Honest comparision of hybrid app vs. Native finally

Confront a pivotal question whether to pursue a hybrid or native approach, which one is good for your next application? In this complete guide, you'll discover all the details and hidden effects of each choice.

When considering the development of an app for your idea or business needs, you'll inevitably confront a pivotal question: whether to pursue a hybrid or native approach. In the internet there are many biased comparison, and after 20 years of being active in software industry and coding for many different companies, clients and projects I want to enlight this issue once for all.

If you want build an app, I invite you to be patient, and read this article completely which might save you years of hassle

For those just beginning to contemplate app development with little knowledge of where to start, it's worth noting that there exist several avenues (setup, ecosystem, or development framework) for building mobile apps. Some opt for the native route, utilizing platform-specific tools, while others embrace a hybrid approach, which overlays a layer enabling the use of a single codebase across multiple platforms, such as Android and iOS.

In this article and accompanying video, we'll delve into the considerations for choosing the optimal approach for your next application, whether you're collaborating with a development team or embarking on the journey solo.

  • Understanding the distinctions between native and hybrid development
  • How do I build cost-effective 2 native apps over other agencies
  • Overview of tools commonly employed for Android Native, iOS Native, and prevalent hybrid technologies
  • Strategies for selecting the most suitable technology stack for your app
  • How to start building your new app?

How do I build cost-effective 2 native apps over other agencies

Internally, I use a large and significant project called Fireback to serve clients. Fireback aims to accelerate the development process for native Android and iOS apps by providing several key features and tools. Here's how Fireback can expedite the creation of native apps compared to manual development:

  • Code Generation: Fireback offers powerful code generation tools that automate the creation of boilerplate code for Android and iOS apps. By defining the data model and business logic in a Module2 file, Fireback can generate the necessary code for models, API clients, and other components of the app.
  • Integrated SDKs: Fireback provides integrated SDKs for Android and iOS that simplify the process of integrating the backend with the native apps. These SDKs handle communication with the backend API, data serialization, authentication, and other tasks, reducing the amount of manual coding required.
  • Standardized Architecture: Fireback promotes a standardized architecture for native apps, ensuring consistency and maintainability across different platforms. By adhering to best practices and conventions, developers can build robust and scalable apps more efficiently.
  • Prebuilt Components: Fireback includes prebuilt components and templates for common app features such as user authentication, data fetching, and UI components. Developers can leverage these components to quickly assemble the app's functionality without starting from scratch.
  • Cross-Platform Support: While Fireback focuses on native Android and iOS development, it also supports cross-platform frameworks like React Native and Flutter. Developers can use Fireback to generate code for these frameworks, further accelerating the development process and enabling code reuse across platforms.

Overall, Fireback streamlines the development of native Android and iOS apps by automating repetitive tasks, providing standardized solutions, and integrating seamlessly with the backend. By leveraging Fireback's features and tools, developers can build high-quality apps faster and more efficiently than manual development methods.

Understanding the distinctions between native and hybrid development

Native and hybrid app development are two prevalent approaches for creating mobile applications, each offering unique advantages and considerations. In native app development, developers utilize platform-specific languages and tools such as Swift for iOS and Android Java for Android to build applications tailored specifically for a single operating system. This approach maximizes performance, integration with device features, and adherence to platform guidelines, resulting in a polished user experience. On the other hand, hybrid app development leverages web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS within frameworks such as React Native, React Cordova, Flutter, and Xamarin to enable cross-platform compatibility. While hybrid apps can expedite development and reduce costs by sharing a single codebase across multiple platforms, they may sacrifice some performance and platform-specific optimizations. Each approach presents its own set of trade-offs, and the choice between native and hybrid development depends on factors such as project requirements, budget, and target audience.

