Native vs cross-platform apps
Read any comparison of cross-platform versus native app development and you’ll quickly conclude that native is the way forward. The fast processing, access to device features and inbuilt intuitiveness, so much easier to create in a native environment, are all winning arguments in favour of developing native apps for each platform. Yet there remain a lot of cases when cross-platform is still the best option. What exactly am I talking about?
The best time for cross-platform
Despite the natural bias many feel towards native development, the convenience, lower costs and speed of developing for multiple platforms simultaneously can be a big factor for some projects. In particular cross-platform is an appropriate choice for smaller apps, perhaps containing just one actionable screen and otherwise being largely text and image based. Apps which make use of native functions such as Apple’s HealthKit or which contain screens with a large number of different functions are usually not appropriate candidates for cross-platform development. As you’ll read below though, scope of cross-platform apps is gradually increasing.
At Ekreative we’ve been doing HTML cross-platform development since 2010 and in the course of those 5 years one thing we’ve noticed is that despite the naysayers, cross-platform as a concept is growing in popularity and the tools and technologies available for making cross-platform apps have become more and more powerful and significantly lessened the gap with native. That’s one reason why we’re also keen to be early adopters of new cross-platform technologies.
PhoneGap is a great example; today it’s a genre defining framework, but members of ekreative’s team have been using it to access native device functionality since pre-beta. Not only has this pioneering attitude allowed us to discover helpful new technologies ahead of the curve, in the specific case of PhoneGap it means that we can offer valuable experience and are adept at creating our own custom plug-ins to resolve any issues that HTML leaves in it’s wake.
Ionic is another good example; we’ve been building up our experience and expertise with the Ionic framework since it’s Alpha release. Today that puts us in a position to offer our clients a formidable service in building mobile applications that take full advantage of our pre-existing AngularJS experience (another long-standing favourite of ours).
While we’re still keen to stay ahead of the game when it comes to new technologies and are keeping our eyes open with regard to the opportunities presented by new developments, we’re so impressed with Ionic as a cross-platform development framework and pleased with the results that we’ve been able to produce using it that we’ve decided to really commit to Ionic as our first choice for cross-platform development.
The best cross-platform development choice
There are a lot of reasons why we like Ionic. First of all because we see the most potential in it. The same pioneering spirit that led us to try out Ionic and PhoneGap has had us trial a number of less impressive technologies over the years too, but Ionic offers both great results now and continues to grow in scope and features in a way which we believe will continue to enable contemporary, functioning, feature rich apps for a long time to come.
We also love the speed of the framework scripts; these fast scripts are one of the keys to maintaining that native-feel effect. Another key ingredient is the ease with which Ionic allows us to create beautiful transitions and apps that incorporate elements of material design for Android and flat design for iOS to produce a truly native looking end result.
Ultimately, the reason we like Ionic is because in combination with our existing PhoneGap and AngularJS skill sets, with Ionic we’re able to consistently produce outstanding results. From clever database handling that allows us to smoothly incorporate big data, to personalised push messaging capabilities and from intuitive, project tailored, backend systems to use of native features such as camera and geolocation, the advanced solutions our experienced Ionic developers implement really go a long way towards bridging the gap with native applications.
If you’re in need of some advanced Ionic development, get in touch, you’ll be glad you did! If you’re not sure whether cross-platform is the right choice for your app idea, start a conversation today and we can advise about the different options available to you.