Building a new mobile app can be a daunting task. There is so much to take into account from market research to branding and design to your go-to-market strategy. Depending on your background, choosing your development roadmap could be the most overwhelming of them all.
Should you build native and focus on iOS or Android first? Or should you go all-in and develop them simultaneously?
Or, have you considered a hybrid, or cross-platform framework?
What is a hybrid, or cross-platform application framework?
With a hybrid framework you can build your app once and have it work on multiple platforms, rather than building separate versions for each.
Pros of hybrid app development
There are several benefits to using a cross-platform application framework for your startup:
- Reduced development costs: Building separate apps for each operating system can be time-consuming and costly. By building a cross-platform app, you only have to develop and maintain one codebase, which can save you money in the long run.
- Speed of iterations: Developing a cross-platform app allows you to build apps for two or more operating systems. When growing your product, you only have to maintain one codebase and can build new features once instead of two or more times. This can give you a competitive advantage, as you can incorporate early customer feedback faster.
- Greater reach: With a cross-platform app, you can reach a wider audience faster. Instead of first releasing and iOS, followed by Android, and Windows; you can release everywhere at once.
Cons of hybrid app development
There are several potential drawbacks to consider with hybrid app development:
- Limited performance: Hybrid apps may not perform as well as native apps, as they rely on web technologies and add an additional layer over the native experience.
- Limited capabilities: Some features and capabilities may not be available or may not work as well on certain platforms when using a cross-platform framework.
- Dependency on the framework: Building an app with a cross-platform framework means that you are dependent on the framework for updates and support. Generally native features and updates are available later with a framework than when you build a true native app.
One caveat to these generalizations is the Flutter framework.