Native vs Hybrid App Development: Which is Better for Mobile Development?

  • By Amardeep Singh Sandhu

  • 5th June 2024

Spread the love

In the era of booming online businesses, establishing a robust online presence is a top priority for every organization, enterprise, or startup. Equally crucial is the creation of personalized relationships with users, a key driver of high customer satisfaction rates. 

Talking about personalization, mobile apps are the way to grasp user’s loyalty, trust and attention. It is estimated that the mobile app’s total revenue is going to cross $935 billion in 2024. With such massive numbers, investing in a mobile app is a must.

Demand for mobile experiences is growing 5x faster than internal IT teams can deliver.

– Gartner

Whether you’re a mobile app developer or business founder, this guide can help you find the best fit for your requirements: a native mobile app or a hybrid mobile app.

What is a Native App?

As the name suggests, a native app is an application that runs on a specific Operating System or device. Since 98.7% of the phones run on these two operating systems, there are mainly two types of native apps: iOS apps and Android apps. The iOS apps only run on the devices in the Apple’s ecosystem, such as iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple Watch, etc. In fact, some apps are dedicated to just one device.

iOS apps are usually created using a diverse range of programming languages, including Java, Kotlin or Swift.

Android apps are native apps that run on Android devices such as tablets, smartphones and PCs using Android as their operating system. Developers create these apps using various programming languages and frameworks such as Java, CSS, HTML5, etc. Java is mostly used when developing apps for Google platform devices.   

Also read: iOS vs. Android: Which Platform is Better for Your App?

What are the Examples of Native Apps?

Some examples of native apps are as follows:

  • Discover is a banking app that users leverage to manage their bank accounts and pay bills securely from anywhere.
  • Spotify is a music streaming native app that allows you to discover new music and artists, recommend and share songs, etc.
  • WhatsApp is a native messaging app that has separate app versions for iOS and Android.
  • Pokemon Go is a native gaming app that uses camera features and GPS for an immersive gaming experience.

What are the Benefits of Native Apps?

Benefits of Native Apps

The benefits of opting for native apps are mentioned as follows:

  • Reliability

Native apps are reliable in nature as well as highly scalable. Since these apps are created for dedicated use in a specific operating system, the native apps are robust and work seamlessly.

  • High Speed

Native apps work very efficiently with increased levels of speed. Users experience the best mobile app performance and responsiveness thanks to the robustness of these apps.

  • Offline Functionality

One of the major reasons for creating or opting for native apps is their ability to function both online and offline. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to use the Internet to access native apps.

  • Highly Secure

Since native apps are built on dedicated platforms for Android or iOS apps, these apps are highly secure in nature. In other words, native apps are less prone to cyberattacks or malicious attacks.

  • Personalized Approach

Native apps offer you the functionality of adding push notifications. This feature of adding push notifications allows business organizations to build personalized relationships with consumers.

  • High Graphics Affinity

When creating graphic-heavy apps such as 3D-gaming apps etc., choosing the native environment offers the freedom to create unforgettable and sophisticated experiences for the users without any bugs, errors or lagging.

What are the Drawbacks of Native Apps?

Drawbacks of Native Apps

Now that you’re familiar with the good side of opting for native apps, let’s browse some of the notable disadvantages of native apps:

  • Limited to an OS

If a business organization thinks of going cross-platform in the near future, it becomes difficult to re-write the similar codebase for another operating system. 

  • Resource-Intensive

Building native apps requires a large team of dedicated iOS and Android developers who understand the dynamics of the apps. Therefore, companies need to thoroughly invest in high-level resources for producing native apps.

  • Time-Consuming

Since large teams and dedicated software tools are required to build native apps, the process of native app development is quite lengthy and exasperating at times.

What is a Hybrid App?

A hybrid app is an application that can be downloaded directly from app stores or it can be accessed through the web as well. You can consider it as an app that is in the middle of a native app and a website. Hybrid apps are a wonderful choice of apps for business organizations or startups that want to allocate their business resources judiciously.

The most popular frameworks used for hybrid app development include Xamarin, Flutter, React Native, Ionic, etc. As far as programming languages are concerned, Java, Objective-C, Swift and Kotlin can be used to develop these apps.

The best part about hybrid apps is that these applications can be created on a single platform for both iOS and Android operating systems. Therefore, companies can significantly cut costs by opting for hybrid apps.

You can access hybrid apps either through the app stores or directly from any web browser such as Google Chrome, Safari, etc.

What are the Examples of Hybrid Apps?

Some of the prominent examples of hybrid apps are mentioned as follows:

  • Slack is one of the best examples of a hybrid app. It is a collaboration platform that can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play Store. It can also be accessed via the web.
  • Evernote is another great example of a hybrid app. It is a note-taking app where you can also store files, images, docs and much more.
  • Amazon Shopping is a hybrid app that allows you to share your shopping cart across your devices.
  • Instagram is a social networking native app that is available as a separate app on both the App Store and Google Play Store.

What are the Benefits of Hybrid Apps?

Benefits of hybrid Apps

The advantages of choosing hybrid apps for your next mobile app development project are as follows:

  • Multiple Platforms

Mobile developers can create apps for multiple platforms by using the same codebase. This functionality makes the delivery of hybrid apps 2-3x faster than native app development.

