Native vs Cross-Platform Development: Pros & Cons Native vs Cross-Platform Development: Pros & Cons
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Native vs Cross-Platform Development: Pros & Cons

22 Mar 2023
12 min read

Since various mobile apps have become an integral part of our lives and continue to grow at a rapid pace, it’s important for developers to understand where to go before getting started with your next app design project. Let’s look at some of the factors which will help you decide if cross platform vs native to choose, one way or another.

Native vs Cross-Platform Development: Pros & Cons
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What is a Native App?

Developers generally prefer native apps for high performance apps that provide the best user experience. With this development, specialists have access to all functions on multiple devices, which allow the use of more complex functions, which means that solutions are more stable, secure high-performance and adapted to the environment and usage patterns.

Tus, native development is the creation of applications in the native language of the platform and the use of APIs / frameworks specially designed to access device functions on these platforms. For Android, this will be Java or Kotlin with its JDK, and for iOS, Obj-C or Swift on the iOS SDK.

Examples of Best Native App

The best native app example pieces include games like Pokémon GO, social media apps we all know like Twitter, and navigational tools like Waze, etc. Lots of them we’ve successfully downloaded from an app shop, like the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, for all occasions. For example, WhatsApp, etc. 

Netflix is a native app. More examples of Native apps are: Facebook (went Hybrid then back to Native) Starbucks, etc. Such native solutions include your mobile Twitter app, your Facebook app, or Spotify which means they were created in the operating system’s native language.

Benefits of Native Apps

Native apps support complex layouts, allow full customization of UI elements, provide more options for complex animations, and offer more options for streamlining UI and interactions which is an absolute native vs cross platform benefit. Here are some more of them:

  • High Speed

Since native applications are created using native technologies, they use all the capabilities of the device, providing: stability, speed and smoothness of work.

  • Low-security risks

Security risks are higher for hybrid applications. The more layers, languages, and technologies your application has, the more often likely it is to be vulnerable to failures and other risks. That’s why native apps are more secure and stable.

  • Great UX

 Many of the best and most popular apps in the digital market have become successful due to their excellent UX design, which can be further enhanced through native app development.

  •  Easily integrated

Native app may easily integrate with device hardware for seamless operation. The application automatically works with hardware such as camera, touch screen functions, calendar, GPS, etc.

  • Offline functionality

Native mobile apps, which function as the user’s interface with the user’s data, call for constant connectivity. Native mobile apps that support offline use keep their data and software locally on the user’s mobile device. Such mobile apps that may be used without an internet connection are known as offline apps.

Cons of Native App Development

Despite the long list of serious advantages, native development also has its drawbacks. Here are the main ones:


High price is a minus. Since native apps are designed for a single platform, you will have to make a choice: do you pay for multi-platform development in a single amount, or distribute releases to make things a little easier? The total cost is usually 30-40 percent higher than cross-platform, so choose wisely.

High Maintenance

Security risks are higher for hybrid applications. The more layers, languages, and technologies your application has, the more often likely it is to be vulnerable to failures and other risks. That’s why native apps are more secure and stable.

No Code Reusability

Separate codebase is also a minus. Since Android and iOS apps are developed separately, this means that they will have a separate codebase. Developers must be prepared to implement each new application feature twice for different platforms. The required tools and even specific developers will differ across operating systems.

Needs More Skills and Talent

And consequently, if there’s no chance to rescue the code, the required tools, specific developers’ skills, and talents will be needed to accomplish the same project for two operating systems.

What is a Cross Platform App development?

What is cross-platform development?  The construction of software applications that are compatible with many mobile operating systems is known as cross-platform mobile development. Initially, the challenge of creating a backend that functioned across several platforms added to the complexity of creating mobile apps.

 Today, on average, developers can reuse and repurpose 80 percent of existing code to adapt to different devices. This makes development easier and faster compared to native app development.

Examples of Best Cross Platform App

Here are some great examples of cross-platform applications that have become a part of our in everyday lives:

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Google Chrome
  • TeamViewer
  • OpenOffice, etc,

Instagram, Skype, Walmart, and Airbnb are also well-known examples of cross-platform mobile applications (React Native).

Benefits of Cross-platform Apps

If you just have a modest budget to work with, cross-platform development is the best choice.  As only one codebase is needed to produce an app that may run on both iOS and Android, you’ll save between 30% and 40%. Here are a couple more advantages to consider:

Hassle-free & Rapid Development

With cross-platform development approach, a lot of time and effort is saved since the code is written once. Adapting existing code for different platforms can make development incredibly cost-effective and save developers a lot of time.

Reduced Cost

Cross-platform applications may be produced on any operating system, including Android, iPhone, iPad, or any other phone. For example, if you are developing an Android app, you can publish it to iOS, which dramatically reduces costs for development.

