Native vs Cross-Platform Development

Native and cross-platform development

Many people are twisted by the various app development options after a decision on developing an app for their business. They must select the best solution among the available mobile app development technologies. Worth mentioning that such solutions as native and cross-platform are suitable for companies/startups based on different factors, such as business size, project stage, development plans, etc.

Choose an approach based on your specific goals and implement solutions that provide real advantages to your team. Native and cross-platform technologies are great tools for development so let’s have a detailed look at them.

What is Native App Development?

Native apps are created for a certain operating system by utilizing platform-specific programming languages. It is the process of creating apps that must run on certain devices and a specific version of the operating systems – such as Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, etc. Native Apps rely on a native-to-the-operating-system language, for instance, to develop a Native app for the Android platform, Java or Kotlin, likewise, for the iOS Native App, Objective-C or Swift.

This approach is often favored for high-performance programs that provide the most pleasing user experience. When creating an app natively, developers have access to all capabilities across numerous devices, allowing them to apply more complicated functionality. Thus, this implies that these solutions are often more reliable, secure, high-performing, and customized.

More about Native app development, its pros, and its cons, you can find in our previous article.

What is Cross-Platform App Development?

Unlike native applications, which use distinct codebases, cross-platform apps use a single codebase. They can also run on multiple platforms and devices. It often results in speedier (and less expensive) software development. In other words, rather than creating two distinct codebases, you’ll just need one. It is the greatest solution for low-cost bespoke apps with safe, robust, and easy to maintain.

There are several cross-platform app development frameworks available to assist in achieving a native app-like feel and user experience. Cross-platform apps are becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the Flutter, React Native, and Xamarin frameworks.

Many individuals erroneously believe that hybrid and cross-platform are identical. The only thing that both sorts of apps have in common is “code shareability.” The cross-platform app strategy also enables developers to build code once and reuse it across several platforms.

Easier to make changes
Reusable CodeCost and Time Efficiency
Smaller Team Size
*Wider Audience Reach
Performance Delays
Limited UI
Dependency on Third-Party Libraries
*If you develop one application and publish it on two platforms. But if you make two parallel native apps, it will be the same audience.

Native and Cross-platform development: What are the main differences? 

Now that we have a better understanding of how native and cross-platform mobile technologies function, let’s look at how different each method may be. The following are the primary differences between native and cross-platform app development:

Development Time

Native apps take substantially longer to build since various teams are required to develop for different platforms. Because code can be simply reproduced across several platforms, cross-platform programs excel here.

Development Costs

It’s necessary to know what your budget is and how much you can spend on app development. More development time and resources equate to higher development expenses. The flexibility to build for several platforms with a single team will save you a significant amount of money.


No one can compete with Native app development in terms of performance. There are no limitations in terms of app performance and speed. It lets developers employ advanced capabilities such as complicated networking, memory management, and so on. In the Native method, the unparalleled user interface will be updated as the operating system evolves.

Cross-platform development frameworks may not be able to provide all of the capabilities you require out of the box, such as some options related to hardware functionality (camera, or GPS), integration with device local settings, and built-in storage access. For these features to work on the cross-platform application, it may be necessary to incorporate some native code for each platform.


If the program provides a bad user experience, users are more likely to abandon it. Native application development is unrivaled in terms of impressing consumers and enticing them to utilize the program. Cross-platform development is also behind in terms of UI experience. Also, Native apps often produce more attractive graphics and an excellent UX since development in a native environment grants full access to UI components.


Securing cross-platform programs requires more effort. Everything in native apps may be coded into the app’s architecture, encrypted, and obfuscated.

Program Lifecycle

Developing a mobile application that will be used for the next decade (fintech, social networks, etc.) or a prototype for a startup is not the same. Native technologies and frameworks are more reliable and there are no sudden changes. It is safer for long-term projects.

To sum up

When comparing native vs cross-platform development, each option has advantages and disadvantages. So if to take a small startup that has an idea and wants to validate it on real users, it is better to use a cross-platform approach. But if there is an already running business that wants to have a mobile application as an additional service or work automation, it is better to use a nаtive approach. Let us not forget that the choice is entirely dependent on the nature of your business.

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