Regarding application development, a common discussion that tends to come up between companies and clients is whether the apps should be developed as native or with cross platform. Generally clients want to develop apps in one coding language or domain for all platforms to optimize time and money, for both the software engineers and company. 
Most companies have large software team consisting of engineers, highly experienced in developing native apps for IOS, Android, and Windows.
 Many of these software companies also know that cross platform is not always the best choice for developing mobile apps because they do not provide as good of service. Towards the end of development, each cross platform works with a native compiler to make a separate build.

Based on my personal experience with developing apps and collecting research from various blogs, I have come up with a pros and cons list for both.

[See Also: The Rise of MEAN for Application Development]

Native App Development


  • 100% hardware support and fulfills all feasible requirement into a functional reality

  • Native language support available

  • App developers are more experienced and efficient

  • More flexibility

  • Implementation and modification is more feasible

  • More fragmented in use and integration

  • New Features announced are easily accessible

  • Faster development

  • Developers are more familiar with UI and components

  • Native apps get full support from the App Store

  • QA testing and performance optimization easily done

  • Good support for social app integration, like FB, Twitter, G+, LinkedIn, etc.


  • Need to upgrade apps often for the latest OS and features

  • Takes more time and resources to develop apps in multiple native platforms for a product

Cross Platform App Development


  • Uniform look and feel

  • Use of known technologies

  • General scripting language used

  • Reusable across different platforms

  • Update once and sync all

  • Greater reach and more platform cover

  • List based application can be speedily implemented

  • Report based application looks more attractive

  • Web and mobile view look similar

  • Reduces development cost


  • Requirements may not be fulfilled into functional reality

  • Different tools and languages used throughout, such as Xamarin, Phonegap, Titanium, Grapple, Open plug, Corona, Unity etc.

  • Limited compatibility with different platforms

  • User interaction lowered since app is built to be suitable for all platforms and runs slower

  • Loss of flexibility overall since each platform has its own flexibility

  • Less accessibility of hardware is available, like camera, GPS, and push notifications

  • Hard to find a vastly experienced developer in this platform

  • Except for gaming, developers do not prefer it

  • Difficult to test on actual devices

  • Not much information available for developers

  • Optimization for the particular platform is usually tough

  • Generally companies avoid to implement cross platform anyway

[See Also: The Historic Introduction of SWIFT for App Developers]

Most of cross platform is built using the developer’s own subset of javascript. This means that if you want to switch to another platform, the written code is not easily reusable, requiring more work. For native apps, you can change and enhance code without much work, if needed. Just from looking at the pro and cons list, it is straightforward that cross platform app development has more cons. It should now make sense why the most successful and well-known applications in any platform tend to be made in native.

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This article was authored by Sitanshu Joshi, who is a Senior Software Engineer at Zymr.


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