If you are new to the mobile app development world, you might not fully understand the differences of hybrid vs. native apps. After all, isn’t there just iOS and Android app development? What does hybrid vs. native app even mean?

As someone who was asking these questions not too long ago, I understand your confusion. There are a lot of aspects of app development that still go way over my head. However, when it comes to the differences of hybrid vs. native apps, the answer is relatively simple.

In order to help you with your next app development project, we have put together a list of differences between these two methods for developing an app. Once you have a better grasp of not only the differences, but the distinct advantages of the two methods, you will be in a much better position to decide which will be best for your venture. Let’s take a look.

hybrid vs. native apps

Native apps

Native apps are applications for tablets and smartphones developed specifically for the operating system they will be used on. For example, when working with mobile app design for iOS, a developer would use Swift and Java for Android.

Although it seems like developing an app natively makes the most logical sense, keep in mind that it is usually more expensive to develop this way. Instead of writing one version of the code, you will have to have developers skilled in both languages. However, this is a small price to pay for the numerous benefits provided by native apps.

Advantages of native apps

When it comes to hybrid vs. native apps, there are a few distinct advantages that native apps offer. Some are simple, like the ability to be used without an internet connection. Others are more advanced, like better UX design.

In order to make sure you understand the differences, here are some of the advantages of working with native apps.

High performing

When you develop specifically for one operating system it is a lot easier to follow that system’s specific guidelines. Doing this leads to a high performing app best suited for gaming and other performance-heavy apps.

Built-in capabilities

Another advantage to developing natively is easier access to the built-in capabilities of the operating system. This can include functionalities like camera, microphone, GPS, and a string of others. Meanwhile, hybrid apps have limited access depending upon the publisher’s rules.  


Native apps have another distinct advantage when it comes to being found in the app store. This comes from the other advantages that we already have laid out, like UX and high performance, that hybrid apps simply can’t match.

hybrid app development

Hybrid apps

Now, while you might think that native is the way to go, keep an open mind as we take a look at hybrid apps and what makes them unique. Unlike native apps, hybrid apps are essentially web apps that have been adapted to fit the shell of a native app.

Most hybrid apps are made using compatible web technologies like HTML or CSS and then tweaked for each platform by employing Cordova or another similar platform. So, if you’re wanting to know how to get an app made for multiple platforms, these are the languages you’ll need to know.

Advantages of hybrid apps

Again, while it may seem like the benefits of developing hybrid vs. native apps are outweighed by native, there are plenty of reasons to consider hybrid development. If you’re still asking why, here are a few areas where hybrid outperforms native across the board.

Low cost

When it comes to hybrid vs. native apps, no one can say that native is less expensive. With hybrid apps, you are developing one app for multiple platforms. This means that there is a lot less legwork that can often be done by a smaller team. If you know off the bat that cost is going to be an issue, hybrid is the way to go.

Less requirements

Unlike with native apps, hybrid apps can be made using one language and adapted to different platforms when necessary. This means that there are less requirements that go into the build, which means a reduced time to market. If you’re looking for a way to get your app idea out into the world as soon as possible, consider hybrid.

native app development

Hybrid vs. Native apps

So, now you might be wondering, what’s the answer? When it comes to hybrid vs. native apps, what’s the correct answer?

Like many things in life, the answer is not so cute and dry. For instance, if you are developing a simple app that doesn’t need very many features (like a directory or ticket purchasing app), hybrid makes more sense for such a basic project.

On the other hand, if you have a list of features you hope to add throughout the development, native has advantages that would play well in this scenario. Additionally, native might be the right choice for a brand with more money to spend while a start-up with less capital might lean toward hybrid.


The answer in the end is: it depends. There are situations when a hybrid app makes more sense than a native app and vice versa. For your own mobile app development project, it’s going to depend on your team, your goals, and what you hope to accomplish with your app.

In our opinion, native is a more robust solution than hybrid and when possible we suggest developing natively. Regardless of what you decide, now that you know where to start, the next question is when: when are you going to start?

Our response is: why not now?