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Mobile application development: Native or cross-platform development?

mobile application development

Interested in working in the new technology industry? Do you have an interest in the world of mobile application development? If you dream of becoming the next creator of mobile applications such as WhatsApp or Facebook, this article is for you.

In this article, we talk about what mobile application development is and everything you should know about this professional sector. Undoubtedly, this sector represents one of the most booming job markets, as new technologies flood our daily lives. Let’s see:

  1. What are mobile applications?
  2. What type of development should I apply? Native or Cross-platform?
  3. How has the evolution of mobile application development been?
  4. How much does mobile application development cost?
  5. What is the mobile application development process?
  6. How can Connect Tech help you develop your next mobile application?

1. What are mobile applications?

Mobile applications are computer programs designed to run on mobile tablets and similar devices to access certain services. Some of these services can be for entertainment and fun, but also for work or simply to inform the population. Some of the most common are those of Social Networks, such as WhatsApp or Facebook, or those we use to inform ourselves with the media.

We all have a cell phone nowadays. However, we all find that we use it more for other purposes than for calling or sending SMS. Although these were the first uses of mobile devices, the truth is that we now use them for dozens of other things. We play with them, we find out what is happening in the world, we edit photos, watch videos or listen to music.

These are just some of the functions that our cell phones fulfill. Well, to perform almost all these tasks, our cell phones use different applications or Apps. This is precisely what mobile application development is based on.

1.1 How does application development work?

MAD refers to the set of processes and procedures that enable the writing of software for small wireless devices, such as cell phones or tablets. First of all, let us understand what it truly is.

It is essential to have previous knowledge related to traditional software development. Undoubtedly, this is where we find the basis of mobile app development. To be able to carry out the development of these apps, it is essential to have software development kits.

These kits are a set of software development tools that allow the creation of software applications for a specific system. Through their application programming interface (API), it is possible to include software and hardware to communicate with embedded systems.

2. What type of development should I apply? Native or Cross-platform?

First, we have native mobile applications developed specifically for each operating system, iOS, Android, or Windows Phone, adapting to each one the language with which it is developed. The development and updates of these apps are expensive. An excellent example of a native application would be WhatsApp.

In other words, it is necessary to develop mobile applications for each platform. Among the advantages of this type of application are that they take advantage of the functionalities of the device and that they can work without an Internet connection. In addition, they are present in the Apple Store and Google Play, so in marketing terms, they gain visibility.

Then, we have cross-platform mobile applications, which are characterized by being created under a single programming language that facilitates its export and therefore its display on any type of device regardless of its operating system. As they are developed with the same language, only minimal changes are necessary for their complete adaptation to any device.

Cross-platform apps are a very convenient app development option for professionals, as native apps are on the other side of the spectrum. These mobile applications are developed separately for each operating system, each one has its programming language. Although they have a very good performance and a high level of customization.

3. How has the evolution of mobile application development been?

In the early years of mobile applications companies, the only way to ensure that an application could run optimally on any device was to develop the application natively. This means that a new code had to write specifically for each device’s processor. Today, most mobile applications developed are device-independent.

In the past, if an application needed to be cross-platform and run on multiple operating systems (OS), there was little, if any, code that could be reused from the initial development project. Essentially, each device required its own mobile application development project with its codebase.

Modern cross-platform tools use common languages such as C# and JavaScript to share code between projects; more importantly, they integrate well with application lifecycle management tools such as Jenkins. This permits developers to use a unique code base for Apple iOS, Google Android, and Progressive Web Apps (PWA).

Today, Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are the two most prominent mobile platforms. Apple phones and tablets come preloaded with essential applications, including a full-featured web browser and Apple’s App Store. Android devices also come pre-loaded with many similar apps and you can install more via the Google Play Store.

3.1 What are progressive web applications (PWAs)?

These are applications based on the traditional web that we all know, although it incorporates some particularities that make it look like a native app for cell phones and tablets. Each project stands on its own and the level of adaptation of the web to the app format progressively increases.

PWAs are designed to take advantage of the native features of mobile devices, without the need for the end-user to visit an app store, make a purchase and download the software locally. Instead, a PWA can be located with a search engine query and accessed immediately through a browser, eliminating the need for e-commerce merchants to develop native apps for multiple mobile operating systems.

