difference b/w native and cross platform apps

What is the Main Difference Between Native and Cross-Platform Apps?

Last updated on October 12th, 2023 at 06:05 am

As technology has advanced, our lives have become increasingly dependent on the use of digital assets. We use the Internet and mobile apps to make the most important decisions in our personal and professional life. In today’s competitive digital market, businesses face an uphill battle because of the sheer number of apps currently available on the Play Store and App Store.

App downloads globally are expected to reach 299 billion in 2023, an increase from around 247 billion in 2020.

More than 935 billion dollars will be generated by iOS and android app in the United States in the year 2023, thanks to both paid downloads and in-app advertising.

With so much rivalry, business owners are forced to focus more on the quality, precision, functionality, and other factors that persuade potential clients to choose their services over those of their competitors.

A number of questions arise at this time, such as whether to use iOS or Android, what app development framework is optimal for attracting more customers, and so forth.

Here, we’ll cover the three major app development approaches: native, hybrid and cross-platform.

react native app development

What is a Native App?

Native apps are created using platform-specific programming languages.

Native app development refers to creating apps for specific mobile platforms like Android or iOS. A platform-specific programming language is used to write programmers for a desktop computer, smart TV, smartphone, or any other modern digital device.

Native Android apps use Java or Kotlin, whereas iOS native apps use Objective-C or Swift. Nothing surpasses native mobile app development for giving the finest user experience. Native app development allows app developers to leverage main smartphone hardware functions like GPS, proximity sensors, camera, microphone, and more.

Read Also: Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development Which Should You Choose

The Advantages of using Native Apps

Extremely Quick

Native mobile apps are faster than hybrid and cross-platform apps since they don’t have to deal with sophisticated code. Most app parts are presented quickly because they have been preloaded. Native apps are chosen by startups because of their speed and cost-effectiveness.

Offline Usability

Even if you don’t have internet access, native apps work perfectly. When the user is in airplane mode or offline, they may still utilize all of the app’s features, making this a more convenient option. To help app users who live in places with low internet connectivity, rural locations, or have restricted data availability this offline support functionality is crucial in native apps.

Intuitive and Engaging

Native apps promise a better user experience for budding companies. In order to provide a better user experience, native apps are created for a certain operating system and conform to the operating system’s guidelines. Users can engage with applications using gestures and activities that they are already familiar with since native programs adhere to the rules.

Bugs with a smaller scope

When developing an app for multiple platforms, managing two separate codebases is more difficult than managing a single codebase in native app development. To avoid issues, native apps use a single codebase and don’t rely on cross-platform tools.

Effortless Success

To achieve the best possible performance, native app development is used to create apps that are tailor-made for their target platform. Because native apps are created for a specific platform, they are more responsive and faster than their web-based counterparts. Native apps are also more efficient because they are compiled with the most used programming languages and APIs.

Increased Safety

Web browsers and technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS are used in native app development to ensure that the user’s data is completely protected.

The Drawbacks of Developing Native Apps

Lack of Code Re-usability

If you want to create native apps for iOS and Android, you’ll need to learn how to code and create them from scratch for each platform. And this would take a lot of time, effort, money, resources, and effort, unlike the hybrid mobile apps with shared back-end code or cross-platform apps that have a reusable codebase. ‘


The ongoing expenditures of maintaining a native app might easily exceed the initial development costs.

In need of a greater depth of expertise

Developing native mobile apps is difficult since they are language-specific, making it difficult to find developers who can do it back-to-back. Native vs cross-platform app development necessitates hiring two teams, while cross-platform app development necessitates only one team.

What is a Hybrid App?

Hybrid app development combines native and web solutions using plugins like Ionic’s Capacitor and Apache Cordova to merge code written in languages like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

The hybrid platform has two main components: a back-end code and a native viewer that displays the functionality and back-end.

In hybrid app development, the code is developed once and used on several platforms. In terms of performance and user experience, hybrid apps may compete with native apps.

Hybrid Apps have a number of advantages

The ability to get a product to market quickly

Faster shipping of the MVP is a common goal for startups. As a result, a hybrid app development framework is the best option because it enables the app to be developed and launched on the market more quickly.

Assuring Low-Maintenance

Hybrid apps are easier to manage than native and cross-platform apps because they are built only on web technologies.

Cost-effectiveness along with ease of implementation

Startups with a limited budget might breathe a sigh of relief because the hybrid app development life-cycle is accompanied by unified development. They don’t have to spend money on developing individual apps for each platform. It is possible to create a single version of an app and use it on different platforms with the help of hybrid app development frameworks.

Enhancements to the user interface and user experience

Apps that combine the advantages of native and online apps while enhancing the user experience on both Android and iOS platforms are known as hybrid apps The lightweight hybrid app UI of hybrid application development allows for fast loading of images and content.

