In recent years, the technology of cross-platform development of mobile applications has gained great popularity. Many startups and small and medium-sized enterprises use the potential of cross-platform development to create applications in a relatively shorter period of time, which is one of the main motives for the introduction of this technology.

There is no denying that a cross-platform solution is an advantage for entrepreneurs who do not want to invest in the development of native applications or want the application to be created quickly.

However, cross-platform development has problems and features that you need to know before starting a project.

Disadvantages of cross-platform development

Delayed and limited updates

Cross-platform development environments are slowly adapting to OS updates. The framework development tools are expected to adapt to new OS features and capabilities as they evolve, but this process is usually very slow.

Moreover, the cross-platform environment does not support all the functions of a particular operating system, or some functions may be incompatible with a particular environment for smooth operation.

Low performance

In terms of performance, cross-platform applications are not that impressive. There are many reasons behind this. Such products cannot interact with the hardware of the device, as a native application does. Inconsistent communication between a native device and non-native components also affects application performance.

Weak functionality

An application created using this approach still does not have full access to all smartphone functions. You also depend on third-party code to integrate with a specific platform and have to check for errors in their implementation and work around them.

Poor user interface/UX

Cross-platform applications are also not suitable for applications that require a rich UI/UX. Native applications should be the final choice in this case, since they are designed with the design recommendations for a specific platform in mind and can take full advantage of the hardware of the device. Unfortunately, cross-platform applications lag in this segment and, therefore, do not offer a rich UI/UX.

Animation problems

Modern design is already unthinkable without animation — users like it and make the application more understandable and responsive. Hybrid products, as a rule, support animation worse, most often they refuse it altogether.

What projects are cross-platform applications suitable for?

Choosing cross-platform development

  • When a shorter time to market is required.
  • If the application is a fairly simple project.
  • For prototyping and MVP.

This opinion is shared by the authors of authoritative sources, such as Habr and КИ.RU:

To sum up

The cross-platform approach is good for simple products or for MVP testing. Native development gives developers significantly more control over user interaction, and also allows you to develop applications for simple support. We believe that it is better to stick to the native interface and not sacrifice design elements unique to each platform.