Hybrid App vs. Native App

When the iPhone was first launched in 2007, a vital question was raised. People looking to develop apps had two options available. Either they could use the existing technologies to build the apps or they could go completely native by using the specific device platforms for app development.
Since then, other native platforms have grown such as Android and Windows. However, the options for app development have not seen any change. Developers can opt for creating hybrid apps or go for native apps. Debates often rage on between developers when trying to decide which method offers the best app development scenario. However, the fact is that each one has a different set of pros and cons.
Native Apps
You will have to use the native language of the mobile platform in order to create native apps. For example, you need to know Objective-C in order to create iOS apps while Java is used for Android. The biggest benefit of using native apps is the performance they can offer. Since native apps get compiled into the machine code, you are getting the best performance possible from that particular mobile device. This means that the animations are fast and you get complete access to the hardware of the phone as well as the latest APIs available.

However, native app development is not at all an easy process. You do get a lot of resources but they not everybody may be able to grasp it. The code will have to be written specifically for each particular mobile platform which means you will have to rewrite it when you want to use a different platform.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are simply web based apps that operate within the native browser of the platform. This includes WebView in Android and UIWebView in iOS. Hybrid apps can be developed with JavaScript, CSS and HTML. Once developed, these apps are then packaged as a native app using other platforms such as Cordova. You gain the ability to use whatever web-native framework that you want. Additionally, you can get a lot of these frameworks.

Hybrid apps can be developed faster and it is a simpler process as well. Maintenance is easier as well. You can change the platform of the app whenever you want. Cordova, for example, allows you to create apps for multiple platforms by the addition of a single line of code. You can use plugins to gain access to the hardware of the mobile devices such as Bluetooth.

The problem with Hybrid apps lies in their performance as they have to run within the native browser. They can rarely be as fast and smooth as native apps.

Development Procedures

You can use the various resources available freely in the internet to learn the procedure of developing apps in the native platforms. Apple provides a tutorial for developers to start developing apps for their iOS platform. Android app development can be learned from similar tutorials available. However, you will need a device with that platform to develop the apps. For example, a Mac is required for iOS app development.

For Hybrid apps, you can use either Cordova or Appcelerator Titanium. Tutorials for these two can be easily located in the internet. Other options include Corona, Xamarin and MoSync.


Native and hybrid apps are two options for completing the same task and both of these development methods are useful. However, they can satisfy different preferences and needs of users as well as developers. Neon of them can be thought of as a perfect solution as they have their own advantages and problems. Your choice of app development should be dependent on your necessities.

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