A Hybrid App Is a Good Idea When:

  • Want to be able to use the app on several platforms, but lack the resources to develop a cross-platform solution.
  • Your web app will be available on the App Store and the Google Play Store.
  • A bigger audience can access the app via the web and mobile devices, which increases your potential customer base.
  • Minimal viable product (MVP) to test the project concept.
  • For example, you’d like to make use of the device’s built-in functions like GPS and the camera.
  • Frameworks for developing hybrid mobile apps.
  • Ionic
  • Apache Cordoba

The Best Hybrid Apps You’ve Never Heard of

  • Instagram
  • Evernote
  • Gmail
  • JustWatch
  • NHS
  • Airbus Helicopters

The drawbacks of developing a hybrid app

Away from the Internet:

Unlike native apps, hybrid apps do not have the offline capability. To use the app’s features, users must be connected to the Internet.

Inconsistencies in the OS

A single code is distributed for all platforms, therefore features specific to one operating system may not operate fully on another. For example, some Android-specific functionality may not work correctly on iOS devices.

Is it possible to have a cross-platform application?

With cross-platform app development frameworks, don’t anticipate excellent performance and customization. Apps that can be used on several platforms will offer a hassle-free implementation as well as solid functionality and reasonable development costs. Code reuse on different platforms reduces development costs and time because it just needs to be written once and then reused.

React Native, Xamarin, and flutter app development have all contributed to the rise of cross-platform applications in recent years.

Why Cross-Platform Apps are a Good Thing

Effortless and quick development

Developers and company owners alike benefit from reusable code that is underpinned by increased productivity and efficiency. This is where a cross-platform app development framework has a significant advantage over other options.

Exceptional Product Support

Businesses can rest easy because they only have to write one codebase for cross-platform app development. A single source of truth means it’s much easier to repair bugs, which makes it easier to test and deploy fixes and updates.

Lower Price

All kinds of platforms can be supported by a cross-platform app development framework, making it possible for startups to gain a foothold in the worldwide market while also increasing their brand recognition. In addition, cross-platform programs save money in the beginning.

Reusability of code

Cross-platform apps don’t necessitate developers to build distinct code for each operating system they target. It is possible to use a single codebase for porting code to many platforms.

hire dedicated developers

Why Build a Cross-Platform Application?

When developing a mobile app, you have a limited budget, time, and resources.

There are both iOS and Android app users that you need to reach out to.

  • It’s time to speed up app development.
  • The app isn’t overly complicated and doesn’t necessitate platform-specific functionality.

App Development Frameworks for Cross-Platform Apps

  • React Native
  • Xamarin
  • Flutter

Best Cross-Platform Apps

  • Insightly
  • Bloomberg
  • Reflectly
  • Skype
  • Slack

There are drawbacks to using cross-platform apps.

The Development Lifecycle Is Complex

Developing apps that can be used on several platforms requires the expertise of a team of developers. When designing complicated functionality and interfaces, you’ll need to pay attention to the tiniest changes between operating systems and the hardware they run on.

Discomplicated Setups

Because HTML5 cross-platform apps use callback programming, it might be difficult for developers to incorporate them into local settings.

What’s the Difference Between Native, Hybrid, and Cross-Platform Apps?

It’s time for business owners to decide which of the three mobile app development frameworks is ideal for their mobile app strategy. You can go with a native app, a hybrid app, or an app that is cross-platform depending on your project’s needs, budget, and many other factors. It can be tough to determine which is best based on a few factors and the merits of each. For startup firms, a look at the drop-down menu below will provide them with a clearer picture of the differences between apps.

1. Performance

It’s best to go with the native mobile app development approach because it provides the best user experience. Airbnb was among the first to go for react native app development for developing native apps. You can discover the next-generation features of smartphones like memory management, network, and wireless access points in a hassle-free manner through native Android development.

2. The time it takes to put a product on the market

The Apple App Store sees an average of 29.5K new mobile apps per month. Businesses are racing to get their apps on the App Store and Play Store as quickly as possible because of the intense competition. Compared to cross-platform and hybrid platforms, the development of a native app requires a significant amount of time.

3. Development costs

Most startups are concerned about their budget, and they expect a high-quality but affordable mobile app to be developed within that budget. Because of a limited budget, a startup cannot afford a native app. In order to produce a single source code that can be subsequently changed into the desired OS-based app, developers need to use cross-platform app development. Cross-platform app development, on the other hand, necessitates far fewer resources and labor.

4. App security.

There will be 1001 data breaches in the United States year 2020, according to the latest figures. Over 155.8 million people were impacted by data exposures over the course of the year. It is imperative for business owners to produce a glitch-free app because compromising on user security and sensitive data may quickly harm a company’s reputation.

5. Adaptability and User Interface Design

If you’re having a great user experience, 90% of smartphone users say they’ll be more likely to keep shopping. A terrible user experience is blamed by 70% of customers for abandoning their shopping carts. Businesses need to focus on delivering customization, rationalization, and increased usability.



No matter what industry you’re in, businesses need to invest in an app development approach that fits their business needs, as well as the expectations of their target audience. Choosing between native, hybrid, or cross-platform apps is entirely dependent on the specifics of your company’s operations. As part of the process of developing a modern-day app, firms must first identify their needs and then look for the best development platform to meet those needs.

All options have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to developing an app for multiple platforms – it all comes down to what you are trying to accomplish with your app. It will help you develop a cutting-edge, yet user-friendly, mobile app for the market and eventually reach your goal.


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