Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development: What to Choose in 2023?

Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development: What to Choose in 2023?

If you want to launch a mobile application, you have two basic options. Choosing native vs cross-platform app development is a challenging starting point.

In this article, S-PRO experts compared the most popular mobile development approaches, exploring the pros and cons of each.

What Is Native App Development? 

Native app development is the creation of mobile apps for a specific operating system, such as iOS or Android. 

Developers use programming languages and software development tools specifically designed for a platform. For iOS development, it is Swift or C programming languages; for Android, they are Java and Kotlin. 

This approach enables developers to take full advantage of the features and functionalities of the OS, resulting in high performance and better user experience.

Some well-known examples of native mobile applications include Spotify, Google Maps, Duolingo, and Pinterest.

Pros Of Native Development 

Native development involves creating mobile apps specifically designed for a single platform, which results in several benefits:

  • Enhanced Performance: native apps use the technologies native to a particular platform. This approach promises superior performance, faster loading, and improved user experience.
  • Improved Access to Device’s Features: native platforms allow you to use the full range of features and capabilities of each device form factor (smartphone, tablet, TV), including hardware, software, and sensors. 
  • Tight Security: Native development provides better protection for apps. They are built using the platform's security protocols and can utilize the latest security updates.
  • Better User Engagement: Native apps provide users with a more immersive and engaging experience, as they can take advantage of each platform's unique features and capabilities.

Cons Of Native Mobile Development 

However, native mobile app development does come with some drawbacks, including:

  • Increased Cost: developing native apps for multiple platforms requires separate development teams and experts with narrow specialization, which is more expensive.
  • Longer Time to Market: developing separate codebases for each platform takes longer than creating a single one for cross-platform development.
  • Maintenance Costs: Maintaining multiple codebases for different platforms are costly, particularly when updates and upgrades are required. 
  • Limited Audience: Developing an app for a single platform can limit the potential audience for your app, while development for each platform separately will take about twice more time. 

If you prioritize one of these factors, the cross-platform approach will win in the native vs cross-platform app development competition.

What Is Cross-Platform Mobile Development 

Cross-platform app development means the creation of a single mobile app that works for multiple platforms. To build such apps, developers apply web-based technologies to create a shared codebase and add their pieces of native-like code.

The most famous examples of cross-functional apps are Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Tesla, and Skype. 

Cross-Platform Mobile App Development with S-PRO

Would you like to employ a сross-platform app? S-PRO can handle it. We can build from scratch or improve the existing one.

For instance, our company has built Crypto Wallet, a DeFi app for storing and trading crypto. In just five months, we developed and launched an app for iOS and Android that has attracted 10,000 users. 

The Crypto wallet app allows the creation of personal wallets for investments, trading, and transferring funds. It supports more than ten crypto coins. We implemented phone contact book integration and QR-code payments for quick crypto transfers.

Pros Of Cross-Platform Development 

Cross-platform apps use a shared codebase for multiple platforms. Here are some pros of  this approach in native vs cross-platform app development comparison:

  • Cost Efficiency: creating one cross-platform app is cheaper and requires fewer development hours than creating separate apps for each platform.
  • Wider Audience: you can reach a wider audience as the app can be used across different platforms, not excluding users of a specific operating system.
  • Easy Maintenance: it is easier to update and maintain a cross-platform application because developers need to make changes in only one place. Right after release, Android and iOS users can get the updated version of your app.  
  • Rapid Development: your team needs to write front-end and back-end code only once. You can bridge fragments of native-like code into a shared codebase to cover unique platform features.

Cons Of Cross-Platform App Development 

Here are some potential drawbacks of cross-platform app development:

  • Reduced Performance: cross-platform apps may not be as performant as native apps. Bridging cross-platform and native-like code adds extra complexity, which causes such an app to run slower.
  • Functionality Loss: having a single codebase works for most features. However, modifying the code to suit each platform can result in the loss of some functionality. 
  • Design Limitations: cross-platform development may have limitations in design, which can result in apps providing a different user experience than users are typically accustomed to.

Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development: What to Choose in 2023? 

When choosing between cross-platform app development vs native app development in 2023, you need to consider factors such as app complexity and development time and cost. 

Native apps can give you better performance and a smoother user experience by involving smartphone cameras, sensors, and other built-in features. However, they might take more time and money to develop.

Cross-platform apps are a great fit when your goal is to save time and money. They may have limitations in design and functionality, but these are not crucial. 

To sum up, your choice will depend on your project's specific needs and objectives. 

Summary: Native vs Cross-Platform App Development - Final Choice

Native vs cross-platform app development is a decision that requires careful consideration. In this article, we compared those approaches and provided a brief overview, explaining their pros and cons. The factors to consider are development time, cost, user experience, and target audience. 

Have an idea for a mobile app in mind? Reach out to S-PRO, our experts will help you to make the right choice and develop a successful mobile application to nail your business goals.


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