June 11, 2013
Beauty or the Beast? Understanding Mobile Web and Native Application Development Tradeoffs
These days, when choosing a development strategy for your next mobile app, an essential question is whether to write it as a cross-platform hybrid mobile web app versus “going native”.
There are many parameters to consider when deciding between hybrid and native app development. Many articles on the web provide “pros and cons” which aid analysis. But is there an easy way to understand the tradeoffs, as in the classic project management triangle?
Here’s how it works.
If you want the most elegant and beautiful app that runs both on iOS and Android, be prepared to reach deep into your pocket. That’s because you’ll have to do native apps for each platform. You could probably design your app in a way that some code would be reusable, but the potential savings are quite limited. If you paid X dollars to design and develop your native app for one platform, be prepared to spend 70%-80% of X for each additional platform.
But if you are developing an enterprise mobile app, then you can usually do it in a cross-platform hybrid and do it cheaply. Your audience may not need a top-notch user experience. After years of working with your current enterprise application on Windows, designed in say the early 2000’s, will your users really be that demanding for UX? Even if you believe they will, do you have the budget to address this perceived need? If you do, we’d like to hear from you!
What is your experience with choosing an approach to mobile development? What route have you chosen, what were the tradeoffs you had to make? Did the approach you chose meet your expectations? Share your story!