React Native vs Hybrid App Development

There is always a battle about which platform will win since 2015 when react native platform was introduced. Does it mean React Native will win or Hybrid? But the debate is not about which platform works best. Instead, it is more about which platform suits your startup– react native vs Hybrid.   

When starting your business, you might have a lot on your plate ranging from turning your business idea into reality, hiring new staff, managing the funds, and selecting the right technology for developing future apps. Sometimes, all this sounds overwhelming to you.   

Developing the right mobile app can bring enormous opportunities for your business, such as increasing your brand awareness, bringing more leads for your business, and getting you more conversions.   

Let’s look at the stats – There are around 3.6 billion Android users worldwide as of 2023. But that doesn’t mean a business owner will ignore iOS mobile app users.

 Android App Users
Android App Users

React native and hybrid apps offer a vast pool of benefits to the users; let’s dive into this blog to determine which is better for your startup. If you are looking to create applications that are of high quality, then this blog is going to answer all your questions.  

What is React Native App?  

React Native App
React Native App

React Native, an open-source JavaScript framework enables developers to build applications for various platforms such as iOS, Android, and the web, providing versatility in multi-platform development. It is used by top brands worldwide, including Instagram, Facebook, skype, etc.   

One of the prominent features of react native framework is that it is used for creating dynamic user interfaces.   

Using react native framework, developers can write the code once and develop apps on various platforms.   

What is a Hybrid App?  

Hybrid App
Hybrid App

Hybrid apps mix the features of native and web apps. Developers prefer to create hybrid apps as they can write code once, and these apps can support multiple platforms. Hybrid apps are like websites that behave like an app. However, users can access hybrid apps through the browser itself.  

Developers use various technologies for developing hybrid apps, such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. In comparison to native apps, hybrid apps are cost-effective options to choose from.   

Regarding performance level, hybrid apps offer similar performance and a user experience just like native apps do.  

Research Studies
Research Studies

Research studies suggest that hybrid apps make up 74% of US app stores’ top 50 retail apps.   

Businesses prefer to choose hybrid apps when timelines and affordability are the 2 options available.   

Popular hybrid apps include Instagram, Discord, BMW, Twitter, etc.   

Problems With Hybrid Apps

Here are the 4 problems with Hybrid apps-

1. Offers Unsatisfactory Performance   

Hybrid apps do not offer best-in-class performance to the users as compared to react native apps. These apps degrade the performance because it creates an additional layer between the mobile platform and the app’s source code.   

As performance is a primary concern for developing these apps, Facebook switched from HTML 5 to react native.   

2. Difficulty in Adding New Features To an App   

If startups want to stay ahead of their competitors, incorporating new features and functionalities is necessary.   

When developing a hybrid app, it often becomes challenging for the developers to add new features and capabilities to hybrid apps.  

3. Poor UX   

As you already know, the first impression matters the most. But Hybrid apps fail to provide best-in-class UX that could appeal to the users.  

But if you want to develop an app that requires eye-catching illustrations and 3D graphics, choosing a Hybrid app is not your go-to option.   

Hybrid apps have poor UX because of limitations such as restricted animation, sluggish graphics, etc.   

4. Difficult Debugging   

The infusion of extra layers increases the complexity of hybrid apps. Here, the developers keep experimenting with targeted operating systems, hoping no more bugs will be introduced in the platform.   

Moreover, developers do not completely understand the chosen platform, so identifying app bugs becomes cumbersome.   

Why Should Startups Use React Native Over a Hybrid?  

Startups Use React Native Over a Hybrid
Startups Use React Native Over a Hybrid

1. Functions Like Native Apps   

React native apps make use of the same components that are being used for developing native apps, such as Android or iOS. These apps look and function just like hybrid apps.   

On the other hand, hybrid apps are wrapped in a native container, and they act like web apps. There is no room for traditional hybrid apps to stand out because they offer poor performance and speed.   

2. Shared Codebase  

Startups prefer to choose React native framework because it enables the developers to write code once and use it for multiple platforms.  

Hence, developers can reuse the code for Android and IOS platforms. Developing apps using React native platform saves half the development time and cost compared to developing native apps.   

At BigOhTech, we have a dedicated set of native app developers who use 80% of the shared codebases for developing high-quality apps that work perfectly for IOS and Android.  

3. Supports Third-Party Integration   

Earlier, it was challenging for native app development companies to do third-party integrations that were unsupported in react native.   

Now, react native framework enables the developers to access the open-source ecosystem for external integration. This framework extensively supports third-party plugins, while others usually lack this feature.   

4. Advanced Code   

Are you digging your head into using Objective C /Swift or Java/Kotlin for developing scalable mobile apps? Isn’t it challenging enough for you to code differently for individual platforms?   

