintenance and Deployment:
In cross-platform app development, a single and a universal app is compatible for running on all platforms. This makes it easier to maintain and deploy code as changes are made. Updates can promptly be synced over all platforms and devices. Moreover, if a bug is found in the common codebase, it only needs to be fixed once.

Cons of Cross Platform App Development:

1. Limited Functionality and Support:
The major con of Cross Platform App Development would be its limited functionality as it is difficult to access the core operating system features. The performance of these apps are also comparatively slower and there is less 3rd party support as these are fairly new

2. Long Wait Time for new features:
Every time Google or Apple introduce a new feature for Android or iOS, it takes some time to update applications to support this new feature. In native apps, new SDKs are provided with the updates much faster than for cross-platform frameworks

Native Vs Cross Platform

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This blog was written by our member Sidharth Bahl.