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Native Vs. Hybrid – The Mobile Application Development Face-off

Mobile app usage has seen steady growth over the past few years. There are predicted to be 258 billion mobile app downloads in 2022, a 45% growth compared to 2017. (Source). Needless to say, the interest of companies in connecting with their customers through mobile apps is also increasing. Apps have now become the most crucial dynamic business tools to provide users with a streamlined experience. It is important to note that application development is a critical task that requires a lot of thought and decision making, especially in terms of investment and maintenance.

Which brings us to the all-important question - Native App Vs. Hybrid App. Which is better? Let’s first dive straight into understanding what these two app development models are.

Native Apps

Native Apps are created specifically for a particular platform, either Android or iOS. This means that they are built using programming languages supported only by a certain platform. Java and Kotlin are popular languages used for Android, whereas, Objective-C and Swift are used for iOS. With native app development, there will be a need to build and code separate apps for separate operating systems simultaneously. WhatsApp and Facebook are well-known examples of native apps.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid Apps provide cross-platform functioning, which means developers need to write only one code that works on Android and iOS. Web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are used to develop Hybrid Apps. It can also be said that hybrid apps are like websites packed into containers to function as software. Hybrid apps are notorious for their slower performance. Familiar examples of hybrid apps are Instagram and Wikipedia.

Now that we know what Native and Hybrid app development mean, it would be good to look at the two head-to-head.

Native Vs. Hybrid

Code Functionality

As mentioned in their descriptions, it must be clear that hybrid Apps work on standard code functionality, making them more versatile across platforms. With hybrid apps, developers are more careful while introducing features, choosing only those that work on both platforms. Having a common code for both platforms, these apps have less device-specific features.

Native apps, on the other hand, have a distributed code base. This can lead to delays in development on one platform, as the code is not ready, while the other keeps receiving updates with a built and tested system. Having separate applications for Android and iOS, native apps do give device-specific features.

Cost-Effectiveness and Time

Hybrid apps are more economical to build, as they need only one team developing a single code for the application. The cost is similar to making only one app, though these apps can run on Android and iOS. The cost of maintenance is lower, and since only one app is being built, time-to-market is lesser in the case of hybrid development.

Native App development needs separate dedicated teams, having expertise in a particular platform. However, dedicated teams result in higher costs for development as well as maintenance. The development of different apps for separate platforms essentially doubles the time required to build and test apps.

Overall Functionality

Hybrid apps depend on plugins to be connected with device features. Sometimes, these plugins have to be developed manually or adjusted to approach a function on the device. This can occasionally make app maintenance difficult. Hybrid apps are also dependent on the internet for their delivery. Some features may not be available if the user is offline.

With native apps, there is no need for plugins or extra tools. As these are built for a specific platform, the applications already can connect to the device's hardware and databases. Native apps can deliver offline performance, which is why they also load faster.

User Experience

Native apps are known to perform faster than hybrid apps, as they are meant for a particular platform. Native apps also follow specific UX/UI standards, which makes them easier for users to understand and navigate.

Though both app development variants are constantly improving, hybrid apps are currently not a choice for complex functionality. However, if chosen for the right purpose, most users might not even be able to detect the difference between native and hybrid apps.


Native apps provide better data security than hybrid apps. That is why they are a popular choice in sectors that deal with sensitive data, like banking and enterprise. Unlike native apps, Hybrid apps are more vulnerable to a security risk, and securing hybrid apps becomes a more laborious process.

The Winner is…

Both native and hybrid development have their pros and cons. Hybrid apps are a popular choice with companies on a budget and limited time to deliver apps. These can also be effectively used for companies dealing with content delivery, such as reviews, travel, and news. Native apps are the way to go when you need your app to deliver complex functionality, better security, and perform offline.

In conclusion, the question is not “Which is better?” but “What is better for YOU?”

If you want to take your application idea further, ITCrats is here to help. We are a cutting-edge IT services company providing comprehensive services for app development. Having the right skill-set and resources, we deliver customized apps that are sure to make your business stand apart. Write to us now on

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itcrats 06.15.2021 35 1022
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