Native and cross-platform app development: how to choose? Kotlin Documentation

Sometimes it may happen that cross-platform frameworks do not have 100% of the same capabilities as native options. Maintain the highest consistency in the overall appearance of the two versions of the app. This is a common pain when creating applications in native app development. The second aspect, which is also very important, but often overlooked, is the time required for QA to check application. We’ve talked about cross-platform mobile frameworks that allow you to build native apps. However, there’s a minor downside to using any of the technologies mentioned above.

What’s more, they also have numerous security features available for developers to make, like encryption API or biometric authorization. There are many factors to consider before building an app, such as development cost, time, and app functionality. This is especially true if you want android app developer to target both Android and iOS audiences. It may be challenging to decide which mobile development approach will be the best for your particular project. To help you choose between native and cross-platform app development, we’ve created a list of six essential things to keep in mind.

Ionic: common IDEs and browser debugging

A cross-platform application is a mobile app that is compatible with multiple operating systems and can, therefore, run on any smartphone, tablet, PC, smartwatch, and connected TV. A comparison of native vs. cross-platform is incomplete without cost analysis. Every application project has a different development time frame depending on the complexity of its features, of course.

  • It’s a great, cost-effective solution for smaller start-ups looking for a native app-like feel, high-quality user experience, and secure, stable features.
  • By learning just one framework, they can work on apps that deploy both on iOS and Android.
  • Integrating the app can be challenging when it comes to notifications and platform-specific functionality.
  • But if you don’t believe me then you can check what the giants have to say about it.
  • Also, some of Cordova’s plugins are dated, so developers often have to write custom ones from scratch.
  • In Android development, the official and most widely used IDE by developers is the Android Studio.

Generally, the question of native vs. cross-platform comes down to your business and your objectives. When developing an app for an early-stage start-up , we often suggest starting a cross-platform mobile solution like Flutter. There’s no need to hire platform-specific teams when building a cross-platform application as there is when making a native app.


As discussed earlier, cross-platform app development helps increase the reach of your business. With the increase in the usage of smartphones today, most companies want to develop mobile versions of their website to remain competitive. Using the multiplatform app development method, you need to create one application that will run on multiple operating systems, including Android & iOS. Yes, it is true; nowadays, various no-code cross-platform frameworks are available in the market in which you can quickly develop applications without any need for coding. Let’s discover in our next section how it is possible and what are the best no-code platforms for mobile application development. PhoneGap is an open-source and free cross-platform app development framework.

It is no surprise that cross-platform development is faster than native, considering that you essentially develop 2 or more applications by writing a shared codebase. In some cases, apps can share as much as up to 99% of their code between the most commonly developed Android and iOS applications. Which, especially for startups, could be a tremendous advantage both time- and budget-wise.

Cross-platform apps are easier and quicker to build, but it takes more effort to deliver an equivalent user experience on each platform. All in all native and cross-platform developments have different pros and cons. Ultimately, the choice of going with either depends on your unique circumstances and doing what’s best for your business based on time and budget. Cross platform development is also ideal for creating a demo version of the app to test the product idea and assess its validity. But if you want to develop a stable, reliable application with the best performance native is the way to go. Native apps also have easy and effective interaction between users when compared to their cross platform counterpart.


Native applications tend to have superior UI flexibility and capabilities. Whether you are planning a start-up or want to enhance your existing business, APPWRK is a one-stop solution to satisfy your goals and expectations. We have action-oriented experience in UI/UX, Mobile, and Web App development. Also, you can knock on our door for Quality Assurance and Digital Marketing services.

Cross-platform frameworks vs native development

The major reason for that was the lack of Flutter projects worldwide. Hence, hiring a strong team with more than 5 Flutter developers took some time. The main difference for business is that Flutter allows to unify business logic and UI and use a single code base for two platforms. Flutter provides better tools, such as plug-ins for development environments.

It means you’ll need to deploy two teams working on different platforms. Native apps are built for specific platforms while hybrid apps are built to operate across all platforms. Native apps are built specifically for a particular operating system leveraging platform-specific programming languages. Others tell their clients to develop a cross-platform app (“Why pay more for the same quality?”, so to say). As a result, you get a chance to increase your user base in the shortest possible time.

