Native versus hybrid mobile apps

What is Native Application?

Native application is a software or program which has been developed to perform some specific task on particular environment or platform. Native application built using software development tools (SDK) for a certain software framework, hardware platform or operating system. Like Android app built using Java Development Kit on Java platform, iOS app built using iOS SDK, Swift and Objective C. Similarly, .NET required for Windows platform.

What is Hybrid Application?

Hybrid apps are native apps only because it can be downloaded from platform’s app store like native app. It can get access to all the native platform features. It can have performance close to native app.

The major differences are listed below:

  • Hybrid apps are built using web technologies like HTML, CSS and JavaScript whereas Native apps built with specific technology and language for specific platform like Java for Android, Swift for iOS
  • Hybrid app runs in webView (A view that displays web pages, uses the same engine of browser but no browser like widgets)
  • Native plugins required to access the native features of the platform like camera, mic etc. (Native plugins are like wrapper on top of native libraries or components)
  • Hybrid app can be built for any platform from single code base.