Native Mobile App Development

Native Application Development: What It Is & When to Choose It?

Aakash Soni
Aakash Soni
Operational Head

Mobile phones are a vital part of human life in the present time. With an average American checking their phone more than 344 times a day (once every 4 minutes!), we can only imagine how crucial mobiles are.

Mobile phones make people’s lives easier by automatizing various everyday tasks and chores. Therefore, mobile apps are useful in multiple aspects, ranging from work to leisure, and significantly increase productivity.

native mobile app development

However, mobile phones’ wide adaptation and reliability is a matter of concern for traditional businesses. Particularly, businesses that are not able to digitalize and cater to the consumer’s needs online are the ones that suffer the most.

This is because presently, digitalization has become the center of success for almost every industry as well as numerous businesses.

When deciding to go digital, businesses often doubt which approach they should choose, native mobile app development or cross-platform app development.

Keep reading this article to get clarity on all your concerns regarding native and cross-platform developments, and make sure to bookmark it as well for future reference. This article has thoroughly discussed native app development for you to understand.

The Basics

App development, in particular, refers to building an application for devices like tablets, phablets, smartphones, and even for websites and wearables like smartwatches.

This article is about native application development, and therefore we will focus on smartphones and tablets. These devices can run on various operating systems, but our main targets are Android and iOS.

Android Vs. iOS

Whether to choose Android or iOS for developing a business application is a matter of debate and discussion all over the world. Both the operating systems have their own importance and demographics.

As a result, choosing only one platform to develop an app is not wise for business owners. This is because there is a huge chance of missing out on potential customers and revenue from the skipped platform.

Android OS holds a 69.74% share in the market worldwide, while that of iOS is 29.49% (Statcounter report). This makes Android and iOS two major operating systems in the market.

However, using this criterion to choose the platform for app development is wrong. There is always a possibility of many potential audiences being present in iOS and Android.

So, this was a small overview of two of the world’s most popular operating systems, Android and iOS. Further, we will have a comparative look between cross-platform and native app development for iOS and Android.

What Is Native App Development

The term native app development refers to developing a mobile application that runs specifically on a single platform. Here, the app development takes place with the framework, language, and tools specific to a particular platform, either for Android or iOS.

For instance, Swift OR Objective-C is used to develop native iOS applications, and Java or Kotlin is used to build native Android applications.

Native apps deliver exceptional user experience as the used programming language is for a specific platform. However, to deliver a great user experience, businesses have to incur high costs by choosing a native development approach.

The reason is that code needs to be developed separately for Android and iOS. Simply put, not a single chunk of iOS code works in the Android app and vice versa.

Here, both Apple and Google have introduced a range of tools to build a native app on their platforms. This includes a standard library, development environment, tons of resources, and guidelines for native app developers to easily build an app.

A Few Successful Examples of Native Mobile App Development

It is not surprising that native applications are popular and have a large share in the app marketplace. As per our research, here are a few of the top native applications with high popularity amongst mobile phone users.

  • Tesla (Automotive App)
  • Pokemon Go (AR Mobile Game)
  • Waze (Nativagation App)
  • Spotify (Music App)
  • Whatsapp (Messaging App)

Tools and Services Required To Develop a Native Android App

tools and services for developing native android apps

Google has introduced various tools to build a native mobile app. Besides that, many third-party companies have introduced their own set of tools as well. Here are a few tools and services from Google for native app developers.

Android Studio

It is the official IDE (Integrated Development Environment) used in developing Android applications. Android Studio uses an emulator, code templates, Github integration, and a Gradle-based build system.

However, even with all the advantages, it is slightly slower than other IDE like Eclipse. To run Android Studio, it is recommended to run a program with 8 GB ram.


Firebase is a BaaS (Back-end-as-a-Service). It is a mobile development platform that helps developers build a high-quality app. It stores data in JSON-like documents (You can say NoSQL Database program).

Android SDK (Software Development Kit)

Android SDK is a kit that includes comprehensive development tools like handset emulators, libraries, debuggers, sample code, tutorials, and more. It is bundled with Android Studio.

Android Jetpack

It is premade library of components that helps developers to reduce boilerplate codes. It is extremely well-designed and increases the productivity and output of the developers.

So these were a few tools and services used to create a native mobile app. These tools ensure smooth and efficient app development and increase the app’s overall quality.

Similarly, C++, Java, and Kotlin are programming languages developers use to write the codes. An app can be built either on MAC or PC.

Tools and Services for Native iOS Application Development

tools and services for developing native ios apps

Having the correct set of tools is necessary to build a high-quality native iOS application. Along with Apple, there are many great third-party companies like Appcode and CodeRunner which provide the best tools and services to build native iOS applications.

Let’s look at the tools and services that Apple has for iOS application development.


