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Native vs Cross-Platform Mobile App Development

vinayak-gaikwad
Computer science enthusiast
・3 min read

Nowadays to deliver a mobile experience to your users, building a native app is not the only option. If you finally decide to make a mobile app for your business or your company, the next step is picking between native and cross-platform mobile development. You can either choose from native development or you can use cross-platform tools like a flutter, react-native. Below you will explore both options and be able to select which suits your needs.

Native App Development

Native app development refers to building apps exclusively for a single platform like android and IOS. These apps are built using the tools available to the specific platform, such as Java and Kotlin programming languages for Android and objective C or Swift for the IOS.
Natively built applications are known for their exceptionally high performance and amazing user experiences. In native applications, developers have access to all the features of devices. This allows them to use complex and advanced functionalities.
Let's see the pros of the Native mobile development

Advantages of Native app development

  • High performance and large functionality
    Native applications provide high performance due to the direct interaction between the code and the resources. Developers also have access to every tool and API provided by the native platform. Broad functionality available in native apps

  • User Experience
    With high performance and functionality, native apps offer an amazing user experience. Designers and developers have more creative freedom to create good-looking as well as smooth functioning apps.

  • Scalability and Flexibility
    Native applications are more scalable thanks to the flexible development environment and wide range of available tools. In native apps, the interface is in full compliance with the platform.
    Let see the cons of the native app development

Disadvantages of Native app development

  • Cost is high
    It becomes very costly when you are building applications for android as well as for the ios. Both platforms require separate codebases as well as require two separate teams for each platform.

  • Longer development time
    Native development is time-consuming as we cannot use the same code for the different platforms. Therefore require different teams for the development of the same application.

Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-platform app development is the process of developing applications that can run on multiple operating systems such as android and ios. This can be achieved by using tools like React Native, Flutter, or Xamarin. These cross-platform frameworks fit an app to multiple operating systems so we don't have to create different elements for each platform.

Let's see the pros of cross-platform development..

Advantages of Cross-Platform app development

  • Shorter development time
    In cross-platform app development, most of the original codebase can be re-used for multiple platforms such as android and ios. This helps developers to reduce the time for creating different codebases and UI elements.

  • Cost
    In cross-platform development most of the original codebase is used for multiple platforms hence requires a single team that can develop the application for multiple platforms. Also, the cost of the tools required for different platforms reduces.

  • Exposure to a large number of users
    In cross-platform development, most of the apps run on multiple operating systems gives exposure to a large number of uses
    Now let's see the cons of cross-platform development..

Disadvantages of Cross-Platform app development

  • Performance
    There is a considerable gap between the performance of native and cross-platform applications. Due to the need for an abstraction layer and rendering process, cross-platform apps are slower than native apps. This is a major drawback of cross-platform app development.

  • Support of native features
    The cross-platform app development framework does not support all the features and functionality of the native platforms. Also, the support of third-party libraries is limited in these frameworks.

  • Limited UX
    Cross-platform apps do not deliver the UX and UI the same as the native apps. Also, some of the native elements are not available on the cross-platform apps.

Summary: Choosing between native and cross-platform applications

As we have seen both Native and cross-platform have their pros and cons. It depends upon the project requirements and resources which one should we use.
Native apps are the best choice where high performance is required. It also gives a stunning UI and UX. Also, it requires time and can be very costly, and require a large number of teams for developing the applications.
Cross-platform apps take less time for development and also they are cost-efficient because these apps share most of the same codebases for multiple platforms. The drawback is that their performance and UX are not the same as native applications.
Thank you...

Discussion (3)

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chimon1984 profile image
Ryan Edge

There is a considerable gap between the performance of native and cross-platform applications.

This blanket statement is inaccurate. A better answer is more nuanced: performance depends on the framework that you are using and what you are trying to accomplish. It has been proven for example, that in certain scenarios Flutter outperforms native Android.

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vinayakgaikwad profile image
vinayak-gaikwad Author

Thanks, Ryan for your feedback I will correct it :)

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dnyaneshwardev profile image
Dnyaneshwar Ware

nicely explained!!

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