Native vs. Cross-Platform: How and What to Choose?

Krunal Shah

Sep 03, 2021 | 6 min read

Native vs Cross platform App Development

The realm of mobile app development is pretty diverse and is evolving at a rate of knots. Mobile apps have had a real positive impact on businesses worldwide as it has helped them to expand exponentially. This is why the global mobile app market has been growing at a CAGR of 18.4% since 2018.

Now with the expansion of mobile app development, the world has seen the growth of different types of mobile app development platforms as well. Some of the popular app development frameworks are:

  • Native app development
  • Cross-platform app development
  • Web app development

Among the above-mentioned types, Native and Cross-platform app development have grabbed the eyeballs of business owners all over the world. In fact, a recent Statista report showed that 67% of the app developers prefer Native apps while the rest go for cross-platform app development.

Now a question will arise in your mind: which platform is best- Native or Cross-platform. Therefore, in this blog, we will discuss different aspects of Native and Cross-platform app development. Moreover, we’ll also analyze the situations whereas a CTO, you can use either of the two app development frameworks.

So without further ado, let us get started!

What is Native App Development?

Native App Development

As the name itself suggests, Native apps are exclusively developed for a single platform, say iOS, Android, or Windows. The Native apps have direct access to the hardware of the device such as a microphone, camera, GPS, and many more. Thus, they acquire all the possible advantages of the device and deliver a high-performance and better user experience. This is the reason why the majority of the CTOs prefer developing Native applications for their product.

With Native apps, IT business owners don’t have to worry about their compatibility with the device or browser behavior.

When Should You Develop a Native App?

It’s a clear fact that Native apps in general have a plethora of advantages. But it is important for the CTOs to understand the situations where they can opt for Native apps. We have curated a list of different situations whereas a business owner you can opt to develop a Native app:

  • If as a business owner, you are planning to develop a complex application, Native apps become a great choice. As they can leverage all the benefits of the device, they become a perfect fit for developing complex high-end applications.
  • Developing a Native app is costlier as compared to Cross-platform apps. So if there are no budget constraints for your app development process, you can go for Native app development.
  • Along with more money, Native apps take more time to build. Thus, if there is no rush as a business owner for launching your app, stick with Native app development.
  • Native apps are an investment for the future. Since they render a better user experience, they are bound to rise in the market. So if you have a targeted audience in mind and are willing to wait, Native apps can reap rich results.
  • If as a CTO, you have a team of experienced Native app developers, you must opt for Native app development.

There are different sets of tools for Native app development according to the platform. They are:

  • For Android: Android IDE, Android Studio, IntelliJ IDEA
  • For iOS: Atom, XCode, AppCode

What is Cross-platform app development?

Cross-platform app development

Cross-platform app development is the process to develop an app that is compatible with various platforms. These apps render a Native-like look and feel to end-users but are not capable of leveraging all benefits of the device. But this doesn’t mean that Cross-platform apps compromise on the app security front. In addition, these apps are stable, easy to maintain, and iterate features.

The business owners who opt for Cross-platform app development have a target to expand their user base.

When Should You Develop a Cross-platform app?

Just like the Native apps, Cross-platform apps have perks of their own. Below are top conditions where CTOs should opt for Cross-platform app development:

  • Cross-platform apps are easy on the pocket. So if you are a bootstrapped company looking for maximum results with minimum investment, Cross-platform apps are a better choice.
  • Cross-platform apps have less maintenance cost. Thus, it does not have any negative impact on the overall business revenue.
  • As an IT business owner, if you have less time to app-marketing, Cross-platform app development is a better choice
  • It is easier to implement and update Cross-platform apps. Thus, as a CTO, Cross-platform apps creates a ‘win-win’ situation for you

Native vs Cross-platform App Development

Native vs Cross-platform app development

‘Native Vs Cross-platform app development’ has been the mother of all battles in the app development realm. But there are certain key aspects that a CTO must keep in mind while selecting the app development platform. Thus, it is essential to understand the core difference between Native and Cross-platform app development.

Development Time

Native apps have high development time as the codes are written from scratch here for each platform. On the other hand, Cross-platform apps work on the principle of 'write once, run anywhere'. Thus the developers here don’t have to begin everything from scratch and can run single codes on multiple platforms.

Performance and Speed

The performance and speed of the app play a pivotal role in deciding the future of the app. With Native apps, the IT business owner doesn’t have to worry an ounce about the app's performance or speed. This is because these apps are responsive, fast, and are less likely to get crashed. But for Cross-platform apps, the situation is different. These apps are often plagued by performance issues and are comparatively slower than the Native apps.

Features

Native applications have performance SDKs that ensure access to the API device without any hassle. Moreover, unlike the Cross-platform apps, Native apps allow offline features as well. For Cross-platform apps, there is no sure shot access to the device API.

Customer reach

The customer reach of Native applications is lower as they are developed for a specific platform. Moreover, targeting a larger audience is easier with Cross-platform apps as it allows promoting one app through different platforms.

Language compatibility

The language compatibility of Native apps is on the higher side as they are developed in a specific language. For example, Java and Kotlin are used for Android whereas Swift and Objective C are used for iOS app development. The Cross-platform apps are developed in JavaScript that is compatible with multiple devices.

TRT

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Conclusion

Both Native and Cross-platform app development have perks and perils of their own. Therefore, it all comes down to the specific business requirement before zeroing down to an app development framework. For IT business owners, it is important to realize what they actually want before deciding on the app development framework. And the decision should be based on keeping the present as well as future perspectives in mind.

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Krunal Shah

Krunal Shah is the CTO and Co-founder at Third Rock Techkno. With extensive experience gained over a decade, Krunal helps his clients build software solutions that stand out in the industry and are lighter on the pocket.

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