Hybrid apps, while offering cross-platform compatibility and potential cost savings in development, often incur higher maintenance costs due to several factors. One significant contributor is the quality of JavaScript and the hybrid framework itself. Unlike native solutions which are optimized for specific platforms, hybrid apps rely on web technologies wrapped within a framework to function across multiple platforms. This abstraction layer can introduce performance inefficiencies and compatibility issues, necessitating ongoing maintenance efforts to address bugs, optimize performance, and ensure compatibility with platform updates. Consequently, businesses opting for hybrid development should carefully consider the long-term maintenance implications and allocate resources accordingly to mitigate potential challenges and ensure the continued success of their apps.


  • Native apps are typically faster and more responsive because they are specifically optimized for the platform they are built for (iOS or Android). They have direct access to device-specific features and can leverage the full potential of the device's hardware.
  • Hybrid apps, on the other hand, often rely on a web view component to render their user interface, which can introduce some performance overhead compared to native apps. However, advancements in hybrid frameworks have narrowed this performance gap significantly.

User Experience:

  • Native apps provide a seamless user experience consistent with the platform's design guidelines. They can take advantage of native UI components and animations, resulting in a polished look and feel.
  • Hybrid apps may not always offer the same level of user experience as native apps. While they can mimic the appearance of native apps to some extent, they may not fully replicate the platform-specific behaviors and interactions.

Development Time and Cost:

Native app development often requires separate codebases for each platform (Objective-C/Swift for iOS, Java/Kotlin for Android), which can increase development time and cost, especially if the app needs to be maintained for multiple platforms. Hybrid app development allows developers to write code once and deploy it across multiple platforms, potentially reducing development time and cost. However, achieving feature parity across platforms and optimizing performance may require additional effort.

Access to Device Features:

  • Native apps have direct access to device features such as camera, GPS, accelerometer, and contacts, allowing developers to create rich, immersive experiences that leverage these capabilities.
  • Hybrid apps can access device features through plugins or APIs provided by hybrid frameworks. While many device features are accessible, there may be limitations or delays in implementing support for new features compared to native development.

Final decision for native or hybrid

In the long run, investing in native technologies often proves to be a more prudent choice, particularly for apps with critical functionalities requiring regular updates, or for businesses heavily reliant on the quality of their applications. Native solutions offer several advantages, including superior performance, seamless integration with platform features, and access to a larger talent pool for ongoing maintenance and feature enhancements. This ensures the longevity and scalability of your app, especially if you plan to establish an in-house development team in the future.

However, for those embarking on their journey or seeking to experiment with a more flexible approach, a hybrid solution can still be viable. Utilizing frameworks like React Native, I can assist you in building a high-quality app that balances cross-platform compatibility with performance and user experience. Whether you choose native or hybrid development, my goal remains consistent: to deliver the best possible solution tailored to your unique needs and aspirations.

Overview of tools commonly employed for Android Native, iOS Native, and prevalent hybrid technologies

While there are numerous technologies available for app development, I want to focus on the mainstream here which are common (sorted from most common to least)

For Apple Devices (Native)

Xcode and Swift form the backbone of iOS app development, offering a comprehensive suite of tools and resources for building native applications exclusively for Apple's ecosystem. Xcode serves as the integrated development environment (IDE), providing features such as code editing, debugging, and interface design. Swift, Apple's modern programming language, is known for its safety, performance, and ease of use. With its concise syntax and powerful features, Swift enables developers to write clean, efficient code while leveraging iOS-specific frameworks for seamless integration with device features like Touch ID, ARKit, and Core ML.

For Android Devices (Native)

Android Java, coupled with the Android SDK, constitutes the foundation of Android app development. Java serves as the primary programming language, offering robust support for object-oriented programming and a vast ecosystem of libraries and frameworks. The Android SDK provides tools for designing user interfaces, accessing device hardware, and managing app resources. Developers can harness the extensive capabilities of Android Java to create feature-rich applications that leverage platform-specific functionalities like notifications, background services, and deep linking.

