Native vs. Cross-platform vs. Hybrid Mobile App Development

It’s no secret that the world has gone mobile. We’re living in an era where our smartphones are within an arm’s reach at all times, day or night. From small business apps to ecommerce apps, fitness apps, internal employee communication apps, religious apps, and more—there’s an app for anything you can imagine.

Mobile app development is always a top priority for businesses but  it’s often difficult to choose a development approach as the lines between the various options are becoming increasingly blurred. In other words, should a business build its mobile app with native, hybrid, or cross-platform development strategy? Choosing one or the other will have long-term implications in terms of cost, time, efficiency, and functionality.

What is Native App Development?

It is the process of building an app exclusively for one of the main app platforms like Android and iOS. You have dedicated tools to build native apps for respective operating systems. If you intend to build an application for iOS, app developers will use programming languages Objective-C or Swift. In contrast, developing for Android calls for the programming languages – java or Kotlin.

What is Hybrid App Development?

Creating a hybrid mobile app means to build an integrated web and mobile solution wherein the core solution resides in a web format within a native mobile app platform. The core of the application is written using web languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and these are encapsulated within the native application with the help of plugins. Through the use of plugins,  these applications can have full access to the mobile device’s features.

What is Cross-Platform App Development?

Cross-platform development points to the process of creating an app that works on different OS platforms. It brings together a single code that can be reused across platforms and reduces development effort and costs considerably. This is done by using tools like React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter, where the apps created can be deployed on both Android and iOS.

Comparison of Native vs. Hybrid vs. Cross-Platform App Development


Native Hybrid Cross-platform
Cost of development High Less Less
Development time High Less High
Performance High Medium to High Medium to High
Security High Less Less
UX/UI and customization High Medium to High Medium to High
Web technologies Java and Kotlin for Android

Swift and Objective C for iOS

HTML, Javascript, and CSS Javascript that can be pulled later through React Native
Development tools and Library support Xcode, AppCode and Android studio Ionic, Apache Cordova and Visual Studiothat React Native, Flutter and Xamarin
Code reuse No Yes Yes

How and What to Choose for Your Business?

It is hard to pick a winner. Based on the merits of each element, you can decide which strategy provides the best ROI on some important app development paradigms that every business would be interested in.

You Should Choose Native Development If:

  • Your application requires phone resources and services
  • You want to build the most responsive application
  • You are looking to take full responsibility of the mobile phone’s hardware
  • You want an app which can be easily updated and enhanced in near future

You Should Choose Hybrid Development if:

  • Your application development requires extra framework-based support to deliver more features at scale and still it may face restrictions
  • Your app development require extensive support from libraries and frameworks

You Should Choose Cross-Platform Development if

  • You are ready with a less responsive app
  • Your application do not involve any complex animation and hypothesis in the app market
  • You have a short window to test an idea and hypothesis in the app market

Summing Up

Once you have fixed your option for your business, choose the platform that best supports the key pillar. Still doubtful about choosing native or cross-platform development? Get professional advice from our team. Our dedicated team of consultants combining the right mix of technology, agility, engineering, and design craft high-impact strategies and roadmap to help you achieve  success.