Additionally, using a JSON-based framework will potentially reduce the size of your mobile code base. However, this is beneficial only if you’re creating a stateless mobile app. For non-static apps, you will need added functionality for your server-side implementation in order to reply with JSON.

How is a hybrid app better than a native app?

Ionic has a rich set of features and tools, including out-of-the-box support for material design, native-style mobile UI elements and layouts. It also provides its customers with regular updates and resources from the development community. Costs are reduced since only one team of programmers is required to develop and maintain an app. What is more, basic knowledge of standard languages is sufficient — development tools will do the rest of the work. With Dart, the integration of unique features of third-party plugins or libraries is not that challenging. Still, the developers who are not aware of Dart’s functionality might consider it difficult.

Cross-platform frameworks vs native development

Cross-platform app development, also called multiplatform development, is the process of building mobile apps that are compatible with several operating systems. Instead of creating separate applications for iOS and Android, mobile engineers can share some or all of the source code between multiple platforms. This way, the applications will work the same on both iOS and Android. The key enabler here is the use of cross-platform mobile app development frameworks such as React Native and Flutter. Cross-platform mobile app development is perfect for start-ups and already established businesses, as it helps increase your customer base.

Understanding cross-platform app development

According to the Stack Overflow technology overview, React Native framework isn’t only the most used cross-platform tool but also the second most loved one among developers in general. React Native is fairly similar to Ionic in terms of coding and build process. You may also use Visual Studio Code, WebStorm, ALM, Atom, and set up the same environment and tooling to debug on a device and deploy to app stores. React Native recommends using an iOS simulator and an Android emulator to debug while coding. To run the code, Ionic uses JIT compilation for Android and WKWebView, a platform browser, as the default for iOS.

React Native

Compared to other cross-platform technologies, the Xamarin talent pool is pretty limited. Originally introduced in 2011, Xamarin can now boast a community of over 1.4 million developers. Depending on the OS and the nature of the project, React Native may also make use of other threads such as the native modules thread and the render thread. Compared to other popular technologies, Dart may require some getting used to.

Surf experts recommend Flutter for various retail, banks & fintech, franchisees, and large organizations. As for native technologies, developers apply them to create sophisticated niche apps with advanced features. The table below illustrates the use cases for Flutter and native technologies.

Next-gen cross platform app development company

Flutter apps offer great performance (relative to other cross-platform frameworks). In general, Flutter is a versatile open-source mobile framework that relies on Google’s programming language, Dart. This programming language is a highly critical component of Flutter’s architecture.

We’re ready to answer your possible questions and clarify the matter through and through. Microsoft developed this cross-platform app development framework in May 2011. The most effective cross-platform app development framework allows developers to share up to 90% of code between powerful platforms.

Has a customizable kit of widgets inside the framework that makes it easier to create applications for both operating systems. Overall, native development is generally a better choice if high security and performance are important to you or if you want to add support for new technologies shortly after they are released. Nevertheless, there are also cases where cross-platform development makes more sense.

The API security level is also better in native apps as they have more control over the API calls to and from the server. Both cross-platform and native code development have their pros and cons. At the end of the day, it all comes down to where your priorities lie. If you prefer not to worry about performance and functionality and have the cash and time to spare, native is the way to go.

Native vs. Cross Platform: Decoding Best Choice for Your Apps

It is possible to create MVP applications on Flutter in 2-3 months. The full-fledged development on Flutter cost is on average 30% cheaper than creating two native apps. The use of Flutter can be particularly interesting for the banking sector. Flutter might even be safer compared to native apps since its source codes are compiled into native code, impossible for human reading.

Android powers 74.13% of smartphones, while the iOS market share is estimated at 24.79%. Windows, BlackBerry, Symbian, and other mobile operating systems that once enjoyed considerable popularity have long fallen into oblivion. The global mobile application market topped $106 billion in 2018 and has been growing at a CAGR of 18.4% ever since. Knowing the latest mobile development trends will help you make the best choice for your project. When choosing between different approaches and frameworks, you need to be confident that the platform vendor will continue supporting it over the long term.

The first question your mobile app development partner is going to ask you is whether you want a native or cross-platform app. A confusing question for someone about to build their first-ever application. As I mentioned before, on average, developers can reuse and repurpose 80 percent of existing code to adapt to various devices. This makes development simpler and faster compared to native app development.

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