There still is a lot of growth potential in the mobile industry. There are untapped areas that will be discovered in the near future. You can do it as well, therefore this is the right time to choose a mobile development career.
You can approach mobile app development in multiple ways. However, this raises the questions of which one is the best or which one suits your needs. The perfect tool does not exist, yet, so here is what you have to know until it does!
1. Native mobile app development: high quality, high costs
When deciding to go for native tools, such as Swift on iOS and Java on Android, it means that you will be forced to create different codes using different programming languages.
Native mobile app development takes a lot of time, as you also have to take into consideration the amount of time taken by Apple, Google, and Microsoft to publish them. You will have to submit them for approval, which is rarely granted overnight. Furthermore, you will go through the same process each time you release an update for your mobile apps.
Another disadvantage is that the applications must be created and maintained on all platforms, so you will need to hire more than one mobile app development and support teams.
As for advantages, native mobile apps will be able to tap into all available capabilities of a platform. The apps will run fast and smooth, their UIs will be integrated perfectly with the OSes, while you will be able to use a phone’s features to their maximum potential.
2. HTML: web apps for everyone and everything
Saving money and time can be solved by going down the HTML route of the mobile app development world. This way, you create an application using one code. It is easy to maintain and you will not have to go through the app store approval procedure.
Moreover, you are getting access to some native capabilities. Despite your mobile apps getting access to native capabilities, they will not work seamlessly, while push notifications are also out of the question.
Operating systems use different design approaches and users will notice that you have not made an application especially for them. A responsive design is often regarded as a not good enough solution by the users.
Per-app VPN is becoming more important to mobile app users, but you will not be able to offer such feature using HTML.
3. HTML packaged mobile apps: write for web, get native capabilities
Cordova, formerly known as PhoneGap, is a hybrid mobile app development framework. The idea behind such tools is quite simple: you develop in HTML, then you package in native code.
You are still creating one code, but you are getting the capabilities of a native mobile app. Although it runs in webview, it must be submitted to a platform’s app store and you are getting access to the camera, GPS, and more, while per-app VPN is supported, too.
Performance wise, there will be a drop compared to native mobile apps because HTML packaged mobile apps run in webview mode. Even though they are supposed to work everywhere, you will spend plenty of time making the features work as intended across multiple OSes.
It is hard to create a great user experience across all mobile platforms and, once again, you will spend time in your attempts to achieve what might well be an impossible task for any mobile app development team.
4. Xamarin: combining the best of both worlds the right way
Most mobile development companies want to create applications for Android, iOS, and Windows Mobile, but they do not want to go through all the trouble of creating three separate apps. This is where Xamarin begins to work its magic – you can reuse code and compile it into native packages.
Despite the fact that you need both Java and Swift knowledge, reusing most of your code for each platform means that you are saving time. Getting your apps approved still requires time, but you have saved plenty of it by reusing code.
Most of the code that cannot be reused is related to the UI, albeit once you make the necessary adjustments, you will have an app that looks good and performs as intended across all systems.
Another thing that you must take into consideration is the fact that you will make fewer errors. Everyone knows that the more you code, the likelier you are to have bugs in your code. Since Xamarin helps you code less, you will no longer make as many mistakes as before.
What is the best overall mobile app development tool?
There is no definite answer for all users. However, Xamarin is chosen by many mobile app development companies because they can provide apps with native-like performance and features whilst saving resources.
Xamarin is constantly updated and will get more features, so you will have more tools at your disposal to improve your mobile apps. One example consists of Xamarin.Forms, a recently-released API that allows developers to compile UI-related code for all mobile platforms entirely in C#.
When Microsoft acquired Xamarin, it promised better support, coding in Visual Studio became free, while this mobile development tool will become open-sourced.
Choose your own way of getting into the mobile development world
There is a strong chance that some disadvantages do not affect you. For example, if resources are not a problem for you, then you could go for full native mobile app development and create mobile apps for each platform.
Getting your apps to the market as soon as possible could be at the top of your priority list. If that is the case, then it would be better to choose HTML mobile development. It is helpful for developers looking to test ideas, as it is budget-friendly and not time-consuming.
The best thing that you can do right now is to evaluate your preferences, consider your choices, and then make a final decision regarding your mobile app development career.