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Native Vs HTML5 Vs Hybrid Mobile Apps

There are quite a few factors that determine how to select the best technology for your mobile app.

Each method of developing a mobile app has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Native Apps

Apps that are platform specific, that is – Android or iOS are called native apps. Native apps have a specific development environment and they are built within that only. Native apps provide a simplified environment for development functions such as debugging and project management.


  1. These apps can be downloaded from the App store and can be used instantly by the end user. The developer and the user, both find managing a Native app very simple.
  2. Native apps integrate with the mobile device features like camera, location, address book etc. These apps also integrate with other apps to benefit from additional features.
  3. There is a huge community out there to help Native App developers build better apps.Native apps are relatively more secure.
  4. Native apps are developed in the respective environment and benefit from the upgrades in the respective platforms


1.One major drawback of a native app is that it is restricted to a operating system.

  1. Native apps require more investment as it requires separate resources to design, develop and maintain apps for all the respective platforms.
  2. Managing native apps is difficult, as any changes that need to be done, have to go through a repeated process for all three platforms.
HTML5 Mobile Apps

HTML5 apps can work on different mobile platforms.  They use a combination of programming languages like CSS, Javascript and HTML5. Technically, an HTML5 mobile app is a web page that works as an app.  Since the source of this kind of an application is not the platform, the app becomes platform neutral.

The challenge here is to develop apps that fit a variety of screen sizes. The overall user experience of native apps however is considered to be superior to HTML5 Apps. On the other hand HTML5 apps save time and effort, as one has to write these apps once and then they can be used for multiple platforms. From an overall user’s perspective, native apps can be made more user friendly as they fit the requirements of the platform for which they are being built.


  1. Reduced costs and time required to build these apps
  2. Business consistency across platforms
  3. These apps are easier to maintain as compared to native apps


  1. HTML 5 apps cannot benefit from the upgrade features of the respective platforms
  2. Creating large and heavy apps (like gaming) is difficult to manage with HTML5
  3. HTML5 Apps cannot be used when offline
  4. These apps run on a browser and lack the desired quality from a UX perspective
Hybrid Mobile Apps

Hybrid apps use a combination of Native and HTML5 development methodologies to develop applications that have the advantages of both. These apps are available in different platforms and can be downloaded from the respective app stores. A native container is used to develop hybrid apps while programming languages used are CSS Javascript and HTML5.

Since users demand the same apps on different platforms, businesses are increasingly switching over to this methodology.

Hybrid apps are faster to develop and also provide a great user experience. They definitely bring the benefits of both Native and HTML5 methodologies.


  1. These apps do not require an approval and can be updated while the users are using them
  2. The application is consistent across platforms
  3. Common web analytic tools can be used to analyze the traffic on hybrid apps
  4. Reduced costs and time


  1. Hybrid apps cannot benefit from the upgrade features of the respective platforms
  2. Creating large and heavy apps (like gaming) is difficult to manage with the Hybrid model
  3. The UX quality of Hybrid apps does not match that of Native

Businesses should however be cautious before choosing any one of the development methodologies. One must evaluate the business requirements before choosing the development methodology. For usability and interactivity requirements one must choose native apps and test market once developed for a single operating system. But in case completely sure that the hybrid model will fulfil all the requirements, then it definitely a cost effective model.  Hiring dedicated developers from a partner like ValueCoders is helpful in getting the right advice and solutions.  Also know about the features, advantages and disadvantages of PhoneGap. Here is a complete list of popular hybrid mobile app development frameworks.

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