Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development – Which One Should You Learn?

Native vs. Cross-Platform App Development – Which One Should You Learn?

October 14, 2022

7 minutes read

According to statistics, about 88% of mobile time is spent using various apps. These mobile apps are expected to generate a revenue of about $935 billion by 2023. Mobile applications have become an integral part of our life, with us using these apps to get different jobs done. So the question is, how’re these apps being developed?

These iOS and Android apps that are downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple store are developed using different development technologies like Native, hybrid, or cross-platform. Building a career in mobile app development can prove to be growth-focused as the demand for new and innovative apps continues to grow. According to recruiters and IT managers, the demand for mobile developers far exceeds the supply at the moment. This career also has great pay as an average mobile developer earns about $107,304 annually. Today, we will compare Native vs. Cross-Platform app development and discuss which one you should learn.

Native vs. Cross-platform App Development

As of 2022, about 1.85 million apps are available in the iOS app store and about 2.56 million in the Google PlayStore. All these apps are developed using native or cross-platform technology. Here we will be comparing Native vs. Cross-platform app development and looking at the pros and cons of both tech stacks to decide which one is ideal for learning.

Native App Development

Native app development can easily be described as the process of building an application for a particular platform. Unlike cross-platform, native apps can only be deployed across other platforms by using a platform-focused development process. In native development, developers write the code from scratch using programming languages supported by each platform.


Here is a list of advantages of using native app development technology.

  1. Native technologies give better app performance as they run, load, and execute faster and offer a better user experience.
  2. Native apps tend to be more secure than cross-platform or hybrid apps.
  3. Native frameworks have extensive support available, like libraries and more.


Native apps also have their fair share of cons. Here is a list of some disadvantages.

  1. These apps are more costly because of no code reusability. Due to this, specialized language expertise is required for each platform, and companies have to hire different developers for different platforms.
  2. Native apps are also time-consuming due to the same reason.
  3. Native apps require extensive and expensive maintenance and support. It costs $250 to $500 for monthly maintenance for a native app due to no code reusability.

Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-platform app development can be described as the process of building a mobile app that can be deployed across several platforms based on a single source code. Cross-platform development works on the principle of WORA (Write Once, Run Anywhere), which enables the developers to write the code once and then run those apps on iOS and Android platforms without changing the code. Cross-platform is rapidly becoming a widely used technology as, according to Statista, roughly one-third of the developers are using cross-platform technology for app development.


Here is a list of advantages of using cross-platform app development.

  1. Code reusability between Android and iOS apps.
  2. Cross-platform is a faster development process, and it is cheaper.
  3. UI/UX consistency across platforms


Here is a list of the disadvantages of using this platform for app development.

  1. Cross-platform apps are slower and have low code performance than native apps.
  2. Adapting the same code to each platform can affect the functionality.
  3. Updates and new features are not released rapidly, and you have to wait for new features.

Tech Stacks for Native App Development

Here is a list of some popular tech stacks for Native app development technologies.

Android Tech Stack

1. Kotlin

Kotlin is a popular programming language considered an ideal option for native mobile app development. Kotlin has a simple syntax that makes it easy to use. It’s time-efficient, faster to compile than the Java code, and easier to debug. This language is entirely compatible with Java as well. However, a major con of this option is that it does not provide the same level of functionality as some of the other programming languages. Pinterest, Trello, Uber, and Tinder are popular apps that were created using Kotlin.

2. Java

Java is another powerful alternative for developing android apps and is a popular programming language. This language has numerous benefits, as Java has an extensive community, numerous libraries, and ready-made modules. Java offers better support than Kotlin but isn’t as fast as some other programming languages on this list. Spotify, Twitter, Opera Mini, and CashApp are famous applications that were created using Java.

iOS Tech Stack

3. Swift

Swift is a highly recommended option if you want to create a fully native iOS app. This programming language offers fast execution, excellent performance, as well as easy integration with UIKit (special mobile programs that aid in the app development process). Swift is an easy programming language to learn due to its simple syntax, which enables rapid development. The only drawback of using this language is that it has poor interoperability with third-party tools. Khan Academy, LinkedIn, Slack, and Whatsapp were developed by using Swift.

