Choosing a Mobile Application Technology

It’s obvious that companies who offer a mobile application to their customers reap many benefits. For example: connecting better with customers, building a stronger brand, and reaching out to younger demographics to name a few.

At Quorum, we can assist you in evaluating the technology choices for building mobile applications to help you choose the most suitable option.

The Options

When talking about a mobile-first application, we can reduce this down to the following 3 options:

  • Native mobile application
  • Cross-Platform mobile application
  • PWA (Progressive Web Application)

Let’s examine each of these in more detail.

Native Mobile Application

Native mobile applications are developed essentially for one particular mobile device platform and are installed directly onto the mobile device itself.

These can be developed using the following frameworks:

  • Swift (or Objective C) for iOS
  • Kotlin (or Java) for Android
Advantages
  • Very efficient and performant application
  • Access to interact with the device hardware
  • Can be put into the respective app stores
Disadvantages
  • 2 x cost / time to develop, support and maintain
  • 2 codebases written in different development languages, therefore 2 specialist skill sets are required.

Cross-Platform Mobile Application

Cross-Platform mobile apps are developed with a single codebase that runs on any mobile device platform and are installed directly onto the mobile device itself.

These can be developed using one the following frameworks (and there are more:

  • React Native (using JavaScript / React)
  • Xamarin (using Microsoft .NET / C#
  • Flutter (using Google’s Dart)
  • Native Script (using JavaScript / Angular / Vue.js / TypeScript)
Advantages
  • A single codebase
  • Access to interact with the device hardware through interfaces / API’s
  • Can be put into the respective app stores
Disadvantages
  • 1.5 x cost / time to develop, support and maintain
  • Challenging cross-platform development – multi-platform knowledge and skill is required

Progressive Web Application (PWA)

PWA’s are a special kind of web application that are fast, responsive, offline-ready and can be made to look and feel like a mobile app

These can be developed in any web technology e.g. JavaScript Single Page Applications (React, Vue.js, Angular), ASP.NET, Blazor.

Advantages
  • 1 x cost / time to develop, so cheaper than other option
  • They run everywhere – mobile, tablet, desktop / laptop
  • No download / installation on device required
  • Discoverability – because its on the web
  • Access to interact with some of the device hardware – enough for most app
Disadvantages
  • You don’t put it into the respective app stores – could be considered less trustworthy
  • Restricted features – though the gap is narrowing fast

Considerations when deciding

Asking the following questions will help to decide between these options:

  • Do you have a big budget and time frame?
  • Do you need a presence in the app stores?
  • Do you need to do something with the device hardware that can only be achieved in one of the options?
  • How easy is it to get people with the relevant skills, either within the existing team or readily available on the market, to build that option?

Please contact us if you’d like to understand more about how we can help you add a mobile application capability to your business. We can tell you more about the technology, help you with your projects, or simply explain the benefits to your business.

Share This