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Cross-Platform Development vs. Native Development: Pros and Cons

pros and cons . 

When it comes to the development of mobile apps, the most common types of development methods are cross-platform and native development. As a mobile app development company in UAE, we are well aware of the pros and cons of both types of development. Through the blog ‘Cross-Platform Development vs. Native Development: Pros and Cons’ we will help you understand both the types of developments as well as their pros and cons. 

What is Cross-Platform Development?

Cross-platform development is highly beneficial for app creators! It's a method where developers can build applications that work on multiple operating systems, like iOS, Android, and even the web, using a single codebase. Imagine building your app just once and then waving it across different devices, reaching a wider audience with less effort. Have you ever wondered how apps like Instagram or Airbnb seamlessly run on both your iPhone and your friend's Android phone? That's the power of cross-platform development! By writing code once using frameworks like React Native or Flutter, developers can create apps that look and feel native to each platform, without having to start from scratch for each one. For instance, the popular meditation app Headspace was built using React Native, allowing it to maintain a consistent user experience across iOS and Android devices. So, if you are thinking of building an app and want to reach as many users as possible without doubling your workload, cross-platform development might just be the magic spell you need! 

What is Native Development?

Native development is like creating a unique suit for each platform. It is the traditional approach where developers create separate versions of an app for each operating system, such as iOS and Android, using the specific programming languages and tools recommended by each platform. Have you ever noticed how some apps on your iPhone feel like they belong there, while others seem a bit out of place? That is the magic of native development! By utilizing languages like Swift for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android, developers can harness the full power of each platform's capabilities, resulting in apps that are optimized for performance, responsiveness, and user experience. Take the Starbucks app, for example. It's a shining example of native development, smoothly integrating with iOS features like Apple Pay and Android functionalities like Google Maps integration. So, if you are aiming for top-notch performance and want your app to feel right at home on every device, native development is the way to go! 

Major Pros and Cons of Cross-Platform Development

A mobile app developer in Dubai must be aware of the major pros and cons of cross-platform development so that you can use it in the right scenarios. 


Consistent User Experience: With tools like React Native and Flutter, developers ensure apps look and feel the same across different platforms. Some notable examples include Facebook and Instagram which maintain consistency no matter the device.

Less Time: Writing code once for multiple platforms speeds up development. Trello leveraged this advantage, launching on iOS, Android, and the web swiftly.

Broader Audience: By targeting iOS, Android, and the web with one app, developers reach a wider user base. Spotify and Netflix have this approach that captures the attention of the audiences across various platforms.

Code Reusability: Cross-platform development allows code to be reused across different platforms. Monument Valley utilized this to deliver stunning visuals and engaging gameplay across iOS and Android.

Lower Costs: Building one app instead of separate ones significantly reduces development costs. Famous Apps like Airbnb and Uber adopted this strategy to maximize ROI while minimizing expenses.


Require Complex Coding: Developing for multiple platforms simultaneously can introduce complexity. This requires developers to understand the intricacies of code implementation.

Performance Issues: Cross-platform apps may experience performance drawbacks compared to native counterparts, particularly for resource-intensive tasks.

Upgrading May not be Easy: Updating cross-platform apps to accommodate changes in operating systems or device capabilities can be challenging and may require significant redevelopment.

The complexity of Maintenance: Maintaining a single codebase for multiple platforms can become complex as the app evolves, which leads to maintenance challenges and increased workload for developers.

Dependency on Third-Party Tools: Cross-platform development often relies on third-party frameworks and libraries, introducing dependencies and potential compatibility issues that developers must manage.

Major Pros and Cons of Native Development

On the other hand, here arrives native development with its pros and cons. 


Top Performance: Native apps are optimized for peak performance on their respective platforms. This delivers faster response times and smoother animations as well.

Better User Experience: By adhering to platform-specific design guidelines and standards, native apps provide users with a smooth and intuitive experience that feels natural and familiar.

Higher Security Standards: Native apps benefit from platform-specific security features and protocols which ensures enhanced protection against security threats and vulnerabilities, which is crucial for apps handling sensitive user data.

More Visual Appeal: With access to platform-specific design elements and animations, native apps have the potential to offer more visually stunning and engaging user interfaces.

Receive Faster Updates: Native apps typically receive updates faster than their cross-platform counterparts, as developers can push updates directly through the respective app stores without waiting for compatibility checks across multiple platforms.


Higher Development Costs: Building separate versions of an app for each platform requires more time, resources, and specialized expertise. This results in higher development costs compared to cross-platform development.

Longer Development Time: Developing native apps for multiple platforms involves writing separate codebases. This can take longer development cycles and gradually delay time-to-market.

Limited Audience Reach: Releasing separate versions of an app for each platform may limit its audience reach, as users on other platforms may not have access to the app.

Platform Fragmentation: Managing multiple codebases for different platforms can lead to platform fragmentation. This makes it challenging to maintain consistency across versions and ensure timely updates.

Skills and Expertise Requirements: Native development requires proficiency in platform-specific programming languages and tools, necessitating specialized skills and expertise that may not be readily available.

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