Native vs Hybrid Application

You all have something in your pockets. Wondering what I am talking about? It’s mobile devices that have become an inseparable part of our lives. Businesses worldwide are migrating from the brick-and-mortar model to the digital model.   

When your competitors are adapting according to changing consumer preferences, then where are you? If you are still thinking about whether your business needs a mobile app or not? This is the era of digitalization. Now, companies are using mobile apps to transform their business operations and make customers’ lives easy.   

Mobile apps have become a fundamental pillar in the life of businesses and customers. Mobile apps enable businesses to expand their horizons and build stronger customer relationships.   

In this blog, I will dive deeper to make you understand why mobile apps are important, an overview of Native and hybrid applications, which one should you choose for your app development project.  

Why are mobile apps essential?  

Let’s throw light on statistics –  

The number of mobile app downloads increased to 218 billion in 2020 from 204 billion in 2019. 

 According to an Insider Intelligence report, users spend 88% of their time within apps.   

As customers are inclined towards using more and more mobile apps, it becomes equally important for companies to leverage the trend of coming up with innovative mobile apps.   

What are the benefits of mobile apps?  

1. Get visibility   

Mobile apps give businesses an edge to increase visibility in customers’ eyes. As you know, users spend around 4-5 hours daily on their smartphones. Users who spend a significant chunk of their time on the app will likely to remember your brand name.   

2. Provides value to customers   

Business is all about a 2-way reciprocation process. When you offer a product to the customer, customers open their wallets. It’s better to convince your customers from the start by providing loyalty rewards so that they can avail the points and use it for their next purchase.   

3. Connect with your customers   

Mobile apps act as a bridge between you and your customers. If you want to hook your customers, creating the best user experience through the mobile device is better. Your mobile app serves as the last support for your customers in case any problem arises.   

4. Provides a direct communication   

Businesses need to launch mobile apps because it makes the flow of communication much more accessible. Businesses can send personalized offers to customers, which gives them a reason to engage with you.  

5. Provide better insights   

Businesses can track the user activities on the mobile app, such as time spent by them, study their behavior pattern, purchase history, what are their likes, and interests, and design their marketing campaigns accordingly.    

6. Provides better customer service   

Mobile apps are the best medium for businesses to respond to customer queries. Earlier, customers used to rely on traditional help desks, but now the introduction of mobile apps makes the lives of customers easy. Customers can take advantage of chatbots to get an answer to their queries and chatbots are there automate everything.   

Let’s get a quick overview of native and hybrid apps   

What are native mobile apps?  

Native mobile apps are those apps that are created for a specific operating system (IOS/android). Here, developers need to write separate codebases for IOS and android.

Developers create 2 types of native apps –   

1. Android apps   

Android apps are created using Java/ Kotlin programming language   

2. IOS apps   

Developers use objective c/swift to build IOS apps   

Native apps made for one platform cannot be used for another platform. For example – Native android apps cannot be used on IOS. On the contrary, native IOS apps cannot be used on android.   

Users can access native apps through their mobile devices. All the apps downloaded on your smartphones are considered as native apps. Developers can access all the platform features such as camera, GPS, Bluetooth, etc. Users can download native apps from the app store or play store.   

What are the advantages of Native apps?  

1. High Performance   

Native apps are best at providing exceptional performance to the users because these apps are developed for a specific platform. The speed of native apps is comparatively faster as developers create these apps using platform-specific programming languages.  

2. Highly secured apps   

Native apps are highly secured than hybrid apps because they are launched on the app store or play store once they get approval from android /IOS. It becomes easy for developers to launch these apps on the app store or play store because they are confined to specific platform guidelines.   

3. Provides the best user experience   

Native apps offer interactive user experiences to the customers because each platform has specific UI/UX guidelines. It eliminates the need of learning curve and allows users to interact hassle-free with app elements.   

4. Access to new updates   

It becomes easy for the developers to access the newest features quickly as and when android and IOS release new app updates. Hence, developers need not wait to get additional tools to access app features.   

What are the disadvantages of Native apps?  

1. High development cost   

The development cost of native apps is comparatively higher because 2 separate codebases are created to build apps, and thereby organization needs to spend extra dollars on hiring android and IOS developers separately.   

2. Need of experienced developers  

To create an app for the app store, the developer should have expertise in using objective C/swift language. We cannot expect an android app developer to create an IOS app. As the programming languages are different, so there is a need to hire an experienced developer for this.   

3. Time-consuming   

The time required to develop native apps is a bit higher than cross-platform apps as the developers need to write different codebases for running an app. One code can’t be repurposed for another platform.   

4. Expensive support & maintenance   

Generally, there is a misconception among developers that there are no expenses once the app gets launched. The yearly cost of maintaining native apps ranges from 20% to 50% of the app development process.  

Let’s take a quick walkthrough of hybrid apps   

What are Hybrid apps?  

Hybrid apps combine the capabilities of native and web apps. Users can access hybrid apps through web browsers. The development time of these apps is faster than native apps. Also, hybrid apps can take advantage of platform-specific features such as GPS, camera etc.   

Developers use web technologies such as CSS, HTML5 and JavaScript to build hybrid apps. A single codebase is used to develop these apps and these apps follow the principle of “write once, run everywhere”.  

What are the advantages of hybrid apps?  

1. Saves development time   

Developing hybrid apps saves development time as developers need to use a single codebase for developing an app for multiple platforms. In today’s digital landscape, it becomes important for developers to market the app quickly. Also, hybrid app developers can speed up the development process using various libraries such as Xamarin and PhoneGap.   

