native vs flutter

Do you know that smartphone users are growing at a faster rate? Around 86.41% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. Customers use mobile phones to fulfill their day-to-day needs, such as purchasing a product, booking a cab, or reserving their favorite 5-star hotel. Mobile apps have become the go-to option for customers; therefore, today’s businesses are tapping the market by developing innovative mobile phones.   

If you think that big players in the industry are introducing the latest smartphones every year or every month, you are on the wrong track. Many small-scale and medium-sized businesses do understand that to stay connected with customers, say a big yes to mobile phones.   

Research from Statista says,” The number of mobile app downloads has reached up to 299 billion in 2023 from 247 billion in 2020. Many app downloads make businesses think about how they can stand out from the market and create a competitive edge.   

Numver of mobile app downloads worldwide

In this blog, we will delve deeper to make you understand why apps are important, a detailed walkthrough about native and cross-platform frameworks that can help you make the right decision for your next app development project.   

Why are Apps important?  

Why apps are important for your business

1. Provide value to customers   

Mobile apps are a great asset to continuous interaction with your customers and, at the same time, adds value to their life. Consider an example of Starbucks – Starbucks is a coffee house chain that regularly uses mobile apps to interact with its customers. Starbucks provides lucrative rewards to its existing customers who make repeated purchases.   

2. Serves as a marketing tool   

Businesses can stay ahead of competitors. Now, business owners need not worry about relying on traditional sources of medium to advertise their products. With the help of mobile apps, businesses can provide the right type of information to the customers at the right time, remind customers about the current offers, send them push notifications and let them know about the latest collections.   

3. Develops brand presence   

Using mobile apps is an effective way to grow your brand awareness and let your customers know that you exist. Users who use an app are more likely to remember your brand name. Research from Insiders Intelligence states that “users spend 88% of their total time on mobile apps and in the US, adults spend more than 4 hrs. on mobile”. 

Hence, developing an app serves as a mini advertisement for the brand.   

4. It Provides accessibility  

Earlier it was difficult for businesses to reach their target audience because there was no medium that allowed businesses to connect with their customers to the closest level. The introduction of mobile apps in today’s world provides exposure to entrepreneurs to build long-term relationships with customers on multiple channels.   

Customers get an added advantage as they can access the products/services of businesses with few clicks away.   

5. Run campaigns in a better way   

Businesses can utilize the feature of analytics tools installed on mobile devices to track customers’ activities and actions on the mobile app. They can get to know about the preferences of customers and collect the data, which in turn helps businesses to run their campaigns. In a nutshell, businesses use campaigns to target their customers. 

How have apps shaped productivity in the world?  

 It does not matter in which line of business you are operating. But if you develop a smartphone app for your customers, it will always keep you ahead of competitors. Apps are the medium that provides a way for customers to do real-time communication.   

For example – You might have heard about the Slack tool. It is a customizable app that allows employees to text quickly, send faster emails or create to-do checklists.    

Have you heard the phrase” there is an app for everything”? Apps play a significant role in shaping the productivity of the future. Apps increase employees’ productivity as they are not wasting their significant chunk of the day in scheduling meetings or managing clients’ work.   

There is an app for everything that will take care of your requirements.   

Forbes says,” Businesses need to develop multi-specialized apps for everything.”   

Here are the 4 ways that apps can improve productivity –  

1. Automation   

There are hundreds and thousands of apps around the world, and they are helping millions of customers automate their daily tasks. You might be spending the day in and day out on social media, but when you are stuck in between or running out of time to schedule your social media posts, you use scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, buffer, etc.   

2. Scheduling  

Apps allow you to schedule your events or manage meetings on the go, which in turn helps an individual to improve his/her productivity. For Instance – Google calendar will enable employees to schedule their meetings, manage appointments and send an email. In a nutshell, apps automate everything, and now you can throw paper calendar.   

3. Foster collaboration   

Apps provide a collaborative experience among users. Businesses that have developed their apps have a competitive edge over others.  

For Instance – Apps allow employees to work remotely and access anything with their fingertips.   

