The Difference Between Native and Cross-Platform Development of Mobile Applications

independent-developerDuring native development of mobile applications, devs use original programming languages and tools of a mobile operating system. Development of IOS applications is done in integrated OS X and IOS Xcode environment, using Objective-C, Swift, C and С++ programming languages. For Android development, the Android Studio and Java programming languages are used. The development environment is a technically complex of tools, created for most comfortable coding, interface design, debug, monitoring and setting up of the application.

What is cross-platform development?

In cross-platform development the special tools (Unity, PhoneGap, Xamarin) are used. The allow to create applications for several operating systems. Frames and logic of such applications are created in a cross-platform tool, and then the code is integrated into XCode and Android Studio project.

The advantages of cross-platform development.

  1. Budget reduce – use of one technology and the same design for both versions reduce the time spent and as a result has low cost.
  2.  Development time – the absence of unique interface elements and one technology platform reduce the time for the development.
  3. Support and product updates – adding new functions and bug fixing are made for all platforms.
  4. Mobile versions of websites – the majority of cross-platform solutions allow to generate the mobile version of a website through the application.

Application united logic – logic of the application will work the same on all existing platforms. Well written and set up logic potential contains fewer bugs and odds in its work.

Disadvantages of cross-platform development.

  1. Low speed of the application.
  2. The unique platform features are not used
  3. The usability of application is lower since it has unaccustomed for user interface

The advantages of native development.

  1. The speed of application – compiled application code is optimized for the native platform. The application receives full device hardware support and use multi-stream of complicated tasks. During the development, programmers can measure a speed of work of all code parts and if needed to optimize them.
  2. The flexibility of realization – native development uses all capabilities of a mobile operation system.
  3. New software and hardware – can be included right after OS updates.
  4. The simplicity of testing – developers and testers have a number of tools and technologies. All application system parameters controlled automatically, for example, application began to use more memory and resources. In native development, there is a wide set of tools for automated testing for any application method, for example, if the app part stops working properly after the code change new version won’t be set up and the developer will be able to find why fast. For the native application, the functions of remote error monitoring exist, and the developer will be able to find the reason of this error on the user’s device.
  5. The applications support. App Store and Google Play have high requirements for in-store applications. They are interested in user to receive a positive experience. For example, if the device screen has a high resolution and the picture became fuzzy, AppStore won’t allow you to publish such an app. The cross-platform application will never become featured (excluding game applications).


Native development has more pros than cross-platform. However, sometimes it is good to use cross-platform solution in gaming and for test projects. Modern games are created using cross-platform technologies, the use of special graphic frameworks like Unity 3D significantly speeds up these projects without quality loss.
For not gaming projects, which requires long-term development and updates the better choice is native development.


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