Mobile App Development: Native Vs. Cross-Platform – Which Way To Go?

No longer can an organization afford to be without a mobile strategy. Mobile’s reach and enablements are permeating all aspects of technology and the associated, supported, missions. Every organization is either executing and advancing an existing mobile strategy – or aggressively working to put one together.

If you’re more toward the early edge of putting your strategy together, one of the major discussion points is whether to use Native or Cross-platform development tools (if you decide to build an in-house mobile development team, as opposed to outsourcing). Cross-platform development tools have the advantage of using one programming language that can support both the iOS and Android platforms (as well as Windows and Blackberry in some cases). Therefore the specific advantage in using Cross-platform development tools is in avoiding the dual efforts necessitated when natively developing for iOS, and natively (thus separately) for the Android platform.

This article focuses on the stand-alone mobile solution, as well as apps that are integrated with main enterprise systems, not necessarily the mobile websites. While there are many pros and cons using either Native or Cross-platform in any given situation, we’ll focus on the optimal management of resources, and how your IT organization can be best-positioned for present mobile circumstances – and those of the future.

If your organization has a well-established mobile strategy, with strong mobile presence in the marketplace probably, you want to use the right mix of both native and cross platform tools. Your research should be focused on whether Cross-platform development is going to support every requirement of the particular app for which you are developing. If the answer is “yes,” you may want to consider using the cross-platform development tool.

If you are small IT organization and not intend to build your own in-house expertise and would like to repurpose your existing team which has website development expertise then Cross platform development tools are the way to go. Primarily because most of the tools like Titanium Appcelerator, Phone Gap etc supports languages like PHP, JavaScript etc. These tools supports web service calls wonderfully, which is big help if you are building integration with backend tools.

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