The 4x Meteor Advantage

by Mike Seidle

#4x That’s the difference between native apps and Meteor.

It takes four times more hours to complete native apps for iOS, Android and the web because you literally have four times the work:

Backend (APIs) + Web App + iOS App + Android App vs. Meteor App

That means you have to either spend more to get all four apps built, go to market on a single platform, or take four times as long to launch. Meteor is the alternative. Meteor gives you a way to enter the market on the web, Android, Apple at the same time, and at a lower cost.

As far as maintenance costs go, with four times the code, you will experience four times the bugs. Because native iOS is written in Objective C or Swift, Android apps in Java and web apps in Javascript plus Ruby, Python or .NET, you’ll need multiple developers.

With Meteor, you use the same JavaScript code everywhere. One developer can work across mobile, backend and web using a single language and API.

Then there’s future enhancements. With Meteor, we can build new features once and deploy them across all platforms.

With native apps, you’ll build a new feature for each platform and deploy to each platform. That means you are back to four times the work, four times the cost and ultimately four times the risk.

They Tell Me Native is Better

Native apps are faster and can access hardware features that Meteor cannot. That much is true. Performance may not be as important because communicating with the backend server over a high latency (laggy) mobile networking is usually the bottleneck. The only place where speed may be an issue is animations - native apps are sometimes smoother - but as mobile devices become faster, this is less and less of a difference.

So, when does Native win over Meteor?

  • Fast action games with lots of 3d and animation.
  • Big RDBMS CRUD apps.
  • Apps with deep integration with phone hardware.
  • When you have millions to spend on crafting the perfect user experience.

The rest of the time?

Meteor might just be the right choice.

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