4. Provides better customer service   

Businesses are not stopping themselves even if the customer buys their products. Business owners all around the world want to build long-term relationships with customers. How can they do that? It is through developing mobile apps.   

For example – HubSpot provides CRM tools to businesses where they can easily manage their customer’s data and makes their employees feel more productive.  

What is Native app development?  

A native app is an app that is created for a specific platform (IOS/android). Native apps are good to develop for providing native-like user experience. With the native app development framework, developers can access more features and functionalities of the app such as GPS, sensors, and camera.   

In a nutshell, apps targeted for the specific platform or operating system should be developed using the native framework.   

There are 2 types of native apps –  

  • Android– It is developed using Java/Kotlin   

Developers used Java 5 years back to develop an android application, but now developers are using Kotlin programming language to launch android apps.   

  • IOS – It is developed using Objective C/Swift   

Today, most startups are developing applications using native app development frameworks because they are concerned about the investment required in building platform-specific apps.  

Here are a few examples of apps that are built using a native framework – Google Maps, Artsy, Shopify, WhatsApp, and Pinterest   

Best Native App

What are the advantages of Native app development?  

1. Speeds up the development process  

Native app development framework involves developing apps using platform-specific guidelines. Native apps provide access to platform APIs as it gets direct support from android and IOS. So, they offer fast development speed.   

2. Access to offline functionality   

Native apps provide a feature of offline functionality as users can operate these apps in the absence of internet connectivity. Users need not take the headache of accessing app functionalities even if the internet connectivity is not there.   

3. Easy maintenance   

As you already know, android comes from google, and IOS is developed by apple. When developers create native apps, they get huge support from android and apple because they get access to platform-specific SDKs and other development tools. Therefore, developers need not worry about maintenance and updates.   

4. Interactive apps   

Native apps are more interactive as compared to cross-platform apps because these apps are built keeping in mind platform specifications. It provides a more native experience to users, and users can interact with an app via gestures and other complex functionalities.   

When to use native apps for business?  

  • When you want to provide an exceptional native user experience   
  • When you want to build 3D games and animated apps   
  • When you want to create a separate app for both platforms   
  • When you want to add complex features and access device-specific functionalities like camera, GPS, etc.   

What is Cross-platform development?  

Cross-platform development means developers are using shareable code to develop an app that could support multiple platforms. As developers are using one codebase to develop apps for IOS/Android, it saves the developers’ development time.   

Cross-platform app development follows one principle-“ Write code once and run everywhere.” In a nutshell, the codebase is used once and run on multiple platforms.   

Here is an example of apps that have been developed using a cross-platform framework – Bloomberg, skype, Slack etc.   

Here are the 3 most popular cross-platform frameworks which are used to build cross-platform apps-  

React native, Flutter, Xamarin
  • React native framework (Facebook)  
  • Flutter framework (Google)  
  • Xamarin framework (Microsoft)  

What is Flutter framework? 

Flutter is a cross platform framework developed by google in 2017. It helps in developing high performing applications that works on both android and IOS. It allows the developers to quickly develop apps for android, IOS and web that too with an affordable cost.  

Why flutter framework is gaining popularity? 

Percentage of stack overflow questions

Source: Stack overflow  

Flutter framework is gaining lot of popularity these days- 

  • Flutter is a profitable option for startups as they can quickly build MVP with less cost  
  • Allows the developers to build smooth cross-platform applications 
  • Use single codebase to launch apps for multiple platforms 
  • Getting support from google as flutter is recognized as the official framework for developing android applications 
  • Flutter has its own customizable widgets that gives the native like appearance of an app  

Flutter and native app development are the 2 most preferred options by developers when it comes to developing mobile applications. 

What are the advantages of Cross-platform development?  

1. Code Reusability  

Cross-platform app development provides an added advantage of code reusability, where an entire code is kept in one place and is used for developing 2 separate apps (IOS/Android). Using a single codebase saves the development time and effort of the developer.  

