Native vs Hybrid App: Which is Good for App Development?

Published On: September 3, 2019
Last Updated: December 1, 2023
Native vs Hybrid App: Which is Good for App Development?

Planning to develop a mobile app for your business? There are a lot of things you need to consider for developing a perfect mobile app.

But, as soon as you start researching for developing a mobile app, one of the primary things you come across is Native vs Hybrid App.

Most businesses across the globe find it challenging to choose between a native or hybrid app for their business.

We have been working in the mobile app development industry for a long time & have developed many native & hybrid apps for different industries across the globe. Hence, we know what is required to build native and hybrid apps.

In this blog, we will compare native vs hybrid apps in detail and help you choose the best one for your business.

But before that, let’s quickly understand the main difference between them.

What is the Main Difference Between a Hybrid and a Native App?

The core difference is that native apps are developed for a specific platform, while hybrid apps are developed across all platforms.

A native app is built particularly for a mobile platform, either Android or iOS and accesses all the device’s features and functionality.

On the other hand, hybrid apps are developed using web technologies and are wrapped in a native container. These are built to work across any operating system & different devices by leveraging a single codebase.

Native vs Hybrid App: A Detailed Comparison

Here we have compared native and hybrid app development based on various essential factors.

App Performance

A native app is developed considering the platform-specific programming languages. Hence, developers focus on the contents, design, visual elements, and loading speed. Just like a website that downloads the entire website’s content at once, the native apps also fetch all the things and offer a consistent experience on a wide range of devices.

On the other hand, a hybrid app incorporates an extra layer between the source code and the mobile target platform, notably the hybrid mobile framework. Here, hybrid apps download the wrapper on the user’s phone, and almost all the data is loaded from the server.

Hybrid apps also need to manage server requests. Hence, it offers lower performance than a native app.

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App Development Time

On average, developing native apps for a single platform takes longer time than a hybrid app. Since native apps are built separately for each platform using platform-specific programming languages, developers need to write code for each platform individually.

However, it depends on several other factors, such as the app’s complexity, the development team’s expertise, and more. Despite the longer development timeline, if you are seeking optimal performance and full integration with each platform’s capabilities, native app development is likely the preferred option.

App Development Time

Hybrid apps are generally faster as it involves creating a single codebase using web technologies that can be deployed on multiple platforms. It allows developers to write code once and deploy it across various devices, reducing the overall development time.

If speed-to-market is a crucial factor, hybrid app development might be a more efficient choice for you.

Also Read: How Long Does it Take to Develop an App?

App Development Time & Cost

Native apps can be expensive as you need separate development for each platform. Since native apps require platform-specific code, businesses need to hire dedicated developers for each platform, increasing the development cost.

Additionally, maintaining two separate codebases leads to higher ongoing maintenance expenses. If the budget constraints are not there and specific platform features are top priorities, investing in native app development is preferable.

In comparison, the development cost for a hybrid app is generally more budget-friendly than native apps. Businesses can save expenses as it has the ability to target both iOS and Android simultaneously without the need for dedicated platform-specific developers and write code once for deployment.

If budget constraints are a significant concern, hybrid app development can offer a more cost-effective solution.

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Develop an App

Technology Stack

The technology stack refers to the set of programming languages, frameworks, tools, and software used to develop a mobile app. Below are the components commonly used for native and hybrid app development:

Native App Technology Stack

The technology stack for native app development varies depending on the chosen platform.

  • Android Native App Tech-stack

    In terms of Android app development, the two main programming languages native developers look for are Java and Kotlin. Android Studio is the best choice for code editing, automatic testing, debugging, etc.
  • iOS (Apple) Native App Tech-stack

    In terms of iOS app development, the most preferred programming languages are Swift and Objective-C. When it comes to tools, Xcode and Appcode are the best for iOS native app development.

Hybrid App Technology Stack

Hybrid apps are built using a combination of native and web applications. To create hybrid apps, developers wrap programming languages HTML, CSS, and JavaScript inside the native apps. Developers can also use hybrid frameworks like Xamarin, Ionic, and more to build hybrid apps.

User Experience

User Experience is one of the most crucial factors behind the app’s success. Let us understand how creating a mobile app in a native or a hybrid platform impacts the user experience.

In a native app, a designer uses a specific platform-style guide (for example, Android or iOS) to design an app having specific controls, interactions, gestures, etc. Due to this, the app runs efficiently and smoothly.

While in a hybrid app, the user experience may not be as seamless as in a native app since the UI is often designed using web technologies, resulting in a less platform-specific look and feel. As designers made efforts to achieve cross-platform consistency in which there might be slight performance differences and limitations in accessing certain native device features, impacting the overall user experience.

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App Maintenance

For a native app, developers have to maintain a different codebase if they are developing apps for two platforms. Moreover, you need to hire two separate mobile app developers for iOS and Android to maintain the apps accordingly.

However, in the case of the hybrid app, it requires less maintenance as compared to the native apps. Why? Because when you choose to go with a hybrid app, you need a single mobile app developer who will maintain a code base for multiple platforms.

Also Read: How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Mobile App?

Internet Connection

In the case of native apps, the requirement for an internet connection depends on the type of app. Native apps that rely on various APIs need an internet connection. Besides this, users require an internet connection to update the app.

Native apps other than these work efficiently without any internet connection.

On the other side, hybrid apps require an internet connection because they are websites at the core. Also, their web part needs to be loaded every time a user accesses it. However, if an HTML file gets downloaded, the user can access the hybrid app in offline mode.

After understanding the comparison of native and hybrid app development, let us have a quick overview of native vs hybrid apps.

Native vs Hybrid App: A Quick Comparison

Factors Native Hybrid
Language

– Objective-C

– Swift (iOS)

– Java

– Kotlin

– HTML

– CSS

– Javascript

Performance Quick & Reliable Slower
User Experience Best-in-class Not offers a fully native experience
Development Time High Low
Development Cost Expensive Moderate
Security Highly Secure Less secure than native
Updating The whole app needs to be updated to see changes The app is updated automatically from web code
Device Feature Integration Flawless Insufficient
Ecosystem SDK + Tools for technical implementation Depends on the framework & specific third party service
Frameworks API offered by OS Ionic & Xamarin
Internet Connection Offline Connectivity Requires Constant Internet Connection

Conclusion

We hope you have understood the detailed comparison of native vs hybrid apps. Both of them possess their own advantages and disadvantages.

By thoroughly following the factors mentioned above, you can choose the best from native or hybrid app for your next mobile app development project.

If you still have any doubt, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will provide free consultation.

Guru TechnoLabs is a leading mobile app development company. We will first understand your business requirements. Then, we will help you choose a native or hybrid app according to your business goals & requirements and also offer the best mobile app solution.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.