How to pick the right platform for your mobile development

How to pick the right platform for your mobile development

As mobile apps advance with technology, developers need to move from a patched, ad-hoc development strategy, to more strategic approach. No doubt, the different scripting languages are one of the main barriers faced in mobile development today.

The debate on native, hybrid and web apps is ongoing, changing businesses and creating a new competitive differentiation. This is something that developers cannot afford to ignore. Even though app development has long since entered a new age, many developers and their clients still remain saddled with legacy mobile development ideas. As teams are tasked to build smarter mobile apps, they struggle with the major choices like what platform to choose and what framework to build with.

What should developers consider when selecting development platforms in an age of ever-changing technologies?
Building and delivering enterprise-grade mobile applications requires complex technical skills that can change with the tide. As a mobile apps developer, you are cut from a new cloth of applications developers. These jet age developers acknowledge change, embrace it and yearn for it. So the main decision driver when choosing a platform or framework is your client’s business logic.

The main question when choosing a platform is the framework. Once you pick a framework, the platform will naturally choose you. Decide on whether to go native, hybrid or to build a simple web application. Native apps will most likely be your first choice, but is it the right choice for your client and the project at hand?

Native apps are ‘native’ to specific platforms like iOS, Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone. The main advantage of native apps is performance and user experience. These apps are faster because they’re built for specific platforms, targeting SDK’s within these platforms. This much cannot be said for hybrid and web applications.

Hybrids are like native apps but run via a container. They’re coded with popular scripting languages like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. Hybrid apps have come a long way, as are becoming more native as technology advances. Take for instance Cordova and PhoneGap applications. These apps have so many plugins that interact with device JavaScript API’s, enabling them access device functionalities like camera, calls, file systems and more.
Factors to consider before choosing a framework

As a developer who is trying to make the right platform choice, it is important to ask some of the below questions:

Will it cost less to build on this framework?
Native – No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

Is it a cross-platform framework?
Native – No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

Is development faster with this framework?
Native – No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

How do apps perform on this framework?
Native – Yes
Hybrid – Yes/No
Web Applications – Yes/No

Is it easy to maintain, update and upgrade?
Native – Yes/No
Hybrid – Yes
Web Applications – Yes

Despite these pros and cons, the debate continues. The possibilities for hybrid and web applications is certainly huge as the benefit of not having to build apps for different platforms cannot be ignored. But some experts will argue that the loss of performance is not worth it. But the decision ultimately lies with you – the mobile developer. You can contact us if you need help in choosing the right platform for your app development.

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