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Native apps are developed specifically for one platform – Android or iOS. Hybrid apps are native apps but either parts or the entire application is a desktop website adapted to a web view display.

07 Aug 2019

Native App vs Hybrid App and What is the Difference and Why It Matters?

Native apps are developed specifically for one platform – Android or iOS. Hybrid apps are native apps but either parts or the entire application is a desktop website adapted to a web view display.

In the present day, smartphones have developed into a very useful tool since they provide a number of advantages including immediate communication via e-mail and social networking, online browsing, entertainment, GPS, and several other productivity tools.

The choice of whether to construct a native app or a hybrid app comes up frequently when determining whether to design a mobile application.

For the past ten years, mobile applications have emerged as the innovation kingpin. Numerous businesses are implementing strategies to integrate mobile applications into their workflow in order to increase their market reach as a result of the growing smartphone market.

The decision of whether to construct a native app or a hybrid app and which one would be more effective is one that businesses frequently confront when deciding on the type of app to be built.

What is a Native Mobile Application?

Software created specifically for a given platform or device is referred to as a native mobile application. It has the ability to utilize device-specific hardware and software because it was designed to run on a particular mobile device and its operating system.

Compared to mobile cloud applications or web apps, which are intended to be universal across different devices, native apps offer improved speed and make use of the most recent technologies, such as image processing.

There are primarily two mobile operating system platforms: iOS from Apple and Android from Google. Native apps are created using code that is mostly tailored to the operating system and hardware of mobile devices. For instance, developers use Java to create native Android apps, whereas Swift or Objective-C are used to create iOS apps.

Following are the characteristics of a Native Application

  • Native apps are highly reliable.

  • Native apps are simple, have faster performance and offer a better user experience.

  • Native applications support both, online and offline operations.

  • Features of native apps can be utilized in the best way.

Advantages of Native Applications

  • It offers a wide range of functionalities since it leverages the potential of the primary mobile device.

  • It gives quick and responsive software performance.

  • It comes with the push notification functionality.

  • Native apps offer a user interface (UI) that better matches the user experiences of the OS.

  • The quality of the Native apps can be assured through the ratings in the App Stores.

Introduction to Hybrid Applications

Hybrid application is a program that combines the elements of both, native and web applications, where the application is coded using web technology languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are then condensed in a native application.

Thus, it works just like a web app and is installed on a device like a native app.

Hybrid apps, with the help of internal application program interfaces (APIs), retain complete access to the mobile device’s features. Native apps can operate offline since they are downloaded, but hybrid apps don’t come with this functionality.

Hybrid apps are generally referred to with mobile computing, which is a technology that enables transmission of data, voice, and video through a computer or any other wireless-enabled device, without having to be connected to a tangible link. It majorly involves mobile communication, along with mobile hardware and software.

Following are the characteristics of a Hybrid Application

  • Hybrid applications can function, irrespective of the fact that the device has an internet connection or not.

  • Hybrid apps can integrate with the device’s file system and use features of the operating system.

  • Hybrid apps involve integration with web-based services.

  • Another essential feature of hybrid apps includes an embedded browser that helps to enhance access to dynamic online content.

  • Hybrid apps can be developed at a faster pace and involve lesser development and maintenance costs.

  • Thus, it saves time and money.

  • Hybrid apps are comprehensible and can be managed effortlessly.

  • Hybrid apps have a cross-platform user interface (UI).

  • A major benefit of hybrid apps is the single code base for multiple platforms, which makes it way easier to manage.

Advantages of Hybrid Applications

  • They can work across various platforms, i.e., they can operate on both, Android & iOS since they have a single code base. Also, the consistent user interface (UI) enables it to function on most of the devices.

  • The development and maintenance (which includes updations and making changes) of hybrid applications is faster since developers have to create only one codebase.

  • The single code base in the hybrid apps makes them cost-effective since it requires less time to develop and does not require more developers as in the case of Native apps.

Hybrid v/s Native App

1- Based on Time and Cost of Development

Hybrid apps are cost-effective and take the least amount of development time. Also, hybrid apps are easier to maintain, as they have a single code base, whereas, native apps have multiple code bases since they cater specifically to each platform.

2- Based on User Experience

Since native apps are specially designed for a particular app store, they give the best user experience. Native apps take into account hardware capabilities and screen size. In comparison with hybrid apps, with just one code base for all platforms, hence, it is not possible to provide a good user experience.

3- Based on the utilities that the app offers (Free or Paid app)

For businesses that wish to launch a paid app on the App Store, native apps are recommended, since they have a really good user interface (UI), whereas, free apps can be created as hybrid apps.

4- Whether any native device features will be used

If you wish to make use of the mobile device’s features like the camera or the GPS, you’ll have to opt for a native or hybrid mobile app , since a web app cannot access the device’s features with ease.

5- Whether the required developers are available

If your business type demands a presence on several platforms and you don’t have specialized mobile app developers to meet those demands, it would be simpler to create a hybrid mobile app. In this manner, you can leverage your existing coding skills like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, instead of mastering the particular languages for each platform.

To conclude

As discussed above, native and hybrid apps have their benefits and drawbacks. Deciding on what kind of an app to opt for depends largely on the demands of the organization. After looking into the specifications of the business, it is recommended to discuss the same with application developers, who would be giving shape to your ideas in the best manner possible.


Application development can also be outsourced instead of having a permanent in-house setup, since collaborating with an outsourcing team would make your mobile app development an effortless job.

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