2. Work across multiple platforms   

Hybrid apps can work on multiple platforms (Android/IOS) with the help of a single codebase. Developers need not worry about writing various codebases to build an app that can support multiple platforms.   

3. Provides offline support   

Hybrid apps provide users to access the app in case of unstable internet connectivity. Hybrid apps provide offline support functionality to the users because these apps keep on saving the data locally. If there is a circumstance where users cannot see the app elements properly, they can access the app offline.  

4. Cost-effective solution   

Hybrid apps have cross-platform compatibility, making it easier for developers to use them on multiple platforms. Hence, it saves your development cost of using a single codebase to create an app. Even many top brands are developing hybrid apps. Some of these include Twitter, Uber, and Instagram.  

What are the disadvantages of hybrid apps?  

1. Poor User experience   

The user experience offered by hybrid apps is not good as every OS functions differently. A hybrid app developed for android might give a poor user experience for IOS users.   

2. Browser requirement   

Users can access hybrid apps through a web browser. They need to type the URL to access the app because it’s not launched in the app store. Therefore, it becomes difficult for users to interact with hybrid apps because these apps do not work smoothly.  

3. Access to an Internet connection   

Hybrid apps are primarily websites that require an internet connection to access a full range of features. In the absence of internet connectivity, users might find trouble accessing it offline.   

4. Graphics   

Hybrid apps do not produce high-quality images as compared to native apps. When it comes to designing high-quality graphics or leveraging 3D elements, it’s not profitable for you to go with a hybrid app development approach.  

Difference between Native and hybrid apps 

Basis of comparison Native apps  Hybrid apps  
Programming languages  Developers uses Java/Kotlin for developing android apps.   Objective C/Swift is used for developing IOS apps  Hybrid framework uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript language  
Code portability  Native app developers use various codebases for developing multiple apps  Developers use single codebase for creating apps that supports multiple platforms  
Time to release apps  It is a time-consuming process to create separate codebases, design the interface and then release the app in the market  Hybrid apps can be marketed quickly as it uses single codebase  
Performance  Native apps offer exceptional performance to the users as apps are developed using platform specific guidelines  Hybrid apps does not provide native performance when it comes to designing 3D elements in an app or adding complex interfaces  
Approvals  An app is launched in the market once it gets approval from app store or play store  Hybrid apps does not require approval from app store or play store, these apps are accessed through web browser  
Maintenance  Native apps require high maintenance efforts because developer needs to maintain app for individual platforms  Developer need not worry about maintaining separate app again and again. Hence, cost of maintaining an app is relatively low  
Top players /apps WhatsApp, Spotify  Instagram, Evernote, Twitter, Uber, Feedly 

When to choose native apps?  

  • If you want to access platform integration capabilities such as cameras, sensors, GPS, etc.  
  • If you want to build a responsive mobile application  
  • If you want to provide high performance to the users   
  • If you want to develop 3D animated apps or gaming apps   
  • If you want to get the utmost security in an app   

When to choose hybrid apps?  

  • If you want to develop apps quickly   
  • If you have a limited budget   
  • If you’re going to use the same codebase across multiple platforms   
  • If you’re going to build cross-platform application   
  • If you’re going to develop a web app   
  • If you’re going to target both mobile and web users   

Wrapping up  

Today’s customers won’t take you for granted. If your app does not have a responsive design then users would never stick to it. Hence, there might be chances that bounce rate of your app increases.  

The above use cases will give you a gist to understand which framework suits better for your project. If you are not able to choose which app you need to develop then connect with our experts now to accelerate your business.  


Q1. Which is better – A hybrid or a native app? 

Both are equally good however Native App scales and works for all use cases While Hybrid app development is more suitable in the following cases – 
1. When you want to access platform-specific capabilities   
2. When you want to develop a 3D app or an animated app  
3. When you want to provide superior performance to the users   

Native app development is suitable in the following cases –  
1. When you want to build cross-platform apps   
2. When you want to launch your app quickly in the market   
3. When you have a broad range of target audience   
4. When you have budget constraints   

Q2. What factors should you consider when choosing between a hybrid and a native app?  

Here are the few factors that have to be taken into consideration before choosing a native or hybrid app-  
1. Time required to build an app.  
Choosing a hybrid app is a beneficial alternative for you if you need to construct an app quickly.   

2. Platform-specific functionalities   
Develop a native app if you want access to platform-specific integration features.

3. Budget   
 If you have a limited budget, then developing native apps is not recommended. You can choose to create hybrid apps.   

Q3. How does app performance differ between hybrid and native apps?

The performance of native apps is superior to hybrid apps. As native apps have access to specific platform capabilities, the performance it offers is exceptional. Hybrid apps do not perform faster when it comes to building 3D apps or game apps or Apps that requires lot of processing and Native functionalities   

Q4. Can hybrid apps access device-specific features like native apps? 

Yes, Hybrid apps can access device-specific features just like native apps however it might be slower and may not scale in all use cases and scenarios. Most of time, in hybrid app, you are always doing feasibility study on use case. 

Q5. How does user experience differ in hybrid apps and native apps?

In comparison to hybrid apps, the user experience with native apps is significantly more interactive. 
Due to the fact that hybrid apps have the same appearance, functionality, and user experience regardless of whether they are running on Android, iOS, or a specific device version, hybrid apps are inconsistent in terms of user experience based on device recommendations. This makes these apps less engaging. 
Due to users’ long-term exposure to the typical native user interfaces across numerous apps, native apps are easier to use as compared with Hybrid Apps.

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