Have you ever thought, how an app can work on both iOS and Android? That’s because it is built using cross platform app development tools.
But again, there are several apps that are available specifically for iOS or Android. Such apps are built with the help of native app development technologies.
You might wonder, of both the technologies, which one is better? Don’t worry, you are not the only person asking this question.
The debate on native app development vs cross platform development has been consistent for almost a decade. And today, in this post, I’m going to put an end to it with a head-to-head comparison between native vs cross platform app development.
So, hold on to your seats and read the blog till the end.
What is Native App Development?
Native app development is the process of building applications that can run on a specific OS platform like Android or iOS. Users can download these apps from a dedicated application store (Google Play Store or App Store).
Since, native apps are OS-based, they are built using different languages and distinct codebase. For example, iOS apps are written in Objective-C or Swift, while Android apps are developed in Java or Kotlin.
Further, native apps have access to the device’s native features like camera, file manager, sensors, memory, etc. Hence, if any of the components is missing or mismatched, the app won’t be supported by the system.
What is Cross Platform App Development?
Cross platform app development involves creating apps that can run on every device, irrespective of their OS. Basically, instead of having two different code bases, developers use tools that can compile the codes into a single file and upload it on servers for users to download and use.
So, when users download the app, it works according to the available system configuration. In simple words, it doesn’t matter whether the OS is Android or iOS; the app uses its in-built browser to execute the command and display the results. Further, cache storage helps in making it work offline as well.
Native Vs Cross Platform App Development: Head-to-head Comparison
Native App Development
Cross Platform App Development
Development frameworks / platforms
|Native apps have different coding languages for every OS.
For example, native Android apps are written in Java or Kotlin, whilst iOS apps are written in Objective-C or Swift.
|Cross platform apps have a single codebase which are compiled using tools like Apache Cordova, Xamarin, Flutter, etc.
Time to market
|The time to market native app development is quite long as you need to write separate codes for each platform. Hence many firms either wait for development of the app for all the available platforms or launch the app on two different occasions.
|The time to market cross platform apps is lesser than that of native apps.
|· Broad functionalities
· Faster performance
· Better security
· Access to every feature of device
· Highly interactive
· Fewer bugs
· Works offline
· High resolution of graphics
|· Lesser development time
· Easier to manage with single codebase
· Faster time to market
· Supports multi-platform
· Large market coverage
|· Development cost is expensive
· App size is large and takes long time to download
· Multiple code base for every OS
|· Limited set of features
· Complex coding
· Time gap between new updates is too high
|As per Dot Com Infoway,
iOS app developers prefer native app development, with 15% opting for Objective-C, 53% going for Swift, and 5% using both.
|In research conducted by Dot Com Infoway, it was found that,
Android developers prefer cross platform development with Flutter and React Native being used by almost 76% developers, while Xamarin is opted by 11% for cross platform app development.
Which One Should You Choose: Native vs Cross Platform App Development?
Native vs cross platform app development is one of the hottest topics of debate among developers. Both have their own set of pros and cons which cannot be overlooked.
While native apps work on a specific OS, cross platform widens the reach of the apps among the target audience. However, native app development is time-consuming. On the other hand, cross platform app development has certain limitations that affect apps’ performance.
Speaking in a nutshell, I’d say both native app and cross platform app development are important. And which one to opt for depends entirely on your requirements.
I’ve done a head-to-head comparison between both in this blog. Use those pointers to decide which one suits your product and get going with it. Till then, happy learning.
Siddharth Joshi, aka Sid, is a professional blogger with an experience of 7+ years in various industries including travel, hospitality, education, and IT. In free time, he loves to cook, write poems, and travel to find hidden gems of India.