Hybrid vs native vs crossplatform

Developing mobile apps has become a significant part of businesses to win customers’ hearts. You might have dozens of applications installed on your smartphones, and you spend your day and night too on these apps. The popularity of smartphones is growing tremendously and as a business owner, it becomes necessary for you to create apps that provide a rich user experience and enable customers to spend a long time on the app. Regarding Hybrid vs. native vs. cross-platform, this blog is going to answer all your important questions as to which one is best for you to choose in 2024.

Let’s play with numbers – 

Research from Statista says,” There has been a significant increase in the number of mobile apps downloads from 275 billion in 2022 to 299 billion in 2023.   

Nowadays, there are plenty of mobile applications your competitors are creating, so how would you choose the best mobile app that becomes a harvesting ground for your business?   

As a developer, you could develop various apps, but what’s the take of creating multiple apps without knowing the use cases and identifying the relevant target audience?   

Through in-app advertising and paid purchases, mobile apps are expected to bring in over 935 billion dollars by 2024.

increase in number of smartphone subscription

If you want to stand out from the crowd through developing mobile apps, then this guide is created for you.  

In this article, you will learn about various types of apps that developers are building (Hybrid Vs. native Vs. cross-platform) and which app is best for your enterprise.   

What are Native Apps?  

Nattive App

Native apps have been built for a specific platform /operating system (IOS/Android).  

There are 2 types of native apps – Android and IOS. Developers can develop native Android apps using Java/Kotlin programming language. On the other hand, IOS apps are created using objective C/Swift programming language.   

Developers, when developing native apps, can get access to native capabilities, APIs, and new native features such as GPS, cameras, sensors, etc.   

It is costly to develop native apps because an organization needs to hire separate iOS and Android app development teams.

Bigohtech App Development


Native applications have a number of benefits, including easier market launch due to platform-specific standards, better performance thanks to full hardware support, faster speed with simplified code, and offline support that allows functionalities to be accessed even when there is no internet connection. Because of these advantages, native apps are the better choice for startups that want to launch quickly, run well, and improve user experience.

Examples of Native Mobile Apps:

Some Popular examples of potentially native apps for both platforms:

Native Mobile Apps (Android):

  • Gmail
  • Google Maps
  • Facebook
  • Spotify
  • YouTube

Native Mobile Apps (iOS):

  • Safari
  • Photos
  • WhatsApp
  • Instagram

Native App Development Tools:

  • Android: Java, Kotlin, Android Studio
  • iOS: Swift, Objective-C, Xcode

What are hybrid apps?  

Hybrid App

Nowadays, developers are using more hybrid apps and shifting from native app development. Hybrid apps are those apps that comprise of capabilities of native and web apps. It is a subset of a cross-platform app development framework.  This means that the app has some native features, while others that are well suited for cross-platform development are opened in mobile browsers. In this way, you get the best of both worlds in the Hybrid app. 

Hybrid apps are created and hosted on a server using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Hybrid apps use a single codebase to develop apps for multiple platforms because it has a separate layer to get the device-specific capabilities like the device camera, push notifications, and calendar. Though hybrid apps are primarily web apps, users can download them on a native device.  

These apps use their inbuilt web browser to function effectively. For example – Android apps use WebView elements, and IOS apps have an embedded browser called WKwebview.   

Apps with hybrid features have several benefits. To begin with, they utilize a cross-platform framework that simplifies development across several platforms and increases the reach of their consumer base. Second, users may deploy apps quickly because there is no waiting period for app stores to approve them, unlike native apps. Furthermore, compared to native app development, their unified codebase drastically lowers expenses, saving up to 60–80%, and speeds up development, reducing time-to-market by 50%.

Examples of Hybrid Mobile Apps:

Here are some examples of potentially hybrid apps for both platforms:

Hybrid Mobile Apps (Android):

  • Flipkart
  • News Republic
  • Duolingo
  • Mint

Hybrid Mobile Apps (iOS):

  • Trello
  • SoundCloud
  • Yumly
  • Pinterest

Hybrid App Development Frameworks:

  • React Native
  • Flutter
  • Ionic
  • Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap)

What are cross-platform apps?  

Cross platform app

There is a misconception that hybrid app development and cross-platform app development are the same. However, it isn’t true. Both frameworks focus on creating a shareable code that works across multiple platforms.   

Cross-platform development can be completed in a single stack such as React Native, Flutter, Ionic and so on, but Hybrid is a mix of native code with a few features in web technology (JS, HTM, CSS). 

Native apps are developed using shareable code but cannot access native-like capabilities. It allows the developers to build various apps for IOS and Android.    

Earlier, it was challenging for developers to build mobile apps for various platforms, but the arrival of a cross-platform framework makes the development process much easier.   

