Recently, In-shore and its partners have been discussing this issue, which is always evident in developing mobile applications. In an expert setting, the most widely used techniques and platforms were compared. Not only at the technical level, but also by companies and developers in practice, what the business asks for and what works best.
Native or Cross Platform?
Of course there is the long-standing discussion about native versus cross platform, with more hybrid forms coming up, such as REACT. An unambiguous answer to what is best is not possible, since there are many factors that point to one side or another. Things like speed, reuse of existing code, complexity of back office applications, version management, development efficiency, UI design, available knowledge, API applicability and plug-ins are just a grip from the range of considerations that play a role in choosing the method of development. When mobile development is a strategic choice for your business (and that’s almost always the case these days), a good research for the most appropriate platform is a must. We often see that development is started without a (re) orientation on what is and what is possible.
Compare development platforms
Within our Technology Stack we use Xamarin, Cordova, React native, native iOS (ObjectiveC/SWIFT) and native Android the most. In order to make a good comparison, these platforms have been reassessed and compared to issues such as applicability, technology and pros and cons. Of course, there are the basic contradictions between native and cross platform upstream, but also the differences based on application in practice. For example support on platform or plug-ins, test capabilities, license fees, exchange with existing development environment, and deployment capabilities.
The most obvious choice is not always the best. For example, for a healthcare company, we have chosen Cordova development after extensive research, while all development work is done in Microsoft technology, for a multinational in the electronics sector with similar development we have chosen Xamarin and for a company in the parking sector for a mobile web application based on PHP. All based on different grounds, situations, goals and considerations. There is clearly no “one size fits all”
A few conclusions
Although this expert session was the first in a series of sessions, a number of first issues have emerged, which we often encounter in practice.
- Cordova and Xamarin are virtually equivalent in applicability for business applications. The choice for either will largely be determined by the preference for IDE, programming language and UI framework.
- A common shared challenge in mobile development is the responsive design. Due to the wide variety of screens, much attention should be paid to fitting all the UI elements on the different screen sizes.
- A wide variety of mobile devices and their history has to be included in working on responsive design.
- A clear demarcation what should be brought to the table an what not gives a clear picture of the challenge it faces for development.
Great diversity with regard to time and cost of development. There may be a big difference in the type of application, size, and number of features required.
Mobile development is no longer an option in the developed landscape. The share of mobile use of software applications is still increasing. A good (strategic) choice for how this should be addressed can make a significant contribution to targeted and efficient development of your software. If you would like to know more about the differences between the different mobile platforms or want to have a non-committal talk with one of our experts, please send me a message.