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May 23

Mobile Apps – Native, Cross-Platform and Hybrid

By zealousys

Mobile Apps – Native, Cross-Platform and Hybrid

Mobile Apps come in 3 forms – Native Mobile Apps, Cross-Platform Mobile Apps and Hybrid Mobile Apps. While the users may not find much difference in using them, the clients have a tough time choosing which one will suit their business and functionality.

Native Mobile Apps

Native mobile apps are made for using in a particular mobile platform. They are tailor made to work on a single platform and perform well only in that platform. For example Android apps are specially made to work on Android phones. They will not work on iOS.


  • Best performance rendered since it is made to run exclusively on that platform.
  • Works offline.
  • Distributed by App stores.
  • Compatible with device software.


  • Expensive since it is custom made.
  • Will have to maintain separate team for each platform.
  • Customers will have to download the upgrades. So different versions have to be maintained.

Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

Most of the currently available and popular mobile apps are Cross-Platform Mobile Apps. They are made such a way that they work on multiple platforms in similar ways.


  • Less expensive to create and deploy.
  • Works on all mobiles that have a browser and all smart phones have one.
  • Easier to manage since they work similar to web apps with which most developers are familiar.


  • Compromised performance and coding.
  • Cannot access native functionalities.
  • Works online. Offline they will not function fully.

Hybrid Mobile Apps

Hybrid Mobile Apps are made to work cross platform yet are native to the working platform. This is a comparatively new concept and is expected to catch on multi-fold in the coming couple of years. Though Hybrids adapt most of the good qualities of both native and cross platform mobile apps, they too have disadvantages at the current stage of development.


  • Faster to develop and deploy like cross-platform apps. But they run native to the device so performance is not much affected.
  • Holding on to the Java concept of “Write Once Run Anywhere”.
  • Can be deployed in native app stores.
  • Can access native layers.
  • Works offline also.
  • Made using web technologies so developers are familiar with it.


  • Still in initial stages. So good application development tools can be expected.
  • Though these run natively an additional layer comes in between. So they cannot perform as well as native apps.

Which Mobile App is best for your business?

Depending on the application, budget and expected audience, the App type can be decided.

  • Hybrid apps are best for productivity, utility and enterprise apps.
  • Games, photo or media tools come best in native apps.
  • Real-time apps need not access your native layer. So for these cross-platform apps are the best.

Further the audience will also matter. If you are targeting only iPhone users, you can build a native app for iOS. This will ensure best performance and keep the customers happy.

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