Since the release of the iPhone in 2008, the mobile software industry has exploded with growth and opportunities for developers and entrepreneurs to build an application and be able to make money from their creations. Fast forward to 2012, and it is now easier than ever to start creating these apps and to get into the App Markets. Recently, new development tools which allow you to write code for your app once and build out to many different devices have been released into the market.
For many, this has meant a sharp decrease in development costs for individuals and businesses looking to get into the market. However, these tools come with serious drawbacks and should not be used when looking to develop mobile applications
Sharp Decrease in Speed
For applications developed in tools that work like PhoneGap, your application will run more slowly since it’s actually utilizing the phone’s browser to function within. This can be a dealbreaker in the App Stores since there are so many available to choose from and users’ patience for a slowly running or buggy apps is practically non-existent.
Random Crashes and Bugs
Actually, that’s a little misleading. From the user’s perspective, your app may appear to be crashing randomly. However, what’s actually happening is that the phone’s operating system is pulling the plug on your app. The reason for this is that your mobile app is consuming too much memory, and the operating system won’t allow that. This is something you must be acutely aware of when developing or having your applications developed with third party tools.
To be fair, there are ways around this. However, these can be complex and are for the most part “hacks”.
Ultimately, the best tool for the job depends on the type of mobile application that you need to be developed. And, in some situations, the cost of developing an app is lower when using these tools. I however believe that you can still develop natively for each device and still keep costs low. It is therefore hard for me to recommend developing with these tools, or if you are an entrepreneur looking to get your app built by a developer, I recommend specifically asking the developer to build your app natively. You will pay a more upfront, but this will save you dividends down the road.