  • UI/UX Consistency

One of the major benefits of opting for hybrid mobile app development is that you can create uniform user experiences for the users without any hassle. You can use a single codebase for web, mobile, tablets and desktops. No matter what channels you’re targeting, hybrid mobile app development has got you covered.

  • Quick Deployment

The process of launching hybrid apps for public use is far easier than native apps. These apps can be deployed in the simplest manner without having to build any codebase from scratch for each platform.

  • Dynamic Content

Hybrid app development provides developers with the flexibility of creating web content with dynamic features, elements and capabilities. Business organizations can also target mobile affiliate marketing by leveraging dynamic content.

  • Centralized Development Team

Hybrid apps decline the raging gap between various development teams by leveraging centralized development teams for mobile development projects. There is no need for business organizations to allocate external resources for app development.

  • High Efficiency

The time-to-market for hybrid apps is quite less as compared to a native app. The development time is reduced along with the elimination of surplus costs to hire native talent, thus, saving thousands of dollars to the business organizations.

What are the Drawbacks of Hybrid Apps?

Drawbacks of Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps sound more economical than native apps and even sometimes, better. But is that the reality? Let’s go over some of the major disadvantages of choosing hybrid apps for your organization:

  • System Overhead

When choosing for web views, hybrid apps may introduce some degree of system overhead as compared to native apps. Although the adoption of APIs has made it better, this tradeoff cannot be neglected. Especially when creating performance-intensive applications such as 3D games, this shortcoming is quite visible.

  • Complex Hardware Adaptation

When creating apps for a variety of platforms, it becomes difficult to take full advantage of hardware and pick up an all-inclusive app design. 

  • No Native Plugins

Since hybrid apps are web-dependent as well, they do not have the flexibility to introduce native features of a device such as GPS, camera, microphone, gyroscope, etc.

  • Third-Party Dependent

You need to trust the framework vendor when looking to incorporate app updates and latest versions for each of the native devices. This functionality rips off the advantage of pushing quick bug-fixes and app updates in a robust manner.

  • No Offline Access

The users need 24/7 Internet access to utilize the hybrid app. This feature makes hybrid apps quite similar to web apps since you cannot access them offline.

Factors to Consider When Choosing an App Development Method

If you have developed biased thinking against a native or hybrid app until now, you must ask yourself some significant questions to find the right fit for the mobile app development methodology according to your requirements, budget and other factors.

You must ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you creating the app for a client, for yourself, or for your employer? This will assist you in setting priorities for your app development. Are you trying to complete a task as quickly as possible? Or are you working on your own piece of art?
  • Which features are essential? Take into account how much the app uses the device’s functionality and user interface. Do you need to use a GPS device? Is the camera going to be necessary?
  • How quickly should it be launched? If speed is important, you should consider a hybrid app. If you have the time and resources, consider creating a native app.
  • What is the development budget? If your budget is reasonable, you may be able to develop native apps for both Android and iOS. If your resource pool is limited, you may be better off taking the hybrid approach.
  • Who is the intended audience? Your audience might not be able to deal with a hybrid app if they are easily turned off by the occasional hiccup or stability issue. A business manager looking to track call centre SaaS doesn’t have the same needs as someone looking to buy the newest gadgets.

Which is Better: A Native or Hybrid App?

After familiarizing yourself with the features of native and hybrid apps, it is clear that no one approach is better than the other. The answer to the question of which app is better is completely subjective. You can consider the following factors when choosing the right approach for yourself:

  • What’s your app development budget?
  • Do you need to push frequent updates to the app?
  • Is speed and efficiency a priority for you?
  • Do you want a more personalized approach for your app?
  • What’s the nature of your business and what does your target audience prefer?

Jotting down the answers to these questions on a piece of paper will surely give you a clear understanding of your ideal app development path.


1. What is native app development?

Native app development is the process of creating an app for a dedicated Operating System such as iOS or Android. These apps use proprietary programming languages such as Swift for iOS native app development or other languages such as Java, CSS, HTML5, etc. These apps have an amazing UI/UX with easily incorporated app updates.

2. What is hybrid app development?

Hybrid app development is the process of creating apps that are a cross between native apps and websites. These apps run on various operating systems such as iOS, Android, Microsoft, etc., as well as web applications. Hybrid apps are more economical as app developers can use the same codebase to build apps for various operating systems.

3. What are the benefits of native apps?

One of the major benefits of native apps is that these apps offer consistent UI/UX experiences to the users. These apps can be easily updated and can leverage device features such as GPS, camera, etc. You can also push out personalized notifications to the users.

4. What are the benefits of hybrid apps?

One of the major benefits of hybrid app development is that the development process is quite economical and budget-friendly. You also don’t need to deploy a separate codebase to build the apps, as hybrid apps only require writing code just one time to launch apps on a diverse range of platforms.

Written By
Amardeep Singh Sandhu
calendar 5th June 2024
Amardeep Singh Sandhu, head of the mobile applications department at Deftsoft, is known for implementing new technological trends in real-life applications. Having worked with popular mobile application platforms like iOS, android and hybrid. He brings the best and creative ideas, making sure the voice of the brand reaches the right people. He is responsible for exponential growth in the mobile application marketplace.

Have A Project in Mind?
Let us connect...