The Differences between PWA vs Native Apps vs Cross-platform Apps

When you wanted to construct a mobile app a few years ago, you had two options: build native applications for a single platform (iOS or Android) or write two different apps for each platform.

These days, it’s a bit easier to get your point through. Creating an app that works on both iOS and Android with a single codebase or a Progressive Web App (PWA), which runs in the browser but acts like a native app, is still an option if you want to stay platform-centric (iOS or Android only).

Native applications – what are they?

Native applications are developed specifically for a particular operating system, such as Android, iOS, or Windows.

The Native applications are an excellent choice if you want exceptional performance and an unmatched user experience (even with resource consuming apps like games)

Native developer pros

  • Performance-wise, native applications are superior.

Even if the Web is becoming more capable daily, cross-platform applications can still be executed at the same level as native applications in their native environment.

Native applications have been designed from the ground up to operate on a particular operating system, which means they can use all the system’s benefits and capabilities to enhance app functionality and give the best possible user experience.

  • Native applications are superior in terms of design and usability.

If you see complex designs or sophisticated interactions as critical components of your competitive edge, you should go for native development.

Native applications exist in the same way as fish do in the water. They are unable to survive elsewhere, yet they thrive in water like no other species. And for this reason, native development enables the delivery of an exceptional user experience.

Cons associated with Native Development

  • Generally, native applications cost more.

To begin, you must engage developers that are proficient with several operating systems.

Second, building a native application takes longer, and there is no way to use the blessing of reusable components and code components.

Third, locating an excellent native developer is more complex, and the cost is often higher.

  • Native applications need more time and effort to maintain and update.

Native app maintenance is very time-consuming since it requires time to look for issues across several platforms and plan and prepare an updated strategy for each platform independently.

Cross-platform applications – What are they?

Cross-platform applications are those written in built-in web languages (such as JavaScript) that may subsequently be repurposed as native apps (for example, using React Native) that run on any operating system and device.

Pros of cross-platform applications

  • Cross-platforms are affordable.

You do not have to assume native programming is a no-brainer to create a fantastic user experience. Additionally, cross-platform applications are doing well in this area.

Additionally, since web programming languages are gaining popularity, recruiting a cross-platform development is more superficial than hiring an iOS/Android developer.

  • Cross-platform applications get a competitive edge in the market.

It takes time to build native software. Unless, of course, you’re comparing cross-platform programming to it.

By using reusable components, React Native allows you to construct your app more quickly.

While you may not provide an exceptional user experience from the start, you can come to market much quicker (which is ideal for businesses testing their MVP), get feedback, and make any adjustments.

Cons of cross-platform applications

  • Not completely free of indigenous people

For sophisticated functionality, you may still need specific native knowledge (or to use the full potential of the device)

  • Not optimal for a demanding user experience.

As previously said, although cross-platform applications are becoming more similar to native applications, there are still instances when they may fail. As an example, consider games or genuinely rigorous user experience designs.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) – What are they?

Additionally, cross-platform applications may be created using technologies such as PWA (Progressive Web Apps) — webpages that appear and operate like apps! And, as the Web continues to improve, it makes little difference to an average user whether they use a native app or a cross-platform app (or a PWA).

Check: PWA app development company

Pros of Progressive Web Applications (PWAs)

  • Constructible

You need one codebase that is compatible with any device, operating system, or location.

  • Compatible with all platforms

All that is required is the execution of a browser – regardless of the kind. Additionally, PWAs support any screen size or device.

Cons of Progressive Web Apps

  • Only a hoax of a genuine mobile application

While they may seem, feel, and behave like an app, they are a website. The best option is one create a shortcut to “have it” on your phone.

  • Performance-wise, lacking

You cannot utilize it for high-stakes engagements since the gadget’s speed and user experience greatly rely on the internet connection and device.


If you’re a large firm or a game with a desire to utilize challenging and demanding designs or interactions and can afford to engage two separate app developers and a designer concurrently, you should undoubtedly go native.

If you want to create a single program that runs on both iOS and Android, cross-platform development is the way to go.

Ultimately, if you’re thinking cost-effectively, create a PWA first, and then, if your app is well-received, take it to the next level by converting it to a native app.

Any queries? feel free to contact mobile app development company & get a free consultation today!


Written by:

Muzammil K

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Muzammil K is the Marketing Manager at Aalpha Information Systems, where he leads marketing efforts to drive business growth. With a passion for marketing strategy and a commitment to results, he's dedicated to helping the company succeed in the ever-changing digital landscape.