Native vs. Cross-platform Mobile Apps: Make the Right Business Decision

Few business tools are as transformative as mobile apps. From personalized customer service to collaborative workflows, mobile apps can transform businesses left, right, and center. However, ‘native or cross-platform’ is one debate that still lingers one between app developers and business heads. In this blog, we highlight the advantages and disadvantages of both development frameworks so that the business owners can make the right choice.

The Native vs. Cross-Platform Debate


Android is unarguably the most popular mobile OS in the world. It runs on nearly 76% of the smartphones, and its popularity has only grown with time. But it would be foolish to say that iOS commands no considerable market share. Apple iOS is much more popular than android in the USA and has a substantial market share in the UK, Europe, and Australia. This OS segmentation has always kept the developer community divided over which approach or platform to choose for creating mobile apps.

Native Vs. Cross-Platform: Key Differences
Native apps are OS-specific i.e., they are developed for a particular OS and are meant to take full advantage of the benefits offered by the OS. The programming language and technology stack also varies depending on the OS for which the app is built.
On the other hand, cross-platform apps are OS independent. Therefore, they can be created and published in multiple OS environments using only a single codebase.

The Native Apps Advantage

Native applications have been the standard for mobile application development. They are created using programming languages that are specific or native to a given OS like Kotlin and Java for Android, Swift, and Objective-C for iOS. Some popular native apps include Facebook, Instagram, Airbnb, and Sound Cloud. Here are some of the main benefits of creating a native app for your business:

1. Power With Fluidity:
With all the components bundled into a single native package, native apps can make good use of the device-specific hardware and software capabilities. Further, the built-in fluid animation offers an out of the world user experience, which is interactive, intuitive, and smooth.

2. Greater Visibility:
Native apps have a higher potential of getting featured on the App Store and Google Play rankings. Native apps are both easier to use and optimize, thus offering greater visibility and revenue options.

3. Easy Update:
Considering the frequent OS updates, it is comparatively easier to update native apps. A developer can easily make changes to the source code to integrate new features as well as patch app security.

The Cross-Platform Advantage


The first and foremost advantage of a cross-platform app is that it is OS independent. The developers need not work on multiple native technologies and release a new app for each OS. In addition to reusability and convenience, other key advantages of cross-platform apps include:

1. Easy Maintenance:

In terms of app maintenance and support, cross-platform apps are both cost-effective and time-efficient. It is easier to integrate new changes and features. Developers only need to update the codebase once, and the changes are easily synced and reflected on every app running on different OS environment.

2. Larger Audience:

Unlike native apps, cross-platform apps are not restricted by the environment. They can appeal to a much larger audience which can quickly transpire into business revenue.

3. Agile Development:

When we consider the team size and time to the market, cross-platform apps do not require multiple teams as well as command over numerous programming languages. Instead, the team size is much smaller, and the development process is very agile.

Native Vs. Cross-Platform: Making the Final Call

By now, you must be pretty familiar with these platforms. But before you make a final call, please take note of the following factors:

1. Cost of Development:

The development cost for a cross-platform app is significantly lesser than that for native apps. Business owners must invest separately in native apps for different OS environments. Moreover, developing native apps require a large team of skilled and experienced developers which can ultimately increase the overall cost of the project.

2. Ease of Development
A cross-platform environment has easy to use open-source tools like Xamarin, Ionic, PhoneGap, which make the development process easy and smooth. The time to market the app is comparatively less and ideal for creating promotional apps which have a limited lifespan.

3. User Experience:

Last but not least, mobile user experience is critical for app popularity. Whether the app is meant for employees or customers, bad user experience can strongly impact the business value and brand name. Native apps score above cross-platform apps in terms of delivering quality user experience, but with the right plugins, even cross platforms, apps can be tailored to access full capabilities of the user’s device.
Both native and cross-platform apps have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Rather than being blindfolded by the benefits, businesses must choose a platform that best serves their requirements. Whether its user experience that they want to focus at or accelerated time to market, PSI custom application development services are tailored to help every business need and requirement. Our team has deep industry expertise in working with different technology modules and development practices.