It is hard not to give in to the impression that the mobile market is developing at a dizzying pace. More and more mobile solutions appear around and make our lives easier. Many of us can no longer imagine an everyday reality without an application enabling convenient online shopping, contact with a doctor, access to test results, or accurate measurement of progress in sports training. The passing year has undoubtedly strengthened these trends due to the global pandemic and the loss of the possibility of direct contact with friends, participation in cultural events, and even running a business in the model we used to know. We discovered new mobile applications, which in many cases, allowed us to continue most of our activities.
The growing number of users of mobile devices
The Digital 2022 report published by We are social shows that users’ networks and mobile devices grow yearly. By the beginning of 2022, there were 5.31 billion individual mobile phone users worldwide or 67.1% of the total population. Compared to last year, the number of mobile phone users worldwide has increased by 1.8%, with 95 million people.
Last year’s data and growth rate of mobile users is quite impressive. However, we are sure that the pandemic in 2020 has significantly accelerated this process, convincing new crowds of users and, consequently, businesses that are more willing to create mobile applications than ever before.
The downsides of mobile app development
In the context of mobile development, apart from creating native mobile apps with native code, there are also available cross-platform solutions worth considering when the budget is limited. Instead of developing two separate apps for iOS and Android with native Swift and Kotlin code, it’s possible to create apps in Flutter or React Native using a single codebase later compiled to native code.
Some time ago, there was also a lot of hype about hybrid applications, web apps running on mobile devices like native apps. The last and usually much easier to develop are progressive web apps (PWA) which are just web apps well-adjusted for mobile devices and mimic native solutions that users can install on their devices when entering a website. It’s even possible to upload PWA apps into a store like Google Play or App Store. When it’s usually always good to develop PWA in your web project, technology is still evolving, and its functionality as a native app is limited.
Behind each of the possibilities for software app development, there are advantages, but they are usually not free of defects. For native development, the downside is the high development cost because development is done separately by two development teams. The cross-platform solutions might be less performant, and your team might encounter difficulties while developing native features that natively would be much easier to create. That’s why most cross-platform frameworks let you use native code even if you need just a single module or functionality. If you are thinking about developing your mobile project, feel free to contact us, and our team will help you choose the best technology for your project. You can read about the workshops here.
Hybrid vs. cross-platform vs. native development
In the case of cross-platform apps, usually created in Flutter or React Native, app developers or teams of developers build a single codebase and compile it to the native code. This way, the apps written in React Native or Flutter will work on iOS and Android devices. Due to maintaining a great UI and high UX level, cross-platform apps in a visual context do not differ from native apps.
An additional advantage is while most of the applications can be written cross-platform, modules that require writing the native code can be implemented in Swift in the case of iOS and Kotlin in the case of Android. Since some elements can be written cross-platform and others can be created as native ones, it is possible to save a lot of money and time, which would be necessary to develop an utterly native code.
Cross-platform development will be an excellent choice for applications where many UI elements are common for both platforms (iOS and Android). At the same time, when there is a need to write some features natively, there is also such a possibility. Yet, it is much better to focus on cross-platform development for time and budget savings.
Native applications are, in turn, those that require separate development for both iOS and Android devices. Therefore, customers who decide to implement a project of a native application should prepare for a much longer time and higher cost of their development. Native development will be an excellent choice for those considering creating an AR (Augmented Reality) application or one that depends on using a large amount of hardware. You can learn more about native apps for mobile devices with iOS and Android software from our blog.
Progressive web applications (PWA)
Progressive web apps are web applications that can also work on mobile devices. The user can install them from a browser and open them with an icon on the desktop. Progressive web applications are the cheapest in development, but several important limitations characterize them. For example, publishing such an application in Google Play or App Store is complex and relatively uncommon. However, let’s imagine a situation where you run a small business, a local restaurant. A progressive web app can be a great solution here. PWA is the cheapest and quickest option for development, so it will be perfect for showing potential customers the menu.
If you want to learn more about the technological solution of the PWA development process, check out our Prismade case study.
Which mobile development option to choose?
At Applover, before the development process starts, we conduct an in-depth technical analysis of the project, after which we are ready to advise the client on the validity of the choice of a given technology. We consider the final product’s technical requirements, the deadline, and the budget the client is ready to allocate for the project.
Do you want to find out more about React Native Development for your digital product?
Why use React Native?
Like Flutter, React Native allows you to create cross-platform apps, making it a perfect solution for creating multi-platform mobile apps with less budget burden. Unlike Flutter, React Native is no longer known on the market, which translates into this technology’s maturity. Just like Google stands behind Flutter, Facebook has React Native’s back. Besides, there are dozens of popular React Native apps. Let’s take only a few of them, such as Instagram, Skype, Walmart, Discord, TikTok, or Bloomberg. If you wonder what technology to choose to create your app, putting it in such a company can be a pretty good idea!
React Native is continuously growing
Facebook and a massive community around React Native are continually working to develop and improve this framework. If React Native does not provide a reasonable answer to the problem, we can be sure that a new solution will be available within a few months.
The constant development of React Native is connected with the high performance of applications written in it. They work like native applications with the required functionality, appearance, and speed. React Native’s architecture is also adapted to demanding mobile gadgets while maintaining high performance for the mobile environment. Compared to other hybrid frameworks and technologies, React Native allows high-speed application development, making them much more agile. For instance, Instagram’s development team stated that by switching to React Native, their developers’ velocity significantly raised. Another tremendous advantage is that 85-99% of code is shared between iOS and Android apps. Yet, an undoubted disadvantage of this framework is that it is pretty challenging to find React Native developers who specialize in it and value their work relatively highly.
React Native as a top technology in 2023
React Native is a technology trusted by the world’s largest software producers. The framework allows for the simultaneous implementation of projects aimed at users of both iOS and Android devices, translating into significant time and financial savings in the mobile development process. The applications written in React Native run smoothly and are loaded faster with less memory demand. The technology has been present on the market for several years now, and what is more, we can be sure that it will not disappear soon.