Native or Cross-Platform App: Which should you choose? | KISS digital


Native or Cross-Platform App: Which should you choose?

Native app or cross-platform

From the user standpoint, the mobile app should provide a solution to the specific problem accompanied by good user experience. The creators want to achieve business goals and generate ROI. All of these things depend greatly on technology used when developing an app.

Thank you for coming. We're going to make some history together today.

Steve Jobs announcing the first iPhone at 2007

And he was right, again. Apple has changed mobile phones forever. The first iPhone laid strong foundations for a bright future of smartphones. It allowed people to keep all of the functionality of Computers and Music Players in their own pockets. Nowadays, it's hard to think about how life will look like without mobile phones. We use them to order food, clothes, pay our bills, browse news, watch movies, some of us even try to find a relationship through them. We can install any app we want and do whatever we imagine with it. But what about developing those apps?

Choosing the right company to develop your mobile app is a crucial thing. However, that decision is only halfway to the final success of your idea. Equally important is to decide on the right development method, tools, and frameworks, which suit your needs the most. Nowadays, we have distinct types of applications:

It's easy to get lost during looking for a perfect one for your idea. That's why in this article I want to focus on the two most exciting and most popular types nowadays. Ladies and Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the world of native and cross-platform apps.

Native App Development

When we talk about native apps, we talk about apps, which are developed exclusively for a single platform - Android or iOS. During that process, we use a specific programming language. Each operating system has its own languages for development. The android platform uses Java and Kotlin. On the other hand, to create an app for iOS, you need to know Swift or Objective-C. Native apps give developers direct access to the device's hardware. Thanks to that, your app can maintain the usage of components like a smartphone's camera, GPS, microphone, and many more in a more efficient way. We have to remember that the quality of the mobile app increases simultaneously with the performance of it.

Moreover, native app development guarantees user experience (UX) and user interface tailor-made to each platform. It's influential on deciding which type of app we should choose, as often users claim that the iOS platform has a better design and more straightforward functionality. On the other hand, Android gives possibilities to personalize and configure your smartphone in a more extensive way than products from Apple company. What's more, if something is possible to implement on Android, it's not 100% sure that you could implement the same feature on iOS (impossibility to communicate with another App - as Apple architecture assumes that each of it has its own "Sandbox"). That differences could convince you to develop two distinct Apps, one for each platform.

Finally, deciding on the native app ensures that all layouts will be displayed properly (as each platform has uncommon design guidelines) and reduce the demand to use external libraries and frameworks. Independence from open-source libraries and frameworks causes better control of the whole app behaviors.

Cross-Platform App Development

Native apps are outstanding, but necessity is the mother of invention. Sometimes developing apps for both platforms seemed overpriced, principally when functionality was undemanding. That's the reason why cross-platform apps have gained popularity in the first place. But what is cross-platform development? Imagine having one codebase and running that on several different platforms. Sounds perfect, am I right? Cross-Platform development depends on using frameworks like Flutter, React Native, Xamarin, etc. Each of them uses a different programming language. For example, Flutter works with Dart, and React Native operates with TypeScript or JavaScript. It produces the need for mobile developers to know another technology.

Shorter development time is for sure colossal upside of cross-platform development. For business owners, less time equals less money spent on creating a product. Besides, reaching as many users as possible and monetization strategy are essential to a new product. Thanks to effortless access to users of both Android and iOS platforms, it will be uncomplicated.

Furthermore, updates synchronization is exceptional comparing to native apps, where we have to make the same changes in both apps source codes. We can perform changes on both platforms concurrently, without any complications. In that way, the cost of updating our product will be cut-priced. However, among other technologies, cross-platform Development is a double-edged sword, and we have to remember it. Those all benefits come at the cost of performance, security, troublesome access to hardware, or losing full control of our app behaviors.

Let's challenge them both!


That will be as easy as pie to win for native apps as they are made specifically for a given platform. cross-platform solutions could encounter many issues due to problematic access to device’s hardware.

Native 1:0 Cross-Platform

Development Time

We don't have to develop two separate codebases for both platforms using a cross-platform solution. Thanks to that, time complexity will be lower than during the native development process.

Native 1:1 Cross-Platform


Each platform is tailor-made to manage one given kind of device completely. It means that both iOS and Android have different design guidelines and distinctive design patterns, which we can apply to the App. That results in the advantage of Native Apps.

Native 2:1 Cross-Platform

Development Cost

Less time = less money spent. It's easy. That's why developing one codebase or updating App for both platforms can be obtained at a lower cost using Cross-Platform App.

Native 2:2 Cross-Platform

Security and Safety

As Cross-Platform solutions depend on open-source libraries and frameworks in a broader way than Native ones, it could cause loss of control on our App. If the team, which provides a library or framework used by our App will stop supporting that resource, then our product could encounter some issues. Security is also worse, as we use code from other developers in our codebase. We have to be careful about that.

Native 3:2 Cross-Platform

Range of users

Taking into account that we have the same funds for Native and Cross-Platform Development, we could access a wider range of users using the second one. That's because in Cross-Platform we can develop one App and gain passage to both Android and iOS users.

Native 3:3 Cross-Platform

So, which should you choose?

We don't want to give you the answer on a silver platter. The perfect choice depends on different aspects, which are important to you. If performance, security, access to the hardware is crucial for you then you should go with the native one. If more important to you is to save money and time, then cross-platform is the right solution. But remember, if we talk about mobile apps placing money above the quality is not always the best choice.

If you have an idea for a mobile app and you want to develop a product with an excellent user experience, beautiful design and outstanding performance, just contact us!

We will be glad to help you change the world with your idea :)

Thank you for reading!

Jędrzej Chołuj