React Native (Many devices)

React Native revolutionizes mobile app development by enabling the creation of cross-platform applications using JavaScript and React. Leveraging a single codebase, developers can build apps for both iOS and Android platforms, saving time and resources. React Native utilizes native components under the hood, resulting in high-performance apps with native look and feel. Its hot reloading feature allows for real-time code changes, enhancing productivity during development. Additionally, the vibrant React Native community provides a wealth of third-party libraries and tools for extending functionality and solving common development challenges.

React.js with Webview (Cordova, Android and IOS Devices)

Embedding React.js with Cordova facilitates the creation of hybrid mobile applications using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Cordova acts as a bridge, enabling web applications to access native device capabilities through plugins. By embedding React.js within a Cordova project, developers can leverage the power of React's component-based architecture and declarative syntax to build interactive user interfaces. Cordova's extensive plugin ecosystem provides access to a wide range of device features, enabling developers to create hybrid apps with native-like functionality and performance.

Flutter (Complete new system for multiple platfroms)

Flutter, Google's UI toolkit for building natively compiled applications, enables developers to create beautiful, fast, and expressive apps for iOS, Android, and the web from a single codebase. Flutter employs Dart, a modern, object-oriented programming language, renowned for its simplicity, productivity, and performance. With Flutter's reactive framework and extensive widget library, developers can craft highly customizable user interfaces with smooth animations and seamless scrolling. Hot reload functionality accelerates iteration cycles, enabling rapid prototyping and iteration, while Flutter's rich ecosystem of packages and plugins extends functionality and enhances developer productivity.

Xamarin (C# developer friendly)

Xamarin empowers developers to build cross-platform mobile applications using C# and the .NET framework. Leveraging a shared codebase, developers can target multiple platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows, while maintaining native performance and user experience. Xamarin.Forms simplifies UI development by providing a common abstraction layer for creating user interfaces that render natively on each platform. Additionally, Xamarin's tight integration with Visual Studio and Xamarin Test Cloud streamlines development, debugging, and testing workflows, accelerating time to market and reducing development overhead.

Strategies for selecting the most suitable technology stack for your app

Choosing the appropriate framework largely depends on the individual or team and the company's circumstances. For instance, if you possess a proficient React Native team or a team skilled in web development and aim to release a moderately critical app swiftly, React Native might be an optimal choice. Leveraging my extensive experience in React Native app development, coupled with AI code generation tools and a robust backend system, I've successfully built apps in as little as a week, ready for store deployment.

Conversely, for established businesses prioritizing market competitiveness, availability, performance, and long-term maintenance, I recommend developing two separate native apps tailored to the specific needs of their target audience. While the development pace may not match that of a single codebase like React Native, my simultaneous work on Android and iOS ensures efficient development, supported by a wealth of components, experience, code generation tools, and pre-solved business logics, mitigating any perceived slowdowns.

Moreover, when teams comprise more than one individual per app, the discrepancy between native and hybrid development diminishes, particularly when utilizing the Firebase framework.

Another scenario where a single native app may prove more advantageous is when developing a tool for installers or a stationary app for specific devices, sometimes exclusively for one platform. Maintaining a native Android or iOS app, although it may seem costlier upfront, ultimately proves more economical than hybrid alternatives. Additionally, native development grants greater control over intricate details, which may require extensive effort to implement in hybrid systems.

How to start building your new app?

If you're considering building an app, I'm here to assist you in getting started. Feel free to reach out to me directly at ali-torabian@outlook.com with your proposal. Be sure to document your ideas thoroughly, detailing your vision for the app and explaining the underlying business concept. Let's connect and bring your app idea to life!

Additionally, if you're a developer venturing into mobile app development for the first time, I recommend checking out https://github.com/torabian/fireback. There, you'll discover a comprehensive boilerplate and a suite of tools designed to expedite and streamline your startup journey, ensuring reliability and scalability without the need for frequent rewrites. Dive in and kickstart your mobile app development journey with confidence!