Cross Platform and Multi-Platform: Differences to Know

  • Date Published
  • Categories Blog
  • Reading Time 6-Minute Read

Let us find out by understanding the top seven differences between these platforms.

Do you know of the main differences between Cross-Platforms and Multi-Platforms? Cross-platform mobile app development means to target both types of cell phone users (Android and iOS).

In general, there is no difference between cross-platforms and multi-platforms from the users’ side. However, developers choose cross-platform mobile app development if they are using tools that allow them to write codes for many platforms. On the other side, multi-platform means that codes run on many platforms.

What Is Cross-Platform and Multi-Platform Exactly?

We will define these platforms so that you can get a better understanding of these platforms.


Cross-Platform means developing software that runs on more than one type of hardware system or running software on more than one type of hardware platform.


Primarily, Multi-Platform means to be able to run software on more than one hardware platform. So, that software can be used by different users using different hardware platforms.

Differences Between Cross-Platform and Multi-Platform

Is it still confusing to understand the main difference between these two terms? Let us give you more differences that strictly define, separate, and explain these terms so that you can get better ideas. Let us start with the seven differences between cross-platform and multi-platform.

For your understanding, there are many differences from the sides of developers. If developers are working on cross-platform mobile app development, they use something like FLUTTER or Unity and write codes in C#. However, working on multi-platform development leads them to write codes two times, one for Xcode in Swift or Objective C for iOS users, and one for Android users in Android Studio with Java or Kotlin.

For the simplicity of this article, we will take an example of FLUTTER so that we can give correct differences between these two terms. It is because FLUTTER is the first platform that provided cross-platform development for mobile applications. It primarily focuses on Android and iOS. You can focus on a mobile app’s features without worrying about the web or on different platforms.

Classy Native App Experience vs. Easy Toolchain

While considering native apps, you get the best user experiences for speed, conformity of platforms, and features you would like to add. For the latest features, it is the Best.

While considering cross applications, you can get the best experience for programming languages and runtime. It is because it simplifies the development of mobile applications.

In FLUTTER, you can get the below benefits:

  • It offers you to re-purpose your statements in React to describe it.
  • Native developers are happy by achieving the toolchain.
  • You get new, better, and easy programming language that enhances your coding experience throughout your development.

Expertise in Platform vs. Abstraction of Costs

The second difference between these two terms relates to the expertise and cost of abstraction of platforms. An expert in this field means that he has the ideas and knowledge of APIs and SDKs to develop mobile apps. If you are a Native developer, it does not cost you.

However, cross-platform development is like a blind move. It does not give a clear roadmap to develop your apps. It is unknown for developers, and they have to integrate the knowledge of the cross-platform and multi-platform so that their development experience increases with ease of coding.

Trending Platform Development vs. Play Catch-Up

If you are a Native app developer, then we should congratulate you! Native app developers are always in touch with the latest updates for platforms and capabilities for the latest features and codes. However, you can only react to changes while considering cross-platform development.

Sometimes, you might have to see setbacks due to significant delays in cross-platform development. Whereas in native app development, you can bounce back even after you have embraced because of its poor performance or delays. So, it is better than cross-platform development.

Series Of Compromises & Shortcomings

Cross-platform development has recently approached the series of compromises and shortcomings that are absent in Native development. It can be a reason to choose the cross-platform development of mobile applications over multi-platform development.

However, you can still go through the following differences that will change your thoughts regarding cross-platform development.

Specialties of Platform in Programming Languages vs. the Generalist Languages

We discussed that you could use Swift and Kotlin for Android and iOS development, and these are the core languages for Apple and Android. Google and Apple have optimized these Languages for compilation and runtime performances to support tooling features. The language that Flutter apps use is Dart, and it specializes in this language, which is unknown.

Whereas cross-platform mobile app development, it takes the source of language from the outside platform for the development context and provides a perfect environment to develop mobile apps for developers. Developers in Native development can reuse these environments for the simplicity of development and coding.

Test Frameworks of Platforms vs. Generalized Testing Frameworks

Do you think testing your mobile apps is challenging? Testing these apps require isolation for unit tests and access to platform Services or Library for instrumented tests. In general, native developers have all the access that they need to test their apps.

On the other hand, if you are a cross-platform developer, you have to consider the usual black box or non-mobile frameworks to test your apps on Appium or anything. It is laborious, and some developers do not like to do it. Therefore, they use Native development instead of cross-platform development.

Multi-Code Support & Test Efforts vs. Singular Code Support & Increasing Tests

If you are a Native developer, you might have tried to develop on Android and iOS. If you want the end product for both types of hardware platforms, it requires working on both the platforms simultaneously. This is the reality of native development. It increases your efforts for development, tests, and costs for development and testing.

Cross-platform development eliminated these laborious tasks present in native development. Therefore, you can achieve all these things in a single development environment. Additionally, FLUTTER gives codes for different OSs of mobile Phones, which is what developers choose as an option. Honestly, no developers wish to write the same procedures for various OSs and to test the same.

Wrapping Up

We hope you understood the difference between cross-platform development and multi-platform development. The article mentions the top 7 Differences between cross-platform and multi-platform, explaining a developer’s platform choice.