Cross-Platform App vs Native App: Which is Best for Application Development?

cross platform app vs native app difference

Giving the best mobile app experience to users is the ultimate goal of every business. Hence, companies always try to select the best platforms for their app development. At present, the market is full of advanced technologies and platforms that offer numerous advantages. Still, sometimes these benefits turn into a big concern for the developers as they need to select only one at a time.

With the rise in demand for mobile app development, there is an active discussion that starts between the businesses for choosing the most competent platform among cross-platform app vs native app.

Earlier, the companies consider building native apps for their users, but now it is not the only available option in the marketplace. They have many prospects to rely on like web technologies, go hybrid or relishes the benefits of cross-platform development tools like Xamarin, React Native or Flutter. As per the research, the global market of such applications has reached $100+ billion in 2019.

The question is, which is the right technology stack for your business project- cross-platform vs native development?

In this blog, we’ve made a comparison between cross-platform app vs native app to find out which one is better for application development.

Let’s starts with the essentials-

What is Native Application Development?

A Native application is a software program that is designed for the use of particular operating systems. It allows developers to write the code in a single programming language. These applications use precise languages for specific platforms, like for iOS, it uses Swift or Objective C and for Android- it uses Java and Kotlin.

In native applications, the developer gets an advantage of system-specific features that can enhance the user experience in a unique way that wouldn’t be possible with hybrid or cross-platform solutions.

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of native application development: –

Pros of Native Applications

High in performance – In native applications, use of SDK and programming languages give direct access to features and functions of the native platform, that helps in increasing the performance of the app. If a developer wants multimedia codes and graphics, then native applications are highly suitable for those requirements.

Work Offline – One of the best benefits of native apps is that it can quickly work in offline modes as well; there is no need for an internet connection. The users can easily access the application even on aeroplane mode.

Provides best UI experience– Behind the success of any application, there is an attractive User interface. The native app provides a hassle-free user interface to the users, and as a result, it is one of the preferable choices of the developers.

Easy access to hardware and Highly secure– Native applications provide direct access to the hardware to make the user experience more exciting. In terms of security, these apps offer highly reliable user data protection.

Other advantages – Better listing on app stores, holds the aspect ratio, fewer bugs, Intuitive and many more.

Cons of Native Application

No code reusability – Native apps do not support code reusability. A developer has to rewrite the code for other platforms which consumes time and takes lots of effort.

Expensive – Due to no code reusability, you have to pay extra to developers for their services. And if you want to add some other features in your application, then this also will cost you high because a team of professionals is required for fulfilling those requirements.

Low opportunities – Native apps allow a developer to target one platform at a time which might lead to lesser revenue opportunities.

Costly to maintain – Native applications cost 20% extra from total development cost for maintenance which makes native application maintenance expensive.

Also Read: Which is Better for a Beginner: Node.js vs Angular.js?

What is a Cross-platform Application?

Cross-platform application development is the creation of apps that are compatible with multiple operating systems. In cross-platform app development, the developers only need to code once and can reuse that code for other platforms as well. They can quickly deploy code on different platforms without any issues.

This development approach helps to save a lot of money and time. With compelling cross-platform application development tools, the mobile app development companies can create apps with a 90% reusable codebase.

Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of cross-platform application development: –

Advantages of Cross-Platform

Saves time – In cross-platform, developers can quickly reuse the code on multiple platforms, and that ultimately helps in reducing development cost and time.

Easy Debugging – A bug or error in an app is the most common part of every app development, and it takes a lot of efforts in fixing it. But in cross-platform, solving a bug issue is highly flexible as it offers code reusability function. The developers can quickly resolve multiple bugs with a single code.

Easy to update – Rolling updates for cross-platform applications is easy as compared to native applications. It also saves a considerable amount of money.

Large community – The cross-platform application has a large audience size as compared to native apps. It helps to increase the revenue from the application.

Disadvantages of Cross-Platform

Application performance – Sometimes, cross-platform based applications perform flawlessly with OS, but a few applications may not utilize resources effectively due to improper communication between code and components. It affects the performance of the platform.

User experience – Just because of single codebase cross-platform applications may fail to provide the best experience to its user. Sometimes applications may not utilize the full features of an app.

Which is Better Native or Cross-Platform?

Let’s compare: –

With the help of this table, you may get a rough idea of which is better cross-platform vs native for your project-

Components Native Applications Cross-Platform Applications Result
Platform Native applications are specifically designed for a single platform Cross-platform applications can efficiently run on multiple platforms A business needs to run on multiple platforms. Hence cross-platform apps are highly suitable for such requirements.
Price Native applications are highly expensive as compared to cross-platform in terms of maintenance, testing, and launching. Cross-platform applications are more affordable than native apps. If you are looking to develop an app in less time than cross-platform is the best choice as it offers more features to their users.
Responsiveness Native apps are highly responsive Cross-platform apps offer low responsiveness If you are looking for a responsive application, then Native app is the best.
Development Time In terms of development, native apps are slow in the process as they require separate codes for every different platform. Cross-platform applications are faster in development as it requires a single code for various platforms. If you want to develop an app in a shorter time, then cross-platform would be the best option.
Performance Native applications offer higher performance than cross platforms. Cross-platform apps are low in performance. The Native application is a winner.
Features Native applications use device native features. It cannot use native device features. The Native application is a winner as it offers advanced features than cross-platform applications.

So, there is a draw in native app development vs cross-platform as both the applications are highly competent in their working paradigm. Picking a one among them entirely depends upon the type of project and the additional requirements you want for your app.

If you are looking for highly sophisticated, feature-rich and best-in-class apps, then Native platform would be the best option for you. And if you want to build an application in less time, then you can go for a cross-platform application development process.

Conclusion

If we are interpreting carefully about which one is the best, then it is hard to determine because both applications offer the best features and functionalities at their place. If you are planning for app development, then you need to pick a platform wisely. It all depends on your project requirements.

So be clear with your requirements, time, and budget before you opt a native or cross-platform for the development phase. If you find it hard in making a decision, you can get help from the industry experts like us. We are here to help you 24*7*365. Reach out to us and get the best solutions for your project. Also, check out our Flutter Vs React Native blog to gain in-depth knowledge about these platforms.