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Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform Approach to Mobile App Development

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform Approach to Mobile App Development

When you do choose to develop a mobile app the most common confusion arises between the approach to get the app developed. Honestly, we cannot just recommend a single method. The choice depends on different factors like your budgetapp features, target customers and goals. This blog will introduce to four major app development approaches from which you can choose your preferred method. In case you are looking for a more direct answer then contact us with above parameters we will help you make the decision.

Interested in mobile app development? Download our app marketing eBook to get a roadmap to successfully launching your application:

Native Mobile App Development:

Native development means developing the mobile app specifically for each platform. We use platform-specific tools and APIs to enable all kinds of functionality in the app. In case of iOS, XCode is used as the platform while Objective-C, Swift or C++ are used as programming language. Similarly, for Android, we use Android Native Development Kit which is powered by Java or Kotlin.

Native approach stores the app resources in the device memory and ensures maximum utilization of OS features. Hence, it offers the best in class user experience and app functionality. One downside is that separate expenditure needs to be incurred in case you want to make your app available on different platforms and there could be slight inconsistencies between the UI on each platform.Read more: Cross-platform frameworks for mobile applications

Cross-Platform App Development:

Cross-platform app development uses JavaScript to enable app functionality and HTML and CSS to create design elements. With the help of frameworks like Corona, Adobe Air, etc. you can even call native code directly to take advantage of OS and device specific features like proximity, navigation etc.

The apps developed using this approach are free from OS whims and hence offer seamless functionality. You can easily take advantage of code repeatability and enjoy cost-effective development. One downside is that the apps have a non-native feel to them. This negatively impacts the user experience and there is limited functionality that you can cash on.

Progressive Web App:

These are also called mobile web apps. These apps are basically mobile-optimized websites that offer an app like experience. You can access such apps from your browser hence there is no need to install them on the mobile. Techniques like media queries are used to customize the styling for different mobile phones and tablets.

These apps are very cheap and easy to develop, offer a great user experience and remove the barrier to use by dealing away with the necessity of installation. They are platform agnostic and optimize the overall mobile experience. They are ideal for blogs and publishing companies like Forbes, The Washington Post etc. Since they are browser based you’ll face some limitations if you try to implement the advanced functionality.Read more: Top 5 Cross-Platform Mobile Application Development Tools

Hybrid Mobile App Development:

Hybrid app development focuses on getting the best all the above approach. We combine native code with platform-independent code. The code is written using standard web technologies (JS, HTML & CSS) and then it is packaged as a native app, with a web View. With the advent of frameworks like React Native, this approach can be executed with much fewer efforts while simultaneously achieving precision.

With very few modifications the same code can be used for different platforms hence you’ll save both time and capital with this approach. The functionality and feel are so similar to native apps that a user won’t even notice the difference. This an evolving approach and in future, more and more apps will be developed using this approach.


The choice completely depends upon your requirements. If you need an app for a specific platform or need highly complex functionality then you should choose native app development. If you have a small budget and simply want to optimize mobile experience then you can go for progressive mobile apps. Finally, you can choose between cross-platform development and hybrid development in case you want to develop an app for multiple platforms. In the last case, the choice completely depends on your budget and app functionality.

Looking for mobile app developers? With over 12 years of experience in this domain, we have developed great expertise in delivering complex apps. Get in touch today for a consultation or POC.

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