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The Differences Between Native and Cross Platform Applications

Native applications are apps built for a specific mobile device. These apps are usually acquired through a device’s app store or marketplace. Native apps can easily access all services and features on your device and operation system. They include your device’s GPS, camera, battery CPU and local database.

Cross platform applications are built in HTML, CSS and JavaScript and are meant to be compatible with multiple platforms. After writing the application’s code, it can be deployed on different devices using tools such as PhoneGap, NativeScript and Titanium: Appcelerator or Xamarin.

Pros and Cons of Native Applications


  • Better user interface
  • High performance and speed
  • Availability of many quality control tools, which speeds up the testing process and makes it more convenient
  • High level of integration with the platform. The development is carried out using technologies recommended by an operating system’s developers
  • Developers are more familiar with UI and components


  • Development time
  • Development cost
  • Requires separate development for each platform
  • You will need to monitor applications for both platforms, which requires more time and resources for technical support

Pros and Cons of Cross Platform Applications


  • High launching speed and reduced costs for updates
  • Easy and fast deployment
  • Low cost and timesaving (write once, run anywhere)
  • Greater reach and covers more platforms
  • Web and mobile view appear very similar


  • Difficult to test on actual devices
  • Optimization is usually hard for any platform
  • Less accessibility of hardware, like camera, GPS and push notifications
  • Limited access to phone’s native APIs
  • An application built following the Android Human Interface Guidelines may be difficult for iOS users to navigate and vice versa

After comparing native versus cross platform applications development strategies, you may believe that the native platform application approach is the best choice. Native apps seem to be far superior in terms of efficiency and user experience. Let’s not forget that the decision depends on your application, cross platform is also favored for B2B applications, where delivery time is of the utmost importance. Most small businesses often opt for a cross platform due to their budget. Nevertheless, sacrificing efficiency and user experience for savings is often counter-productive. Your decision is dependent on many factors and it is important to analyze these and make a strategic decision accordingly.