These days, developers have a myriad of development options to choose from when building apps. Each one with their own benefits and disadvantages. One can choose to create a website, creating a website packaged into an app, third party frameworks that translate Javascript into native code, or just writing a native app. The before mentioned options except for building native apps all provide a cross-platform solution. This sounds compelling considering time is money. In addition, one single code base could potentially be easier to maintain. Still, convenience comes at a price. That is why despite all these interesting options, developers should use native solutions when creating their apps.

Performance and efficiency are compromised due to extra code translation. Even though smartphones and smart watches are becoming faster every year, performance is still extremely important in ensuring users are exposed to the best experience possible. This is the case with frameworks such as Phonegap, that have an extra web layer on top of the app. Although simple apps might not have this loss in performance, more complex apps will.

Apps are harder to debug due to the platforms’ programming languages being strongly typed. Both iOS and Android are written using strongly typed languages. This means that the integrated development environment (IDE) is very strict at finding possible errors. JavaScript, on the other hand, is a weakly typed language. This means apps written in React Native can be harder to debug because the framework has to make the conversion from weakly typed JavaScript to strongly typed Swift or Java.

User Interface Guidelines will cost more time to maintain and the User Experience is compromised due to UI replication. Although Xamarin and React Native can provide native looking elements, depending on the complexity and extensiveness, creating the same UI may involve a greater time investment. Web-based frameworks such as Phonegap are in that case far from ideal, where one has to create the complete UI by themselves.

Apps lag behind the latest features due to the dependency on third party libraries. When using a third-party library, one is dependent on that library on providing updates to support the most recently released features. This might be detrimental for sales. Being one of the first apps that implements the latest new features assist in attracting more publicity and can ultimately retain a high ranking in the App Store.

Native app development is still worth considering. Creating native apps not only means being able to use the most recently released features, it also means creating complex apps with great performance that follow the platform’s user guidelines. In addition, debugging can be easier. If you are planning on creating an app, make sure you consider native development.

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