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Native vs Hybrid App

As Hybrid mobile application become more and more mature today, choosing to use native or hybrid mobile application is always the pain for everyone who wants to make their mobile apps.

At Linagora, we also want to make a mobile app for our new Enterprise Social Network. So, this summer we have made two simple applications by both of these two technologies to make a comparison. One of them we wrote it by pure Objective-C and the other one we used Ionic framework which include AngularJS and Cordova plug-ins.

In this article we are going to show you the differences we have found from these two apps.


  • Native apps are specific to a given mobile platform (iOS or Android) using the development tools and language that the respective platform supports (e.g., Xcode and Objective-C with iOS, Eclipse and Java with Android). Native apps look and perform the best.
  • Hybrid apps make it possible to embed HTML5 apps inside a thin native container, combining the best (and worst) elements of native and HTML5 apps.(In our project we used Ionic framework)

Native apps


  1. A native mobile app can produce the best user experience: fast graphics API and fluid animation, which is a very big deal when you’re using a lot of data or require a fast refresh.
  2. Obviously you can also get full control over what you are making. It’s easy for you to use camera, address book, geolocation and all other native features.
  3. A native mobile app usually developed by IDEs which can provide a full tools environment including building debugging, project management, version control, and other tools professional developers need.


  1. Perhaps the biggest weakness of native apps is their lack of portability to other platforms.
  2. Native apps often cost more to develop and distribute because of the distinct language and tooling ecosystems, which require more investment in developer skills if you need to develop for more than one platform.

Hybrid apps


  1. Quicker development, especially for a longtime experienced web developer.
  2. Ionic can offer a good full angularJS environment and works well with cordova plug in which means we can use some native capabilities like iOS native tab bar or Android native tab bar and so much more.
  3. Most hybrid tools can enable portability of a single codebase to the major mobile platforms.
  4. UI frameworks can achieve a fairly native look.


  1. Mobile phones (even today’s tablets) are not fast enough to smoothly run a hybrid app. Android platform is a nightmare, page transitions don’t work smoothly not to mention lacking CSS/CSS3 implementation. IOS fares better but still has a lacking CSS3 implementation.
  2. Not all device APIs can be accessed.


If you want to just make a small size and simple application without too many animations, it worth to try hybrid way and some awesome new framework like Ionic framework. It won’t make you spending too much time and budget on it and have a good cross-platform performance. But if your goal is to make an enterprise size application, it’s better turning to native application. Surely at the beginning it will spend more your time, but after finish on one platform, we could have a full thinking and design, and it won’t take too much time to handle another platform.

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