Great Product Maintenance

Cross-platform mobile app development offers businesses the clear advantages of quicker turnaround time, reduced costs, simpler deployment, and availability of continuous support. Together, these elements support businesses in improving performance and return on investment.

Faster launch

Since the process is more optimized for different platforms and devices, there is no need to hire a separate development team and deploy too long, and it turns out that cross-platform has two main advantages: saving time and costs for both the client and the team.

Cons of Cross-platform Apps

Of course, time and cost efficiency has certain limitations. Here are the main disadvantages of the cross-platform approach you may face:

Difficult Integrations

Since support for SDKs and other libraries is usually limited, it can be difficult for developers to find ways to integrate new features into an application.

Limited UX

Cross-platform apps don’t have the same UX as native apps. Some native elements may also not be available in cross-platform applications. As a result, it’s important to plan the user interface early in development, as it can be quite difficult to change it later.

Performance delays

There’s dependence on third party libraries too. Because the code is not strictly device or platform-specific, users may experience some performance delays. It may take a while to integrate with local settings.

Additional QA required

Such applications need to be compatible with a broader category of programming languages and hardware platforms, and they also need extensive testing periods for bugs, exploits, and other quality assurance issues.

Complicated development lifecycle

Integration problems with some operating systems frequently hamper performance since distinct devices’ non-native and native components are incompatible with one another. So, this subsequently extends the development time. 

Native vs. Cross-Platform: Which One to Choose?

Mobile apps are a trend that will continue to grow. It is important for developers to know the difference between native mobile app development and cross-platform mobile app development.

For example, if you want a simple one-page website with minimal features or functionality, you may only need HTML5 coding skills; however, if your business relies heavily on location services and other advanced technologies, you should consider investing in your own applications built specifically for this type of device.

Native mobile app development is the process of developing a mobile app for one native platform. Developers write their codes from scratch using a programming language supported by the platform.

A platform-specific stack of technologies is more flexible than a unified technology stack. As a result, the vast majority of cross-platform solutions are unable to offer the same level of platform and device integration as native solutions.

The availability of different platforms also requires applications that can run on different systems. Many companies take advantage of cross-platform development, especially when it is not possible to focus on just one platform.

Although native programming results in high-performing apps, it might be expensive to build. Cross-platform development is the best option if you have a small budget to work with. As only one codebase is needed to produce the app that runs on both iOS and Android, you’ll save between 30% and 40%. 

Native mobile apps are speedier than cross-platform ones because they don’t require as much complex coding. The majority of app items load quickly since they have a long preload time. Start-ups like native applications because of their rapid development and low cost.

In terms of user input and output, native apps are more streamlined, interactive, and intuitive. Developers can use the entire feature set of the chosen operating system through native development. Compared to online apps or hybrid apps, native apps offer a much better user experience.

Of course, Native mobile development might make sense in a few specific cases. This strategy is best if: your app is designed specifically for either Android or iOS users. Your future application’s user interface is essential.


Is native better than cross-platform?

The benefits and drawbacks of native and cross-platform development are distinct. In the end, the decision to choose either approach depends on the project’s requirements and the involved developers’ skill levels. The best option for performance and user experience continues to remain native apps. Since native mobile apps are speedier than hybrid and cross-platform ones because they don’t require as much complex coding, most app items load quickly since they have a long preload time. Startups like native applications because of their rapid development and low cost. But a lot depends on the project. You need first to research and establish the requirements and then pick between native and cross-platform as per your particular app requirements which better suits it.

Why is native app development often more costly than cross-platform or hybrid app development?

 It’s quite logical. You will need to create and develop the apps for both the iOS and Android mobile operating systems if native apps are to be built independently for each platform. Yet unlike cross-platform apps with reusable codebases or hybrid mobile apps with shared backend code, this would require a lot of time, effort, money, and resources. Read Also: Kotlin vs Flutter

Which is the best native app framework?

Applying frameworks allow you to avoid mistakes. Regarding security, frameworks-based solutions are superior to self-written systems; they work faster and withstand a higher load than self-written systems. Frameworks generate a lot of code that the developer usually doesn’t change. When using the library, you must understand what each method does. On the other hand, frameworks require the developer to apply a specific programming paradigm (functional, declarative, and imperative) and understand the logic of the processes. The native app is created using tools and programming languages exclusive to the platform. For instance, you can create native iOS apps using Swift and Objective-C and native Android apps using Java or Kotlin.The best framework in this or that case depends on the project’s peculiarities.  

For example, developers can use Vue, TypeScript, and Angular to create hybrid apps with NativeScript, a free and open-source framework. It is known as one of top frameworks for building hybrid apps. The open-source UI software framework React Native developed by Meta Platforms, Inc., enables developers to use the React framework and native platform features to create applications for Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows, and UWP. Java or Kotlin programming languages are often used to create native Android applications.

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