Differences between native mobile and cross-platform applications

3 min reading
18 November 2016
Differences between native mobile and cross-platform applications
Differences between native mobile and cross-platform applications


The development of mobile apps has undergone some major changes in recent times. Not only because of the approach for implementing this type of projects, in most cases characterized by the huge fragmentation of platforms and devices, but also because of the way the features of mobile apps are leading to other scenarios that were unimaginable a few years ago. This is the case, for example, of Progressive Web Apps, a technology that incorporates the benefits of native apps into the traditional world of Web.

In the specific case of the launch of mobile apps, development teams are beginning to incorporate the design of cross-platform applications, assisted on many occasions by third-party solutions and platforms that have gained experience and defined stable products. Cross-platform applications are those with the same design and the same development, but for different platforms at the same time, whether iOS, Android or Windows Phone. The idea is to reduce costs by saving effort. It is no longer necessary to have an iOS developer and another one for Android: having a single professional experienced in cross-platforms is enough to launch an MVP.

This type of tools for developing cross-platform or multi-platform applications address a trend increasingly used by companies called RAD (Rapid Application Development). Some of these solutions are PhoneGap, Titanium Appcelerator, Xamarin or Corona, to give some examples.

Differences between native and cross-platform applications

Today there are differences between native applications and cross-platform applications that lead some companies to choose some solutions and not others. This decision depends, for example, on the features that are to be incorporated into the application and the business goals:

Native applications:

Cross-platform applications:

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