There is some really heated debate over the “Native App” and “Hybrid App” at the moment. But the fact is diversity of mobile platforms poses a unique challenge of designing and developing mobile applications that would run on all these platforms. Native mobile application development for each platform individually can not only increase the time to market but also increases the cost of development.
While there’s no denying that native code is robust, have support in terms of developer base and toolkits, faster development due to reusing of existing codes; the flipside is finding and retaining the techies with the required expertise in the programming language used in native development. Native apps would mean that they are not cross-platform compatible, which lessens your apps’ reach thereby impacting your revenues. Cross-platform development and maintenance costs are nowhere near that of native development since native development requires QA testing and porting.
Complete native development can become cumbersome and costly affair for enterprises, developer community and investors. The solution to this is cross platform app development, but the strategy for cross platform mobile app development is driven by business or requirements. Also it’s critical to choose right cross platform development technology considering portability and scalability of application.
Cross-platform apps are to be really banked upon, as now it has ability to access device capabilities such as Audio/Video Capture, Geo-location, Address Book, Native Menu, Native maps, Screen rotation, Barcode, SMS, Ringtone, Storage, Calendar, etc.
There are several powerful, versatile and useful cross-platform mobile development frameworks like Rhodes, Titanium, PhoneGap and others for developing native web apps that work on all smartphones and tablets that provides rich user experience.
Native and cross dev apps will coexist for the foreseeable future, even as both technologies continue to evolve and in some areas converge. Native apps will remain the choice for engaging users with the richest experiences that take advantage of the latest onboard functionality. However, for many other types of apps, the economics of app development will increasingly favor the cross platform development route. Gradually a third dimension is emerging, which is the hybrid development environment. This combines the best of everything.