Native matters on mobile devices

 

With mobile, we've traditionally avoided cross-platform technologies which emphasise code reuse over user experience and web technologies over native frameworks for a few reasons:

  • Cost: it is a costly burden on our designers to try to design for the iOS and Android platforms at the same time. The differences in screen sizes, resolutions, aspect ratios, and expected user interface patterns require different design solutions.
  • Access to new features: They're usually behind the current state of the platform APIs, meaning that we would be unable to implement new functionality when new operating system versions are released.
  • Unexpected complexity: Often, it is much more complex to use platform specific features, requiring extensive work making them available.
  • Quality: By providing a lowest common denominator implementation across multiple platforms, there's a lack of native feel with many UI components, poor quality animations, and poor runtime performance.

We quickly adopted Swift for our iOS apps. This language help us build apps faster, and to a higher quality, because of their platform integration and improved type systems.


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