It is easy for beginner developers to learn JavaScript programming language. Another characteristic of React native framework is that it provides a low-code environment.   

Developers write a few lines of code, reducing the time for them to test and market the app.   

Unlike other programming languages, JavaScript is a beginner-friendly language, and you can find a huge pool of developers who have expertise in JavaScript programming language.   

5. Reusable Components   

When developing hybrid apps, cross platforms developers must rely on web view components.

In the case of React Native, counterparts of Native IOS and Android exist, allowing the developers to create a native-like look, feel, and provide the same functionalities to the users as it is with native apps.

6. Hardware Compatibility

Hardware compatibility is a major concern for developers who have been working with various frameworks.  

React native framework makes it easy for developers to develop cross-platform applications. Not only that, react native framework has access to inbuilt hardware components such as Bluetooth, GPS, Maps, etc.   

7. A Budget-Friendly Option For Developers   

Most startups prefer to react native over other frameworks because it is known for developing faster mobile applications at an affordable price. The cost of developing apps using react native framework is comparatively lower than other frameworks because it involves minimal effort in developing apps.   

Here, the single codebase developed for one platform can be reused for multiple platforms. Hence. saving up the development efforts by 50%.

Read also- React Native Vs Native App Development: Pros & Cons

Comparison Between React Native vs Hybrid Apps

Let’s figure out the difference between React Native vs Hybrid-

Basis of comparison  React native  Hybrid  
Programming languages  React native framework uses JavaScript as the primary programming language.  The hybrid framework uses Html, CSS, and JavaScript as the programming language for developing mobile apps.    
User experience  React native framework offers high-end performance as all the views are native, and users get an exact native look and feel of an application.    Apps developed using a hybrid framework do not offer good performance as this framework was initially developed for web pages, not for developing complex apps built today. 
Budget-friendly and time-efficient option  React native follow one principle – Write code once and run everywhere.   Hence, developers can save their hours by reusing the same codebase for developing apps that work on multiple platforms.    Businesses can save their development time and cost by developing hybrid apps.    But, if you want to develop apps quickly and reach out to your target audience, developing hybrid apps is your lifesaver option.    
Developer experience  As react native renders native views so developers can focus on channelizing important stuff rather than being stuck somewhere in fixing bugs    While hybrid apps consist of web components, the developer must deal with many bugs that appear for every browser.   Thus, making the app development process more time-consuming and complex    
Testing during development  React Native provides instantaneous results to the developer as it allows the developers to see the outcomes of customizations as they go on making them.    A hybrid app lets developers preview the app in browsers and smart devices.    
Popular apps  Some popular React native apps include Facebook, Walmart, Bloomberg, Wix, etc. Some popular hybrid apps include Twitter, G-mail, Evernote, Discord, Uber, etc.   

 End Notes…   

Now, you might understand why you should choose to React native apps over Hybrid. But, to give you an idea of when you should develop hybrid apps and when you should invest your hours in building React native apps, this checklist is for you.  

When should you develop a hybrid app?  

  • When you want to develop an app that works seamlessly on multiple platforms   
  • When you are targeting a broad range of audience
  • When you want to find a cost-effective option for developing an app   

When should you develop React native app?  

  • When you want to provide an engaging user interface to your customers   
  • When you want to enjoy the benefits of cross-platform capabilities   
  • When you want to make fewer UI sacrifices
  • When you want to provide native-like app performance   

Choosing between the two is not a piece of cake for everyone.  

So, choose the app that is more scalable based on your requirements. But this guide has given ample reasons to suggest that startup owners should choose to react native vs Hybrid.  

Not to get confused, react native framework is considered the top development framework and is mostly loved by developers.   

Still, have questions? Jump to the contact us section and leave your queries for our React native app developers.


Q1. Why should you choose React Native for startups?

Here are a few reasons why a startup owner should go with developing apps using React native framework –

1. Functions like native apps
2. Shared codebase   
3. Supports third-party integration  
4. Advanced code   
5. Reusable components   
6. Hardware compatibility  

Q2. How has React Native killed hybrid apps?

React native has killed the popularity of hybrid apps by developing apps that offer high-level performance to the users, and that’s impossible for the framework that relies on WebView components.

Here are the limitations of why hybrid apps are degraded over the period –

1. Poor UX  
2. Difficult debugging   
3. Offers unsatisfactory performance   
4. Adding new features to an app is challenging

Q3. What are the reasons why hybrid apps are not fit for startups?

Here are the reasons why hybrid apps are not fit for startups –

1. The performance of hybrid apps is poor when it comes to developing apps that require catching illustrations and 3D graphics.   
2. It’s difficult for the developer to upgrade an app with the latest features and functionalities.   
3. It makes the debugging process too complex, especially at a time when developers do not understand the specific platform.

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