It is the official IDE (integrated development environment) for developing iOS applications. XCode is useful for designing UI, writing, compiling and testing code, and debugging.

It runs on macOS and can be used to develop software for tvOS, WatchOS, iPadOS, iOS, and macOS.


Similar to Android SDK, this is a toolkit for native application development in iOS. This toolkit is useful to develop applications for iPhone and other Apple devices like iPad and iPod Touch.

It also includes API (Application Programming Interface), which connects hardware (in which application run) with a software application.

Swift Playground

Swift is a development environment tool for kids to learn and have fun with iOS coding. It is for kids aged ten years or older. The tool comes with various coding challenges so that the kids can sharpen their brains and learn to code an app in a fun way.


The developer needs to test an application before finally deploying it on the App store. Compared to Play Store, App Store has stricter guidelines and review processes.

Testing the application in the early stages can save time that would be consumed otherwise in app revision and rectification.

TestFlight allows testing of iOS applications, from which Apple developers get valuable feedback about bugs. There is no cost associated with using TestFlight, and Apple Inc owns it. Therefore, using TestFlight for native iOS app development is recommended.

These were a few of the most popular tools and services that are useful for developing iOS apps. Objective-C and Swift are programming languages used for native application development in iOS.

Here developers need Apple hardware (MAC Device) to develop applications. This is different from Android, in which one can develop on PC as well as MAC devices.

This is a small overview of tools and services for native app development in iOS and Android.

If you are unable to understand the technical aspects of development discussed above, you can get in touch with us.

The experts from our team will be happy to provide a free consultation and clear your doubts.


Advantages of Building a Native Mobile App

benefits of native mobile app development

Most companies prefer native application development because of the numerous advantages it offers as compared to web and cross-platform counterparts.

Moreover, nowadays, companies go to the extent of hiring dedicated resources to work exclusively on native development. These resources improve the efficiency of an application and uplift its overall quality.

There are more points in favor of choosing the native approach than against it. Nevertheless, let’s look at the first advantage of native app development.

Access to Hardware

Native applications have complete access to use hardware present in devices such as GPS, Bluetooth, Camera, microphone, and much more. However, this is not possible in cross-platform applications, as they rely on third-party plugins like Cordova for the same.

As a result, in the native mobile app development approach, the processing and speed of the developed app are much faster (This is possible with the elimination of the middle parties).

Therefore, complete access to hardware and faster execution increases app performance and enhances user experience.

Absolute Performace

Native app development means that all API and unique elements are made individually for a particular OS. Consequently, the developer no longer needs to worry about the app’s compatibility with any devices while programming a native app.

In most cases, codes in native applications are very clean. This is the opposite of cross-platform platform apps, which require extra codes for compatibility.

Compared to their cross-platform counterpart, native apps are on top of the OS. As discussed before, it can directly access hardware present in any device (unlike cross-platform development, which requires a third-party plugin to access hardware).

Consequently, the performance of native apps is higher than cross-platform apps.

Fewer Security Breaches

It was discussed before how the native app is on top of the OS, while cross-platform is more reliant on the browser used in the device.

Therefore, it is clearly understood that as compared to a cross-platform app, a native application’s information is less prone to being leaked.

In addition to that, the native approach has an official API, while the cross-platform approach has third-party integrations.

The use of official API reduces the chances of continuously arising security issues. This is not the case in cross-platform applications because of their lengthy security updating cycle.

At last, owing to continuous security updates in the official API and additional security of OS, native apps are safe from security breaches.

Better UI & UX

Since a native app has direct hardware access and is not dependent on third-party plugins, it naturally responds faster to user commands.

From a technical perspective, an application made for a single platform directly means that the UI is adjustable with most devices.

No to minimal changes in the app’s design occur while making these adjustments. Moreover, both Google and Apple have introduced prior guidelines to develop a native app for their respective platforms.

In the end, users get a high-end experience from a performance point of view as coders work on prescribed development guidelines.

Ultimately, a native app provides utmost simplicity in usage – as there are no questions on how to use available features.


Earlier, we discussed that codes in native mobile apps are clean, as no compatibility codes are needed (unlike cross-platform apps, in which compatibility codes are a must).

Moreover, native applications are for a single platform. Hence, adding new features, updating existing ones, or other modifications can be done quickly.

Additionally, native developers do not face problems with scalability while Apple or Google releases any updates. This is because a native app developer does not need to wait for third-party plugins to implement new features.

On the other hand, cross-platform developers need to wait for the release of new plugin updates to add that feature to the application. As a result, the app’s development cycle is slowed down in the cross-platform approach, disrupting the user experience.

Compatible To Work Even Without Internet Connection

If you are looking for an application that can work with and without an internet connection, developing a native mobile app is ideal. This is possible only by using the native approach in app development.

compatibility to work in without internet connection

There are also a few conditions like airplane mode, where applications still need to function. This can only be achieved by using the native approach in app development.

