Native vs. Cross-Platform Development

Native vs. Cross-Platform Development

Choosing Between Native vs Cross-Platform Development 

Choosing the right strategy to match ROI requirements is essential when deciding to build a mobile app. Your budget might seem tight and you might be thinking of saving some costs by choosing cross-platform development, but depending on the type of business that you want to launch through an app, we strongly recommend native development. The extra cost difference is smaller than you think and it will be totally worth it, especially if you’re planning to develop a music app focused on sound. Let’s find out together more:

App structure

The 3 layers that incorporate all the functionalities within any application are:

- the data layer (holds the database)

- the middle layer (holds the business logic and algorithms) 

- the user interface (UI) layer (what the user sees on the screen). 

There will be only one coding for the data layer and the middle layer, as they can be shared between platforms, so going native or cross-platform is a decision that only affects the user interface layer. When the UI code base for a new app is written twice – in Objective C/Swift for iOS and then in Java/Kotlin for Android, it becomes Native App development. When that code base is written only once with a cross-platform tool serving for both iOS and Android, it becomes Cross-Platform development.

Some people might be often misled by thinking that cross-platform development could save them 50% on the project’s costs, but we believe that now we clarified this information and proved that only 1 level of the 3 described above will be influenced.

UI/UX Design and Development

We will use the software development kit (SDK) of the platform when we’re designing a native app. We’re allowed to optimize the app’s UI/UX for that specific platform by the SDKs who have different built in controls & tools. We will use the UI controls from the tool we are building with when we’re designing a cross-platform app. The cross-platform app might not operate just like the native one, even though it may look the same on both platforms. This can determine a frustration among users who had their reason when they chose a platform for their needs. The new cross-platform development tools offer a very close UX to the native development.


Here comes the interesting part about hardware. As we all know, iPhones and Android phones have distinctly different designs. On some iPhones (SE, 8, 8 Plus and the older models) we have the home button or no button at all on the newer devices starting from iPhone X. Most of the Android phones that people use still have multiple buttons on the hardware. This is a different experience for the users when they navigate through apps. 

Navigation icons on the screen included in the UI will be expected by the iPhone users, while the Android users will certainly expect the buttons on their phones to actually work. Users shouldn’t be confused by code dropped in the app that doesn’t work intuitively on the UI, so we’ll have to write three separate sections for situations like these in the cross-platform language, which in our case is Flutter & React Native, while for the native development is Swift & Kotlin. 

Tools for hardware integrations are included in the SDKs, while the majority of cross-platform tools fail to integrate with native hardware features like geospheres, cameras, geofences and more. If the app we develop has sophisticated features that need hardware integration, and the majority of custom software development projects really do, we’ll need to code separately in each of the three languages. So for now, your cost saving predictions from choosing cross-platform are diminishing.

HyperSense Software’s 3 Essentials

We always keep in mind 3 essential characteristics during the software development process: scalability, security, and maintainability. In order to minimize future risks, these 3 key characteristics have to work together, offering the digital products we create a long term protection. 

App Security

For the app’s security, we take into consideration more of the app’s life assurance, because sometimes the tool used to develop a cross platform app goes out of business or starts lacking support for that particular platform, and less about the impenetrability towards hacking, even though this is crucial and doesn’t lose its focus in the development process. Codes from cross-platform tools can’t be copied to native platforms, they have to be written again, as we don’t risk something so time-consuming and costly.‍

App Scalability

Scalability means both the constant growth of the user databases and the growth of the app’s features. We have far more resources available besides going to an expensive shop to help us scale, if we build a native app. At the same time, cross platform tools have a tendency to come and go, so it becomes difficult to find a developer fluent in a particular cross-platform tool. App developers have built their careers on either iOS or Android, and they can only play in many different cross platform tools. It’s easier to find a developer that can build a native app, while the competition helps costs be kept reasonable. Also, the developer can take advantage of features that come included in the SDKs for iOS and Android, so this helps in the scaling process.

App Maintainability

Maintainability means upkeeping the code in the short & long run. If we build your app with a cross platform tool, especially a new one that might be a little too obscure, you may be tied to keeping your app updated and running. Only a few developers worldwide can help build apps with these kinds of tools. We might find it expensive to have a custom software shop to maintain the app and this option is less likely to be chosen than having a developer from the team that is able to handle the maintenance for your app.‍

Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

We’re keen on delivering top applications to our clients, always built to their particular specifications, providing ROI easier. We think that native development is the best path that gets you to reach your company’s goals. If you find yourself in the situation of thinking that the cost might still be inhibiting you, take into consideration that even the entrepreneurs with limited resources will aim for the native development looking for the long run of their business. Of course, in some situations they might need to prove their concept in order to convince some investors, but this is the best part: they can have a minimum viable product (MVP) built by us, instead of a complete app.

The MVP will help them present their vision to the investors and stimulate in a better way the funding of the project. They can also use the MVP, having only the main features, to measure consumer interest. This will guide regarding the additional features that need to be added. The MVP offers tons of flexibility when building around consumer driven insights and advanced analytics, which are essential when building a successful app.

The choice

To conclude, you will certainly need to choose the best method that works for your project. We’ll tell you this: native apps, built as MVPs or fully completed, show superior adaptability and are with no doubt the safer choice. 

If your app idea:

  • Will need to run in the background
  • Will need background app refresh
  • Will use battery intensively for location tracking
  • Will need intensive processing by the nature of the app

Then we recommend you choose native development for succeeding with your goal. 

So if you’re interested in starting your own project, we are here to help you see it come true. Contact us to find out more about what we do and how we can help you!