Cross-Platform Vs. Native Mobile Application Development: Pros And Cons

Native Vs. Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development

Any good and standard mobile application development company specializes in custom application development for various operating systems(OS) like iOS and Android. These companies employ skilled mobile application developers who transform your ideas into user-friendly and functional apps.

The process typically involves innovating features, designing the user interface, writing code, rigorous testing, and quality assurance. Many mobile application development services also include app store submission. Further, they can offer marketing guidance to enhance your app’s visibility with your targeted audience.

Whether you want to develop a game, a productivity tool, or an e-commerce platform, a mobile application development company can bring your ideas to life. They will help you overcome the complexities of mobile application development and make the process easy and seamless.

One question that arises is how to approach mobile application development. With many users glued to their smartphones and tablets, a mobile presence is mandatory.

You can either opt for a native application built specifically for one OS or a cross-platform application. Both approaches, native and cross-platform, have specific pros and cons. You must understand them thoroughly to make an informed decision.

Native Mobile Application Development

Native mobile applications are made specifically for Android or iOS platforms. Generally, the programming language used to write your mobile apps will determine the choice of the operating system.

You can develop native Android apps in two languages: Java and Kotlin. The first language used to create Android apps was Java. However, it can only be used for object-oriented programming. Google added Kotlin support to Android in 2017. Kotlin can handle both functional and object-oriented programming.

Alternatively, a mobile application developer will generally use Objective-C or Swift programming language to create native iOS applications. The C programming language was the first programming language used to develop iOS applications. Objective C is a superset of it. 2014 saw Apple introduce Swift at the World Wide Developer Conference. It is an effective, high-level, general-purpose programming language designed for the Apple system. According to Apple, Swift has a simpler syntax and outperforms Objective-C by about 2.6 times. Several famous usages of native mobile applications include Spotify, Google Maps, WhatsApp, and Pinterest.

Pros of Native Mobile Application Development

Optimal Performance

Native apps have unmatched access to a device’s hardware and functionalities. This translates to smoother user experiences, faster loading times, and seamless integration with features like the camera, GPS, and gyroscope.

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)

Native apps leverage the native UI components and design patterns of the OS. This results in a more intuitive and familiar experience for users accustomed to that platform.


Native development often enables enhanced control over app security. This allows developers to leverage the built-in security features of the platform more effectively.

Cons of Native Mobile Application Development

Increased Cost

Developing and maintaining separate codebases for different platforms significantly increases associated costs. For example, you must hire a separate mobile application developer for different languages and frameworks. 

Development Time

Building two or more separate applications naturally increases the development time exponentially.

Limited Reach

A native app only caters to users of a specific operating system. If you don’t develop the app for both Android and iOS platforms, your target audience could be limited.

Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development

Developers can create cross-platform mobile apps from a single codebase. Developing cross-platform apps aims to make a single project run on multiple operating platforms. You can leverage cross-platform frameworks to construct these apps. They employ platform-specific SDKs (iOS and Android SDKs) from a single API. This makes it easy and simple to assess the SDKs and libraries for the different platforms. Popular cross-platform frameworks include:

  • Meta’s React Native, built using JavaScript as the programming language
  • Google’s Flutter, built using Dart and Microsoft
  • NET MAUI (previously Xamarin), built using the programming languages C# and XAML

You can also give cross-platform apps a native feel by leveraging native user interface components to develop them. Further, cross-platform development frameworks are equipped with an abstraction to the underlying platform SDKs. Simply speaking, you write codes using a universal language provided by the framework, and the abstraction layer translates them into the required native code. Thus your development effort reduces as you eliminate the need to write separate unique codes for the SDKs of individual platforms.

Companies offering mobile application development services can leverage cross-platform development environments to empower the apps further. For example, cross-platform apps can access and use certain hardware features like GPS, microphone, and camera and even check the device’s battery level.

Some well-known cross-platform apps include:

  • Walmart, Airbnb, Skype, Instagram–developed using React Native
  • The World Bank, Fox Sports, Alaska Airlines, BBC Good Food–developed using Xamarin
  • Google Ads, eBay Motors, My BMW App, and the New York Times–developed using Flutter

Pros of Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development


Cross-platform development offers significant cost savings. Using a single codebase reduces the development time. Further, it eliminates the need to collaborate with multiple mobile application developers with platform-specific expertise.

Faster Development

In cross-platform app development, you have to write only one codebase. This significantly expedites the development process when compared to building separate native apps.

Wider Reach

Here, you use a single app across multiple operating systems. This helps expand your target audience and improve market penetration.

Cons of Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development


With advancements, cross-platform apps may not consistently achieve the same level of performance and responsiveness. This is especially true for hardware-intensive functionalities.

UI/UX Limitations

Since cross-platform apps rely on generic UI components, they might not always perfectly match the native look and feel of a particular platform, potentially leading to a less intuitive user experience.

Limited Functionality

Certain native functionalities might not be readily available or require additional workarounds in cross-platform development.

Choosing Between Native And Cross-Platform Mobile Applications

The decision between native and cross-platform mobile application development hinges on your specific needs and priorities. Consider the following factors to decide between the two approaches.

Targeted Audience

What is your target audience niche? Answer these questions to gain accurate insights about your target audience. If your target audience primarily uses only Android or only iOS as the operating system, a native app might be sufficient. However, adopting a cross-platform approach will help you reach a broader audience range.

App Complexity

Leverage native mobile app development for complex apps that rely heavily on device functionalities. Alternatively, apps with basic features will function well with a cross-platform approach.

Budget and Timeline

Cross-platform app development is generally more budget-friendly and takes less time. Conversely, native app development takes longer because developers must write different codes for different platforms.


Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Carefully evaluate your requirements, resources, and targeted audience before deciding. Consulting with a reputable mobile application development company can be invaluable. They will assess your needs thoroughly and guide you on the most suitable approach for your custom application development project.



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