240 billion. That is the number of mobile app downloads by consumers within the past few years. This roughly translates to over 318 billion U.S. dollars made for businesses. And these numbers are only trending upward. 

So it’s safe to say that the app market is exceptionally hot. It’s great news for entrepreneurs is the industry brings with it tons of potential.

However, businesses are quickly pumping out apps to meet the increasing demand. In fact, at the end of 2022, Google Play had three and a half million apps, and the Apple App Store had 2.22 million apps.

But an important decision that entrepreneurs must consider: which platform do you want your app to be on? Answering this question is crucial as it determines how much effort and money you’re willing to invest in developing an app. We’ll break down all of your options along with their pros and cons.

What Is a Native App?

Think of native apps as something that is developed for platforms such as iOS or Android

These apps are built based on the targeted platform’s programming language or development environment. What’s neat is that they typically offer more features in comparison to cross-platform apps. The way to download them is through an application store like Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

The key thing to note about native apps is that they can only be installed on the device it was specifically made for. Meaning that they cannot be installed on other devices. Say we download an app made for iPhone. We won’t be able to download the same app on a different platform (e.g. desktop) because it wasn’t programmed to do so – which can be a drawback.

However, the native nature of the app allows it to take advantage of popular features such as: 

  • Device hardware (e.g., camera, microphone)
  • Access to device functions (e.g., location services, Bluetooth)
  • and more

Pros and cons

Native apps have many advantages over web-based applications. 

They’re easy to update and conveniently accessible to users. User experience is often great because they’re fully optimized for the specific device or operating system (OS). In addition, native apps are built with an operating system’s API, allowing them to take advantage of features unavailable in a web browser.


  • Easy to update. Developers only have to focus on one platform – allowing them to solve issues quickly.

  • Accessible. Users can easily access the app on their mobile devices – with or without internet connection.

  • Better user experience. Native apps perform much faster and are more responsive.

  • More features. There’s more integration to mobile device features such as the camera and Bluetooth.

However, they also have some disadvantages.

They can be expensive. Native app development requires a significant amount of time and effort, which can be costly. They also take up more device storage than web apps or mobile websites, putting them more in danger of being deleted to save space.

Lastly, they cannot be accessed from any device (e.g., a desktop computer). To use them, you need to download them from an app store.


  • Expensive. They take time to develop. Plus, there may need to be two developer teams to create an app for both iOS and Android, which requires different coding.

  • Space taker. Native apps have bigger file sizes and may take up storage space on your phone.

  • Optimized for one device. The app can only be used on the specific platform it was made for. An iOS app won’t work on an Android phone or desktop, and vice versa.

What is a Cross-Platform App?

In contrast to the native app, a cross-platform app is a software application that can be used on multiple operating systems. 

The term often refers to apps downloadable on both Android and iOS devices. But it also includes desktop computers running Windows, Mac, or Linux.

The advantage of a cross-platform app is that it can be published on multiple platforms with no need for a developer to rewrite the code – which is usually written in HTML or JavaScript. 

What’s convenient about these apps is that it’s all one code! Sure, each platform may have different user interfaces and features, but they all use the same base. Think of it as a specific car model. They may come in different colors, wheels, and interior designs, but they all use the same blueprint.

Cross-platform apps are ideal for entrepreneurs looking to cut costs and save time as it eliminates the need for multiple development teams.

Pros and cons

Cross-platform apps are excellent for reaching a wider audience quickly and efficiently. As mentioned before, they’re much more economical and simpler because developers only have to make one version of the app. 


  • Wide reach. Cross-platform apps can reach a wider audience.

  • Cost-effective. Takes less effort and time to develop the app.

  • Multi-Platform. They work seamlessly on different platforms with little issue. 

  • Convenience. Users can access it via phone and desktop.

  • Two-in-one. Only need to develop one app instead multiple.

However, cross-platform apps still have downsides. First, they don’t have as many features. Second, performance is not always great. And third, they’re not optimized for any one platform. For example, the presentation on an Apple device may look different on an Android.


  • Poor user experience. Performance may be slower and limited.

  • Not always mobile-friendly. Don’t perform as well on phones or tablets.

  • App crashes. Bugs in the code could cause crashes. Plus, updates can take a long time.

  • Inconsistent user interface. Screen sizes, resolutions, and input methods may differ across all platforms.

What Is a Hybrid App?

A hybrid app is developed using web front-end languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

The big plus is that they’re easier to develop. Developers are more knowledgeable in web languages as opposed to native ones. And just like cross-platform apps, they’re able to run on multiple platforms and devices (Android, iOS) using a single code. 

However, the similarities end there. Hybrid apps are unique in that they run something known as Web-View Containers, or WebViews for short. They essentially act like an offline web page. If you’ve ever gone on the Instagram or Twitter mobile app and clicked on a link, you’ll see that it opens within the app and not in a browser like Safari or Google. That is an example of a web-view container.

Pros and Cons

Hybrid apps have the best and worst of both native and web technologies.

They’re fast and easy to develop because there’s less programming required. In addition, they don’t need or take up your phone’s resources compared to a native or cross-platform app.


  • Easy development. It only uses one codebase for all platforms.

  • Less demand on phone resources. The desktop counterpart helps provide many of the functions.

On the flip side, app performance takes a hit. They’re not as efficient as a native app and have little to no access to device capabilities. Lastly, it’s no use offline.


  • Okay performance. Glitches and slow load times hurts user experience.

  • No device capabilities. They can’t use any features of the device.

  • No offline support. It will always need internet connection.

Which Platform Should You Choose?

So which one should you go with? Well, it all depends on your resources and goals.

Native apps are perfect for those who have more resources and time. Cross-platform is for those who want their apps to be like native ones but want to be cost-efficient and have a wide reach. And hybrid is good for those looking to get a product out as quickly as possible.

Making the right decision can certainly save you time and money. Wherever you are in your mobile app journey, Confianz can help! Our experts can assist you from concept to development. 

Build app for your business with Top Mobile Application Development Company in USA. We build Custom iOS, Android and cross-platform applications for mobile devices.

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