The Lowdown: Native Apps vs Cross-Platform vs Progressive Web Apps

The Lowdown: Native Apps vs Cross-Platform vs Progressive Web Apps

July 15, 2019 by Softjourn

Do people still do native apps or is everybody going cross-platform? What are progressive web apps and what would I need it for if I already have an app on AppStore/Google Play? While various mobile dev camps argue about which approach is better, the reality is that businesses simply need mobile applications that work for their customers, employees, and business partners.

So which approach has Softjourn been recommending?

We’ve analyzed the requests we have worked on over the last few months, and it looks like such cross-platform tools as Xamarin and React Native are the favorite choice among our tech team and our clients. The fact that a cross-platform approach saves development time and cost while still giving the look and feel, not to mention the functionality of the native app is what our clients like about it.

And here is why our tech people say they would recommend using cross-platform technologies:

I like working with React Native because it’s a fast-growing framework with a very big community and its efficiency has been proved by Facebook. With this technology, it’s possible to share up to 99% of code between iOS and Android platforms, and flexbox is the best tool to develop scalable and flexible layouts on different devices. In addition, React Native has many other features that make development faster and easier: hot reloading, where you instantly see changes to the app without rebuilding; usage of all new features that are present in JS and React; declarative views; easy management of application states, and more.

Dariy D., iOS/React Native developer

Xamarin is a powerful tool for cross-platform app development, one that has both proponents and opponents. It could soon become a better alternative to native development—but not for all apps.

Volodymyr Kimak, .Net/Xamarin developer

But what if a customer asks for a progressive web app that could be even cheaper to develop than cross-platform, though it might lack some functionality that cross-platform and native apps have to offer.

To find out what might suit your company’s needs, here’s a table showing all the pros and cons of each of these technologies.

While native apps offer a great user experience, cross-platform reduces the cost and time of development. As a cross between both approaches, progressive web apps development might just combine the best of all features.

Progressive Web Apps offer a better way to use the internet on a mobile platform, without using a native application. Think of it as a web site that looks like an app and provides the same functionality. You don’t have to install or register to anything, but you get the same experience as if you had an actual application.

Considering the above advantages, progressive web apps save money and time and are capable of becoming a single application working perfectly across all your platforms and devices. But if it’s so great, why isn’t everyone jumping on the bandwagon? Well, here are a couple of things you need to consider when picking the right solution for your business software development needs.

Some of the progressive web apps can be found here The commonly-known web services include Twitter and Aliexpress. They have shown an increase in customer engagement since the launch of a PWA. This gives an idea just how much Progressive Web might be the right fit for the e-commerce industry.

A progressive web application combines the best of both worlds: web and mobile. It also has some advantages over native apps: the low friction of distribution, discoverability, linkability and easy updates.

Taras Romaniv, Web developer


Which way your company decides to go will largely depend on the app and business requirements. If UI and animation are the key to success for your app, we recommend taking the Native dev approach. If time-to-market is more critical, React Native may be your best choice. If your in-house core dev team are .Net gurus, then you may like using Xamarin for your native apps to make maintenance easier and more cost effective. And if you’re running an e-commerce business, you may want to get a progressive web app for your website not to lose any customers because of a non-mobile-friendly look and feel.

But don’t think too hard — we’re always here at Softjourn to help you make the right choice. Contact us today and tell us about the cool app you’re thinking of developing.

Softjourn is a global technology services provider that finds custom solutions for our clients’ toughest challenges. We leverage our domain expertise in Fintech, Cards & Payments, and Media & Entertainment (with a special emphasis on ticketing), to apply new technology that brings our clients' growing needs to life. Contact us to discuss how we can make your idea a reality!