Like YouTube videos, PWA content is progressively downloaded, giving the end-user a better user experience than a traditional website using responsive design. Progressive web apps can also be referred to as instant mobile apps.

4.  How much does mobile application development cost?

In the case of mobile applications development, the concept is the same. Instead of paying for the material, you invest the time needed to develop the app. While some applications can be created in 50 hours, others need 500 hours. To make a profit with the development of the app, it is very important to have a team that knows how to create it and defines the project in detail.

Knowing which path you want to follow is really important before starting, every professional in the field of mobile applications, either by a digital agency or by an independent app developer, will ask for this information before preparing a budget, that is, they will need to know what the client is looking for.

Although it is more practical to create websites for mobile and desktop devices, the development of an app makes more comfortable navigation between the different options offered by your company, this also allows a greater relationship between customers and the company, the ability to have access to information, since it has access through a mobile phone.

You can also use the company website and optimize it to have a mobile version of it, the website content management tool you are using likely has add-ons that you can purchase for less than AED 360 to optimize your website for mobile devices, although in the long run, the benefits of developing a mobile application are greater.

4.1 How do costs change depending on the type of application?

There are creators of applications without coding. A developer does not need to know how to code if the app has basic feature requirements. Free tools offer the freedom to create apps without having to learn Swift or other programming languages.

Although these tools have limited functionality and cannot be used to create a set of no-code applications, the no-code approach will meet the needs of most organizations and is also quite inexpensive since they are very basic.

A complex application, which is one that requires features, such as 3D, gaming, or sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI), will probably have to develop as a native application. The cost of a complex application is typically AED 900,000 or more. The price is directly related to the shortage of mobile developers.

4.2 What gives value to mobile applications?

Some features of an application require a certain amount of development time. Some may be easy to configure and will not take the app developer a lot of time. However, if you want to know how much an app costs, you should know that other aspects will require more effort and will therefore be more expensive.

The user interface and the design of the application are two essential elements for the application to be successful. At this point, it should also agree between the client and the developer on the objectives to reach. Share the ideas with the developer of the application so that he can devote efforts to what you consider important.

To know how much it costs to make an app, it is also essential to know on which platforms it will be available, as there are differences between Android and iOS when creating a mobile app, and this includes a different cost value depending on your choice. A native application will always cost more than a web or hybrid application.

When analyzing how much it costs to make an app, you should not miss expenses such as investment in marketing or the cost of uploading the application to the various app stores, you should also consider data storage costs in the financial plan forecast. Finally, do not forget maintenance data, such as upgrades and bug fixes.

5. What is the mobile application development process?

First, you have to select your team. If you are building this application on your own, do you need to hire a developer? A marketing person? If you are creating this application for your organization, will you have stakeholders from various departments participating in the process? (i.e. C-level, marketing, sales, IT)

Brainstorm and sketch out how your mobile app will solve the problems you have identified and what features and functions it will include. Consider the user experience when developing your vision. This includes aspects such as design, usability, security, and performance. Develop your product roadmap using the findings from the previous step.

Create your prototype so you can share the application with your investors or other interested parties. Use their feedback to refine your application development and perform further testing. This includes testing for functionality, performance, and ease of navigation.

Once the app passes these tests, it is time to deploy it to users for official beta testing. This process includes multiple rounds of review and incorporation of user fixes before creating a deployable version of your application. Once your application has undergone the necessary testing and review, it is ready to deploy. At this point, provide ongoing support.

6. How can Connect Tech help you develop your next mobile application?AA

The development of a mobile application can become a heavy task if your company already has other tasks to attend to. If you need a company with vast knowledge in software development, Connect Tech is your best option.

In addition, the choice between native and cross-platform app development depends on the application to develop. At Connect Tech you do not have to worry, as we will apply the type of app development that best suits your company and your mobile application under development.

Looking for someone to facilitate the development of your next mobile application? Connect Tech is your ally. If you wish to contact us, you can send us an email to CONTACT@CONNECTECH.DEV.

On the other hand, if you need to send your resume you can send it to All resumes you send to will not be stored.

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