Free of Bugs

Both the developing approaches (native and cross-platform) require testing the application before deployment to ensure that it remains bug-free.

In cross-platform applications, the developers need to manage code for the compatibility of apps on any device. This increases the complexity of the coding process as compared to that of native apps.

In the end, unnecessary complexity increases the chances of having bugs and crashes in the cross-platform app. However, in native applications, the coding is much simpler as there is no requirement to add codes for compatibility. This makes testing and eliminating bugs in the native apps easier.

Additionally, Apple and Google constantly release new updates for better user experience and elimination of previously experienced bugs. Native app developers can update the code simultaneously as these updates are released.

On the contrary, the cross-platform developers need to wait for the third-party plugins to get updates with the latest release so that they can update the app.

Disadvantages of Native Mobile App Development

Although native app development has many advantages, there are a few drawbacks as well, which are mostly negligible. This is because the native approach provides a highly enhanced user experience, and therefore the drawbacks are minor.

As the leading app development service provider, we strongly advise clients to choose native development.

Longer Development Time

Both types of applications (i.e., Android and iOS) must be developed separately while choosing the native mobile app development approach. There is no scope for copying the code or the logic from one platform to another.

As a result, one needs more time and resources to develop an app. Also, the app development process for both platforms is completely different, from analysis to final deployment.

This process needs to be followed separately, which further increases the time to develop an application.

Higher Initial Cost

Native approach specifically refers to app development for a single platform. In the case of native android application development, the developers are different with the skillset of Java or Kotlin.

Similarly, for iOS native application development, the developers are different with the skillset of Swift or Objective-c. As a result, building the same features on a different platform with different developers directly adds to the application’s cost.

In addition to that, many applications have various complex features. To implement these complex features, both developers (Android and iOS) spend time individually creating a logic. This is because Android code can’t work on an iOS app and vice versa.

In certain cases, if both the developers (Android and iOS) fail to create logic, it will become necessary to hire dedicated resources externally. In the end, increased utilization of resources time results in a higher cost of application.

Therefore, the only drawbacks of following the native approach are high initial cost and longer development time. However, native apps, with their excellent user experience are certain to provide a great return on investment in no time.

Moreover, by investing a little more time to create a native app, one can offer a high-quality app to their customers.

Hiring the right app development agency like The Gray Bear can help you make an excellent app in less time and at an affordable cost.

This makes investment in a native app a feasible and profitable option.


Cost of Native App Development for iOS and Android

The pricing of an application depends on several factors such as the app’s complexity, features, functionality involved, location of app development, screen designs, development technology, and much more.

Here we have provided an average cost to make a native mobile app. Your application may be developed at a lesser or higher price than our provided amounts.

Hence, we strongly recommended taking consultation with the best native mobile app development company.

Project Small MVP Small Enterprise Medium MVP Medium Enterprise Large MVP Large Enterprise
Discovery and Wireframing $1500 $2500 $2500 $3500 $5000 $9000
App Screen Design $2000 $3000 $3500 $5000 $5000 $9000
iOS Native Development $9000 $11000 $37000 $45000 $60000 $90000
Android Native Development $9000 $11000 $37000 $45000 $60000 $90000
Backend $5000 $7000 $9000 $10000 $12000 $12000
Application Administration NA $7500 $9000 $15000 $10000 $20000
QA in IOS $2000 $2500 $5000 $6500 $7000 $9000
QA in Android $2000 $2500 $5000 $6500 $7000 $9000
Deployment $1500 $2000 $2000 $3000 $2000 $3000
Total (One Platform) $21000 $35500 $68000 $88000 $101000 $152000
Total (Android and iOS) $32000 $49000 $110000 $139500 $168000 $251000

We derived this cost by surveying our last 5 years of app development projects which used the native approach. This is the average cost for building a native mobile app.

These figures are just a rough estimate to provide an overview of the cost.

Therefore, we highly advise not to take this as the final amount. Please take a consultation to get the final timeline of app development with costing.


This was all about native mobile application development. Further, we will read about cross-platform development. At last, we will discuss the biggest question, which one to choose for your application development needs.

What Is Cross-platform Application Development?

This is a development approach in which the developer codes the app once and makes it run on multiple platforms. Flutter, Xamarin, and React Native are a few of the top frameworks used to create cross-platform apps and deploy them on Android and iOS stores.

Unlike a native application, cross-platform development requires less time to develop and is cost-effective. However, in order to run on multiple platforms, these apps need additional layer support. This results in compromised quality and performance of the application.

A business may initially advantage from less development cost and time with the cross-platform approach. But later, when it comes to adding new features/ functionalities, the cost goes higher. This is because the developers face various challenges and difficulties while updating the app in this approach.

