Native and Cross-Platform App Development | Differences | Pros & Cons

Let's talk about the difference between native and cross-platform app development and their pros & cons. Discussing differences between anything will be like a Tom and Jerry fight. We are in a world where automation of things is easily available in the form of mobile apps.

Due to the advantage of portability, accessibility, adaptation of any technology makes the mobile as a lifeline for everyone. Applications are defined as downloadable and installable software or program and divided into native, cross-platform, and web apps.

Native and Cross-Platform App- Table of Content

  • Native Apps
  • What Are the Mobile Platforms?
  • Example
  • Cross-Platform Apps
  • Examples
  • Comparison Table Features Native and Cross-Platform
  • Final Words

However, several apps are developed using either native or cross-platform which we are now going to distinguish.

Before going to the difference between native and cross-platform apps, let us know the brief insights into these two types of apps.

Differences between Native and Cross-Platform App Development

Native Apps:

As the name implies, native apps are built on native operating systems of mobile platforms. The Native applications use a single code that can run only on the targeted platforms either on Android or iOS. If you want to use it on another mobile platform, it requires a different code.

Let us dive deep.

What are Mobile Platforms?

We all know mobile platform represents operating systems (OS) such as Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry.

For example:

1. Consider the Apple mobile platform which has its native OS like iOS. To develop an app on this platform, mobile app developers require the knowledge of programming languages such as Objective-C and Swift. It has an integrated development environment (IDE) on which the applications are built with a tool called XCode.

2. Consider the Android platform- the developer needs to write the code using Java programming language. The tools required to design an application are Eclipse and Android Studio.

For windows phone- C#, VB.NET, XAML

For Blackberry- C++

Likewise, every platform has its OS(Operating Systems) and the environment with different features.

If one app is built on Android, it works and is accessible only for the android mobile users. Users of iPhones, windows or blackberry phones cannot access this app. That is the reason these are called Native apps which are built on a particular targeted platform.

The code will be written purely on a single platform. Though building native apps are very expensive, it has the advantage of high performance and enhanced user experience.

If you want to access the app on other than android phone say, on iOS platform, you need to rewrite the code since the android app is developed using Java/Kotlin whereas Objective-C or Swift are used to write on iOS.

Since the coding for both platforms is different, it needs extra developers who are adept at iOS platform coding (Objective-C or Swift). It is again a big process and needs extra energy, time, and money.


Twitter, Google maps, LinkedIn, Facebook.

  • More Reliable
  • Extraordinary performance
  • Good speed
  • Enhanced UI/UX 
  • Intuitive and interactive
  • Greater visibility over SERP
  • Better ROI
  • Good Ranking in App Store or Google Play
  • Can have access to built-in features of the mobile platform
  • More security to user’s data
  • Allows access to the hardware of the Mobile such as camera and memory.

  • Need to write different codes according to different platforms
  • Developing time is more
  • Expensive
  • Needs different code developers
  • No chance to reach other platform users
  • Revenue will come only on a single platform.
  • Difficult to maintain since the strategy for each platform will be different
  • Need to redesign, redevelop, recruit extra developers.

Cross-Platform Apps

It refers to building the same app that can be adaptable for all mobile platforms. These apps can be accessible/compatible with multiple software environments with a single code database.

Creating applications on different OS needs intermediate languages such as JavaScript. The IDE tools which are used in building these apps are Xamarian, Corona SDK, PhoneGap, etc.

And the same code is reusable by modifying 20% of the code. Thus, it lessens the burden, expenses, and time to develop. Besides, a wider reach of the audience is an add-on.

Cross-Platform App Development is required if your app is solely related to content awareness or distribution and it will be good to opt for this type of platform.


Ridesharing apps such as Uberpool and Ola share, Facebook Ads Manager, MixRadio, etc.

  • Time-saver 
  • Lessens expenses
  • Runs on all platforms
  • Needs single code and single technology
  • Global reach
  • Better ROI
  • Minimum of 80% of code can be reused.
  • UI is faster than the native app

  • Medium performance
  • Complexity in software testing
  • Poor UX

You can tie-up with the Hybrid App development company which is adept at designing an application on any type of platform.

Hybrid Vs Cross-Platform App Development Differences

Let us conclude all the differences between a native application and cross-platform application in a simple tabular form as shown here.

Comparison Table Features Native and Cross-Platform

Native app
Running Platform
Targeted (single) platform- iOS/Android
On all platforms-iOS and Android
Code and Technology required
Multiple codes and technologies
Single code and single technology
The time required for the development
Needs more time
Needs less time
Development Cost
Expensive(double to the cross-platform apps)
Targeted people
Global reach
Loading speed
Slower than the native app
The software can be upgraded to the latest versions without affecting the app features
Difficult to upgrade versions.

Final words:

In a nutshell, choosing the best one after knowing the difference between native and cross-platform app development solely depends on your business requirements, the targeted audience, budget, features.

It is a misconception that you need a native app for greater performance and saving time and cost is your priority, go for cross-platform.

Also Read: 

We can’t decide what is the best way native or cross-platform instead decide which is best for your business goal since both have their own myriad of benefits.
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Hi, I’m Ghanendra Yadav, SEO Expert, Professional Blogger, Programmer, and UI Developer. Get a Solution of More Than 500+ Programming Problems, and Practice All Programs in C, C++, and Java Languages. Get a Competitive Website Solution also Ie. Hackerrank Solutions and Geeksforgeeks Solutions. If You Are Interested to Learn a C Programming Language and You Don't Have Experience in Any Programming, You Should Start with a C Programming Language, Read: List of Format Specifiers in C.
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