However, in the case of native app development, a developer has to write 2 separate codes and the company need to hire 2 separate developers to develop android and IOS apps.   

For Instance – When the developers create a codebase for IOS, they can compile the same code for developing an android app. This is called the code reusability feature.   

2. Faster maintenance   

Cross-platform apps use a single codebase to develop apps, so it becomes easy for developers to test the code, identify the bugs, fix it and do the necessary upgrades and maintenance. In the case of a native app development framework, it is somewhat challenging for developers to test native apps as there are 2 separate codebases.   

3. Cost-effective   

Developing cross-platform apps are a cost-effective solution as compared to developing native apps. The cost required to develop cross-platform apps saves your development cost by 30%. Not only this, it also shortens the app development process.   

When to use cross-platform apps for business?  

  • When you want to create an app for multiple platforms   
  • When you want to use the shareable code across various platforms   
  • When you don’t want to add complex features to an app   
  • When you don’t want to create a 3D or animated app   

Let’s understand the difference between Flutter and native   

Basis of comparison Flutter Native   
Speed of development  The speed of developing cross platform apps is faster than native apps. Developers need not worry about writing 2 separate codebases. Flutter runs at a speed of 60 frames per second  The speed of developing native apps is slower as developer has to write 2 separate codebases 
Maintenance  It requires low maintenance efforts as there is single codebase so developers can easily track the problems It requires high maintenance efforts as developers need to maintain 2 separate codebases  
Cost of developing apps  The cost of development is less in developing cross platform apps as a developer can create a single codebase that can run on multiple platforms  The organization need to hire 2 separate developers for developing android and IOS apps  
Platform Integrations  In Flutter, third party plugins are required  Native can support platform integration capabilities as it has a huge support from google and apple  
Time to market  Cross platform apps can be quickly developed using a single codebase so the time required to market apps is quicker  Native app development is time consuming so it takes more time to market the apps  
Top players/Apps Alibaba, google ads, byte dance etc. Wynk, Careem, WhatsApp, SnapChat, Teams 

Wrapping up   

Now you have a clear idea of which kind of app would best suit your business. But, to help you make the right decision in your app development journey, here are some use cases that can help you make a better choice between native and Flutter.  

When is native app development suitable for a developer?  

  • When you want to build high-performing applications   
  • When you want to get full support for platform-specific capabilities   
  • When there is a need to update your app according to the latest OS   
  • When you want to build an app for a particular platform   

When to use cross-platform apps for business?  

  • When you want to create an app for multiple platforms   
  • When you want to use the shareable code across multiple platforms   
  • When you want to reach the target audience quickly   
  • When you need to market the app   


Q1. What is the difference between native app development and Flutter?

In the case of native, two different codebases are created to run apps for Android and IOS On the other hand, Flutter saves the hours of developers and reduces the development cost of building cross-platform apps by 30%. 
Native App gives native experience and performance advantage as compared to the flutter.

Q2. Which is better for performance: Native or Flutter?  

The performance of native apps is much faster as it supports platform-specific guidelines and has access to inbuilt platform features and integrations. Flutter has an animation speed of 50-60 frames per second but when it comes to overall performance, choosing native apps is the wise option.

Q3. Which is better for user experience: Native or Flutter?  

Both native and flutter offer excellent user experiences, developers should select one over the other depending on their use case.  
For instance, if an app needs a lot of Native features, like video editing or Bluetooth connectivity, we should choose Native, whereas flutter is also a good option if the app only needs basic SDK integration and needs to bind and render data on the user interface. 
Flutter is a better option than Native if a brand prefers its own branding guidelines over platform (Android or IOS) guidelines.

Q4. Which is better for development speed or cost: Native Vs. Flutter? 

Flutter is ahead of Native in terms of Development cost. If someone is pro in both Native and Flutter than they can save the cost of development, maintenance and testing by at least 30% as compared to native app development   

Q5. Can a flutter app look and feel like a native app?  

The Flutter app can give a native look and feel. It has its UI rendering engine and customizable widgets to provide a native-like appearance.

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