Business owners understand the need to have a mobile app to reach their target customers. Even with the emergence of Artificial Intelligence solutions like chatbots, mobile apps are still an effective tool for building brand awareness. One of the greatest challenges that companies face is choosing between native apps and cross-platform apps. App Designers in Kenya will ask you this question as soon as you approach them for app development services. What are the differences between the two types of apps? How do you choose the best for your business? Let us each category with its pros and cons.
Most of the apps you find on app stores are native apps. Native applications are developed for specific platforms. The most popular platforms in the Kenyan market are iOS and Android. Developers can create an app that is compatible with the features of any of the two platforms.
What are the advantages of choosing native apps?
1. A better user interface and experience
The purpose of creating an app is to communicate with the users in a way that they buy your product or service. The interaction via a mobile app will depend on the ease of using its interface. Native apps give users a flawless experience because they are familiar with the platform.
2. High performance
The native code used in developing these applications has a direct interaction with the device’s operating system. The result is high performance even for complex applications. Users experience reduced downtime and access multimedia content easily. Happy users will spend more time on the app and subscribe to your services where applicable.
3. High rating and visibility in app stores
The rating flows from the friendly user experience. When users have a good experience with the app, they give a high rating, which in turn translated to more app downloads from the app store. When users know they can rely on your app to deliver its function, they will recommend it to others even without leaving a review on app stores.
Disadvantages of native apps
App designers in Kenya will advise you to go for a native app if you want to build a high-performing solution. However, you must put the following drawbacks into consideration:
1. High cost and time consuming
Before you sign up for a native app, realize that it takes more time and effort to build than a cross-platform app. Hence, you will incur a higher cost and waiting for a longer period for the final product. Development takes even longer if the native app has complex features or if you need a native app for each platform.
2. Reduced target market
Native applications target one platform, which means that you will lose part of your target market. The alternative is to build a native app for each platform, which is time-consuming and expensive.
A cross-platform app will work on several operating systems. Users can enjoy the features and functions of the app on any device or platform. You can either develop a native or hybrid cross-platform app depending on the language used. Let us look at the pros and cons of choosing these apps.
Pros of cross-platform applications
Cost is a critical consideration when building your business. If you are trying out a mobile app with a low budget, a cross-platform app is a friendly option. You do not need to develop specific apps for each platform because one works for all.
2. Fast to develop
Developers will write the code once and then apply to all operating systems. This means that the effort and time required to develop the final version is less compared to a native app. You save time that you can use to market the app and start connecting with your target market.
3. A wider reach
The reality is that many startups cannot afford to develop an app for each platform. A native app locks out a part of the target market. A Cross-platform app helps you reach the whole target market with your campaigns.
4. Synchronized updates
You need to update your app consistently to give users the best experience. Remember that platforms and stores update their features as well. Your app must match those updates. Cross-platform apps have a lower maintenance cost since the updates are synchronized across all platforms.
Cons of the cross-platform apps
1. Performance hitches
The non-native code used in these apps sometimes fails to integrate seamlessly with the native components of an operating system. Hence, the app may fail to reach its optimal performance level on some devices. The performance may vary from optimal to poor performance depending on the device and operating system that the user chooses
2. Low rating and user experience
When you opt for a cross-platform app, you risk a low rating on app stores. The fluctuations in app performance will lead to a poor user experience, which will influence their feedback on app stores. However, the performance of a cross-app largely depends on your choice of a developer. Top app designers in Kenya can develop a functional cross-platform with minimal downtimes.
Choosing between a native and a cross-platform application
The decision may seem difficult because each has its unique set of pros and cons. The best choice rolls down to the goal or purpose of creating an app. What features do you need in the app? What is the intended function? For instance, if you want to develop an app as a way of making money, you need a high-performance app. This means that a native app is the best choice.
Some businesses need a channel of communication with their clients. If your client will only need an app for specific functions, a cross-platform app may work for you. Cross-platform apps are great for sharing information about your brand or event. You assured of a wide audience and a cost-friendly channel of communication.
Your budget is another factor to consider. Think about the initial cost of development and maintenance cost. Native apps are more expensive than cross-platform apps are but their functionality is different. However, as reliable app designers in Kenya will advise you, prioritize user experience over saving cost. Remember that the app might be the first impression your target clients get of your brand.