4. Objective-C

Objective-C is a widely-used programming language that enables developers to build iOS apps. It has been in use for almost 30 years and has dynamic typing, which enhances flexibility in class usage and does not require typecasting of every written code. Objective-C is known for its stability. The language also has some drawbacks as users have come across security issues, it offers less flexibility as code has to be written differently for various platforms, and it has a steep learning curve as it is unconventional at times and also presents problems like block syntax.  Uber, Omni Group, and Panic use Objective-C as their preferred language.

Frameworks for Cross-Platform Apps

Here is a list of some well-known Cross-Platform app development frameworks.

1. React Native

React Native was launched by Facebook in 2015 and is a framework built on JavaScript. This framework is used to write real code and enables developers to create hybrid and cross-platform apps. It is an open-source, cross-platform app framework that requires one-time coding for developing apps for different platforms like Android and iOS. However, this platform is not strictly cross-platform and is more of a hybrid solution. React Native has numerous benefits as it provides an instant preview for fast development, enables apps to use native features like cameras, focuses on UI, creates responsive interfaces on React, and more. Facebook, Walmart, and Instagram are popular React Native apps.

2. Flutter

Flutter is another cross-platform app development framework that Google introduced in 2017. This framework was designed to assist in developing android and iOS apps and is also the primary method of developing Google Fuschia Apps. Flutter promotes portable GPU, which renders UI power, enabling it to work on the latest interfaces. This framework has an in-built graphic engine, seamless animation, SDK, 2-D app support, flexible UI, and also supports stock platform app development (building a trading platform for the stock market). Flutter is an ideal choice when creating MVP (Minimum Viable Product) due to its cost-efficiency and flexibility. Some well-known Flutter apps are Reflectly, GoogleAds, and Alibaba.

3. Xamarin

Xamarin is a cross-platform framework that is used to develop apps for Android, Windows, and iOS using C# and .Net instead of JavaScript. Xamarin allows users to reuse many third-party codebases encrypted in Java, C++, and Objective-C. It is a robust platform that integrates easily with Visual Studio and has a solid user base of about 60,000. Xamarin has flaws as it is not an ideal choice for graphic-heavy app development, has limited libraries, is expensive for enterprise users, and is free for individuals. Storyo, Captio, and World Bank are some popular apps built using this platform.

4. NativeScript

NativeScript is a free cross-platform framework based on JavaScript. This framework renders an accessible and platform-native UI and provides developers with complete web resources that come loaded with numerous plugins. The framework has access to the entire native API, is backed up by Google, has VS code integration, and has excellent data visualization. Daily Nanny and Strudel are well-known apps created using the NativeScript framework.


Now that we have compared both app development technologies, the question arises, which one is right for you? Is Native better than cross-platform, or will cross-platform replace native apps in the future?

Well, both the development technologies have their strong and weak points. By choosing native development technology, you can develop an app with excellent speed and performance, better security, platform-specific UI, and more responsiveness. Native technology is best suited for mission-critical apps.

On the other hand, Cross-platform apps are cost-efficient, time-saving, enable code-reusability, have consistency in UI, and are lighter apps that aren’t CPU or GPU-intensive. Different enterprises and businesses widely use cross-platform frameworks due to their numerous advantages as they are an ideal approach for businesses of any size looking to prototype their ideas.

So Cross-platform might not be replacing native app development soon, but cross-platform is getting more dominant with companies opting for them due to its cost and time efficiency. Our recommendation for you is to opt for learning cross-platform app development as most companies are now looking for app developers with expertise in cross-platform frameworks.

At Consulnet Corporation, we offer a variety of courses, and you can look here to see which ones interest you. We also train our students using the Flutter framework and are looking to expand our portfolio. We hope you enjoyed this blog and it was helpful for you. Feel free to contact us if you have any queries.