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Native Mobile Application Development Vs Cross Platform App Development

Tuesday November 15, 2016,

4 min Read

Over the past few years, there have been numerous discussions that usually tend to compare the benefits of native and cross-platform app development and what each form brings to the table for mobile application development companies. The native vs. Cross platform debate has spawned countless arguments among mobile application developers and companies alike. Mobile application Development companies tend to argue and challenge each other with the pros and cons of current technologies and for good reason. 

While many can argue these positives and negatives, what many companies fail to realize is that at the pinnacle of all these applications, is the customer experience that comes along with it. But let’s not get into the nitty-gritty of customer experience and focus on what differentiates the two forms of mobile application development. Considering which way to go about it, we must first establish the pros and cons of such mobile application development. A lot of this comes down to a number of factors that can certainly help you as a developer decide how better to go about it. So let’s begin:

1. Cross Platform Applications

As the name quite clearly suggests, cross platform involves developing applications over a variety of platforms. This means that a code is usually created to run on multiple devices or platforms such as iOS, Android and even Windows using languages such as Java or HTML. This method of development is more suitable to those applications that usually require simple interaction and doesn’t need to access other peripherals.


- There’s no denying the most obvious fact that developing over cross platforms is preferred by mobile application development companies from a monetary perspective as it grants access to a variety of markets. This means a wider user database.

- This wide array of users means that very little effort will go into effectively having to market the application. This is another added benefit for mobile application development companies who would target a very general market.

- The fact that the app is just coded once for multiple platforms can prove to be quite cost effective in nature. Let’s not forget that a variety of different platforms allows for consistency and synchronization over multiple devices. This only adds to the convenience factor.


- While developing over multiple platforms can have its benefits, having to write just one code overall, it’s part of a double sided coin since the code must remain the same over all platforms. This could prove problematic in the future as the app can’t simply favor one platform over the other.

- As mentioned above, a mobile app development company cannot have a preference in terms of platforms. Therefore, different interfaces could have their own complexities.

2. Native Applications

As you must’ve guessed by now, developing natively refers to developing your application on just one platform. This means that the app is built from scratch not borrowing any existing coding properties; built from the ground up to suit just one platform. This also means that careful attention must be paid to the language of choice, be it Java, Swift and so on.


- What seems to be a con for Cross-platform development is a benefit here. The catch with developing natively is that such apps will seek to benefit greatly from just being on one platform. This exclusivity will allow mobile application development companies to take full advantage of the power available to them.

- They become easier to use as well by taking full advantage since the user base is more accustomed to the overall interface and adds depth for better integration.

- Developing natively also provides more time and efforts to be focused solely on one platform for the best possible output.


- Without a doubt, developing apps natively is more expensive for mobile application development companies.

- The idea of having more time also has its downside as it takes a much longer development cycle to meet every single specification of the platform.

- Unlike cross platform development that involves multiple platforms, natively developing an application will focus on just one platform which ultimately means, a significantly reduced target market. While that may not be entirely bad, it does provide an insight for missed opportunities.

With these pros and cons in mind, it does provide a better understanding in terms of what factors come into play for mobile application development companies. While cross platform development focuses on the number of users, native applications focus on the overall user experience.

While having the numbers are great, it is important to understand that the user experience does count over everything else. The chances are that if a user discontinues using an application for whatever reason, the chances are, they’ll never use it again. So keep that in mind too when you begin developing apps.