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Native vs Hybrid – Which To Choose?

As with anything in life, there are always pros and cons that come into play when choosing between an app that is native to the device or one that is a hybrid. Native apps will take up all of the system resources on the device whereas with a hybrid app you can use it with different operating systems.

Choosing between native vs hybrid apps can be difficult. When doing a search for apps it is hard to find exactly what you are looking for. Titles differ, descriptions differ, and sometimes even screenshots differ. We need to be able to work out how the different apps will differ from each other before we make any decisions. So, before we jump into the benefits and disadvantages of either option let’s look at what native app is and what hybrid app is.

What is a Native App?

Native apps are applications that are developed specifically for a single platform, usually for a smartphone. The screen size of a smart phone is completely different to that of a laptop or desktop computer. Most of the programs that you would find on a desktop computer are also available on a smartphone. A good example would be office programs. However, each program is built with a different operating system for desktops and for phones.

A program is built for a single platform because the screen size is specific to the platform. The interface is very different for both desktop and mobile platforms.

What is a Hybrid App?

Native apps have advantages and disadvantages, however, they often do not cover all the options that you would need. One common app that is talked about is the hybrid app. Hybrid apps have been developed to integrate different technologies together to create an app that is tailored to the user’s needs.

What is the difference between a native app and a hybrid app?

Native apps are applications that have been developed for a specific platform, such as iOS or Android. They are coded directly for that platform. Some examples of native apps would be popular games, educational apps and movies. They are built for the specific platform and therefore are coded specifically for the platform.

A hybrid app is developed to include more than one technology, usually at least two. However, as hybrid apps have developed, there are often more of them being coded to include other technologies. Some examples of hybrid apps would be Amazon Kindle, Candy Crush and Clash of Clans.

Why choose native apps?

Native apps have the benefit of being built for the platform. They will fit the platform and their interface will work specifically for the platform. They also look nicer and provide more control. Hybrid apps, however, do deliver some of the advantages of native apps but have their disadvantages. Hybrid apps have access to more than one technology, therefore they have the benefit of offering a wider variety of features to the users, however, these often do not fulfill specific functions or controls.

Advantages of Native Apps

Advantages of native apps include the obvious, they are built for the platform, so they are specific to that platform. However, the advantages of native apps go a little further than this. They allow more control to the user. They also allow for a more customizable app than a hybrid app.

Disadvantages of Native Apps

Disadvantages of native apps include higher costs due to more programmers required to develop it. It also takes up more space, for example, if a user downloads a game to their device which takes up 1Gb of space, however, if the user downloaded the same game to their phone through a hybrid app then it might only take up 50Mb of space. This does present the problem of hybrid apps being able to take up more space.

Advantages of Hybrid Apps

Advantages of hybrid apps include having access to more than one technology. This is an advantage because it allows developers, instead of developing just one application, they can build many different applications. It also allows for the user to have access to a wider range of features. Hybrid apps also come with the advantage of a lower cost to develop.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps

Disadvantages of hybrid apps include a smaller market than native apps. This is due to the market of hybrid apps being smaller, and therefore the competition for it, smaller. There are also limitations with hybrid apps. One of the biggest issues is when a hybrid app has been developed for one platform, say Android, but the application is downloaded to a smart phone which has a different operating system, for example, a smart phone that runs on Windows. This makes hybrid apps not compatible across different operating systems. Another limitation is size. Hybrid apps usually take up more space in memory because they have both code from an operating system as well as other files such as images or sounds.


The main advantage of using a hybrid mobile app development company over native applications is cost-effectiveness. However, there are some disadvantages too. For instance, if you want your users to download only one version of your app then you should go ahead with native app development.

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