According to Statista, 3.55 million mobile apps are on the play store, and around 1.6 million apps are on the app store. These numbers might shock you for a while. But companies strive to develop multiple apps through a cross-platform development framework.   

In a nutshell, one codebase is used by one development team to create multiple apps. Isn’t it amazing? All thanks to the cross-platform framework.   

Cross-platform applications have a number of benefits. First of all, they simplify development by allowing code reuse, which removes the need for tedious coding operations. By developing less code, this not only saves time but also lowers the likelihood of problems. Second, they maximize visibility across many marketplaces by enabling developers to target numerous audiences with a single codebase. Finally, because developers can concentrate on customisation rather than creating distinct versions for each platform, cross-platform apps enable quicker market debuts.

Examples of Cross-Platform App Development:

Here are some examples of potentially Cross-Platform App Development for both iOS and Android platforms:

Popular Cross-Platform Apps::

  • Netflix
  • Skype
  • Uber
  • Spotify

Cross-Platform App Development Frameworks:

  • Xamarin
  • React Native
  • Flutter
  • Kotlin Multiplatform Mobile (KMM)

Comparison Between Native and Cross-Platform And Hybrid Applications

Basis of comparison  Native apps  Hybrid apps  Cross-platform 
Code reusability  Developers create separate codebases for developing native apps  A single codebase is reused across multiple platforms  Cross-platform apps can be marketed quickly because it uses a shareable codebase  
Performance  A hybrid app development framework provides limited access to platform APIs  Hybrid app development framework provides limited access to platform APIs  The performance is not superior as compared to native and hybrid apps  
Time to market  Developing native apps is a time-consuming process as separate codebases are used  Hybrid apps are cost-effective as a single development team can create apps for multiple platforms  Cross platform apps can be marketed quickly because it uses a shareable codebase  
Cost of developing apps  The performance of native apps is superior than hybrid and cross-platform apps. Native apps enable the developers to access platform APIs and capabilities  Native apps are costly because you need to write multiple codebases for developing Android and IOS apps.  Cross-platform apps are cost effective. Therefore, startups prefer to develop apps using cross-platform development framework. 
Dependencies  -Developers use Java/Kotlin for developing Android apps  -Objective C/swift is used for developing IOS apps Hybrid apps use third-party libraries  Cross-platform apps are cost effective. Therefore, startups prefer to develop apps using cross platform development framework. 
Programming languages  Hybrid apps uses third-party libraries  Hybrid apps uses CSS, JavaScript and HTML5 programming languages  Cross platform apps use JavaScript, Html 5 and CSS programming language  
Top players/apps  Spotify, WhatsApp, Soundcloud, Tesla Twitter, Gmail, Instagram, Evernote, Amazon Instagram, skype, Airbnb, Walmart 

Wrapping up   

Use cases of Hybrid Vs. Native Vs. Cross-platform apps.

When to choose native apps?   

  • If you want to access platform integration capabilities such as cameras, sensors, GPS, etc.   
  • If you want to provide superior performance to the users    
  • If you want to develop gaming apps or add complex features to an app  
  • If you want to build more secure apps   

In what cases you can use Hybrid apps?  

  • If you want to develop an app for multiple platforms  
  • If you’re going to use the single codebase across all platforms  
  • If you’re going to launch the app quickly   
  • If you’re going to reduce the cost of development   
  • If you’re going to reach multiple target audiences   


Q1. Is a hybrid app a cross-platform app?

Hybrid and cross-platform apps are made using similar technologies, but these apps are different. Hybrid apps, though, use a single codebase to develop apps for multiple platforms. Under cross-platform app development, developers write the code once and reuse it across multiple platforms.   
Regarding performance, hybrid apps provide native-like performance to the users. Cross-platform apps do not offer high-level performance to users. 

Q2. Why is native app development often more costly than cross-platform or hybrid?

Native app development is expensive as you write code twice, test twice, and maintain it twice; hence every functionality or feature has 2X time effort. Time effort is directly proportional to cost.  
There is always an overhead of communication and other efforts while communicating with two developers, one for Android and another for Ios. 

Q3. Which language is best for the native app?   

Platform provider usually recommends the choice of Native app language. For instance, Android has the support of both Java and Kotlin, while Android maintains its stance on Kotlin’s first approach in Android projects.  
IOS supports both Swift and Objective-c, but they have Swift’s first approach in IOS projects. 

Note: These recommendations change every year due to technological advancements, and platform providers work consistently to improve the performance and make highly abstracted languages for devs so that they can code faster and simpler.  

Q4. Can we build a hybrid app using React Native?   

Yes, we can use react native to create a hybrid app. It’s the most popular choice for a hybrid app as React Native is the answer to both speed and scale for your next hybrid app.

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