Even though we also develop cross-platform applications, our first recommendation to our clients is native mobile app development.

This article is all about developing a native app. You can read our full guide on cross-platform application development to gain more information on the cross-platform approach.

This guide will give a detailed overview of the framework, costing, pros, cons, top examples, and much more.


Further, let’s find the answer to the main question- what to choose for your business application – native or cross-platform app approach.

What to Choose – Native Development or Cross-platform Development?

Businesses need to weigh down several points before deciding whether to go with native application development in android/iOS or choose the cross-platform approach.

The choice of approach will impact various factors of the application, such as its performance, development time and cost, functionality, etc.

Moreover, we now know that choosing a cross-platform approach seems cost-efficient in initial development. However, the cost goes up when it comes to updating an app with this approach and adding new features to it.

Therefore, it is important to evaluate both of these approaches to determine which one is the right fit for one’s business requirements. This will avoid wasting time, resources, and money in the later stages.

Let’s dig deeper to compare the details of the two approaches.

Information Access

If you are looking for the type of application that fetches the information from the internet and displays it as it is, the cross-platform approach is useful.

However, in some cases, applications need to retrieve and display information by accessing hardware such as microphone and Bluetooth. In this instance, creating a native app is a good choice.

This is because fetching information from these hardware requires heavy processing, making native apps a better choice.


It is a commonly known fact that good quality work requires a good amount of money. If you have a high budget, investing your money to make a native app is strongly recommended. Because this approach to development will give you the best app performance and quality.

However, if you have budget constraints, you can go for the cross-platform approach and save your money up to 35-40%.

Time of Development

For native applications, codes need to be developed separately for their respective platform. On the other hand, for the cross-platform approach, a single code runs on both Android and iOS.

Therefore, developing a native app takes longer than the cross-platform counterpart. This is because in the native approach, the developer needs to follow the complete app development cycle individually twice.

Our suggestion is to go with the MVP option for native app development before deciding to go with cross-platform (if that works for you). MVP (minimum viable product) refers to the utmost necessary features which are first developed in an app.

Consulting with a development company will get you a timeline to develop necessary features. If you can wait for the time given in the proposed timeline, then there is no need for the cross-platform approach.

This will save the app owner and end-user from compromised app performance. As a matter of fact, MVP of native mobile app development takes more time than MVP cross-platform app.

Responsive Application

The native approach is the way to go if app responsiveness is a matter of importance to you. This will also ensure the best user experience for the target audience.

This is because the native application can directly access all the resources of the device. On the other hand, a cross-platform app relies on a third-party plugin to do the same.

App Upgradation

If you want to continuously upgrade your application with the latest features or trends, then developing a native application is the ideal choice. Because in the cross-platform approach, developers face difficulties with upgrading, modifying, or adding new features.

As the leading native app development company, we have experienced that almost all clients need to upgrade applications with the latest trends. This is why we strongly advise clients to choose the native approach.

Testing Idea

Many businesses are not certain if digitalization is generating profit for their business or not, and whether or not their ideas will work, if implemented.

In this case, it is highly advisable to choose the cross-platform approach. However, in case the idea turns out to work later, businesses will need to shift from cross-platform to native to get better app performance.

This was all about which app development option is best for your business. Have a look at the comparison below on native vs cross-platform development to get a quick recap.

comparison between cross-platform and native app development

Summing Up: Native Mobile App Development

The debate on whether to choose native development or cross-platform development is endless. App owners often get confused with this decision and make the wrong choice, resulting in massive losses.

Both of these approaches have their own fundamentals, course of action, pros, and cons. Therefore, we cannot certainly say if you should go with building a native app or a cross-platform one. This choice depends on your end goal, budget, and time.

We have provided you with all the necessary information to help you determine whether to develop an app with the native approach or go for the cross-platform option.

You can simply determine your needs and compare this blog with your requirements. If you find the native approach to be the best fit, choose native, or go with the cross-platform approach.

If you ask us which one is a better option, then based on our industry experience in app development, we would always recommend the native app development approach. This is because the native approach ensures many advantages for the present as well as for the future of the application.

Do you still have doubts or want to ask questions regarding making a native mobile app or a cross-platform app? You can connect with us, and we will be glad to assist you.

In the last 8 years, we have consulted almost 350+ businesses and have experience working with major industries. Therefore, we can offer unique ideas related to your industry once you connect with us.

We hope the above-presented information turns out to be useful for you. We request you to provide us with your feedback on this article. By getting constant feedback from our readers, we can upgrade our articles to benefit them as much as we can.

Aakash Soni
Aakash Soni
Mr. Aakash Soni has been in the development industry for over 9 years. He is passionate about business growth, digitalization, and business planning. Mr. Aakash aligns business needs with the digital world in order to positively influence market share and profitability. For him, tech is not just a hobby, but a perception of life.
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