How to choose mobile development path?

Android vs IOS

If you have decided to develop an app then you will have three choices to design an app: Native app, Hybrid app, and Web-based app. The final choice will affect your product or service. Let's dig in deeper to understand fundamentals of all three choice:

We simply can’t imagine the world without smartphones. Can we? Nowadays there is an app for everything. Your smartphone will be filled with many apps. You might be thinking about building a mobile app for your business. Developing an app is not a cakewalk. Mobile app development process goes through many stages. Before entering into mobile app development, you must decide a right approach for your app development: Native app or web-based app or hybrid app? Which is better for your mobile app development? It really depends on your company’s requirement and many other factors of business such as:

- The speed of your app required

- What is your purpose behind developing an app?

- Your budget for app development

- Features required in your app

- Benefits of using your app

Following guidelines are here to help you to choose the right path for your mobile app development which will fulfill your business and marketing goal. Read on!

1 Native apps

Native apps are developed for specific devices. It is the most common type of an app. Building a native app is the traditional approach. Native apps are written in languages that the platform accepts. Usually, Native android apps are written in JavaScript and native iOS apps are written in Swift. For example, if you have developed an application for iOS then it will not be available on Google Play Store. It won’t work on an android phone. Only iPhone users will be able to access it. Native apps have a capability to fully access device features and API (Application Program Interface). It can also interact with all of the device’s operating system features such as the microphone, camera, contact lists, GPS and more. Push notifications can be used to increase app’s use.

Most companies invest in native mobile apps. Native apps are excellent for content-centric apps.There are many popular native apps you would be using such as Snapchat, Twitter, Angry Birds, Pinterest, Instagram. I have also explained the advantages and disadvantages of each approach so that you can take a right decision.  Let’s understand pros and cons of native apps:

Advantages of native app

- Native app is fastest, responsive and most reliable when it comes to user experience.

- It has a long lifecycle.

- Native apps are great at processing a large amount of data.

- Native apps can work with no internet connection.

- Native apps are more interactive, intuitive and run much smoother.

- The flow of native app is more natural as they have specific UI standards for each platform.

Disadvantages of native app

- It is most expensive methodology.

- It is most time-consuming development process.

- The cost of app maintenance and app updating is higher especially if native app supports more than one mobile platform.

- The process of getting an approval of an app on app store can be long and tedious.

2 Web apps

Web applications are basically websites with interactivity that feels similar to a mobile app. If you want to build a web app then you would require knowledge of HTML5, CSS & JavaScript. You can simplify mobile web app coding by employing an open-source JavaScript framework. You can use a framework like Sencha, JQuery Mobile, and The-M-Project.

Moreover, Web apps load in browsers like Chrome, Safari or Firefox. If web app is built with responsive web design, its layout will adjust to fit the screen size of the user. Basically, web-based apps have look and feel very similar to native apps. But Web apps do not need to be downloaded from app stores like mobile apps. Your users will not have your web app’s icon automatically downloaded to their home screens. Wherein native app, icon of app is displayed on screen.


If you are having a low budget and your requirement is simple interaction – not much of complex features then web app would be a good choice for your business.


- Developing a web app is fastest way to get something new into the marketplace.

- The startup, maintenance and support cost of a web-based app is less.

- You can publish changes multiple times a day as you have to manage just one version of your app. 

- Web apps are supported by all mobile browsers.

- Development of a web app is much quicker than native app.

- Deployment, distribution, and updates are easier – as it doesn’t require an update in an app store.

- A web app is easy to build and maintain.

- Web apps don’t take up storage on the user’s device.

- In a web app, the same codebase is distributed across different platforms.

- For smaller business, a web app is a good choice.


- Web apps can be slower as all computation will be done on the web server.

- Web apps can be less intuitive.

- Web apps are inaccessible through app stores.

- Web apps will not be able to access some of the phone’s hardware features.

- It can’t be downloaded to a mobile device.

- Internet connection is required to access web-based application.

- Web apps don’t run well on older devices and browsers.

- No icon will be displayed on users’ screen unless they have bookmarked your web-app.

3 Hybrid app

A hybrid mobile app combines elements of both native & web apps. Users can install a hybrid mobile app on their device but actually it is a web app. Though hybrid mobile apps have a feel of native app. Because they are downloaded from an app store and live on your phone screen. Hybrid mobile apps rely on rendering in a browser that’s embedded in the app. A hybrid mobile app consists of two parts:

- Back-end code built using languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

- A native shell that is downloadable and loads the code using web view.

The speed of hybrid mobile app depends on the speed of the user’s browser. Hybrid mobile apps can be distributed on app store just like native apps. There are many frameworks available to build hybrid mobile apps such as Xamarin, Phonegap, IntelXDK, Ionic and Framework7. Most popular framework is Ionic. Hybrid mobile apps are good for banks, news, and media companies.


If you have less than four months to develop an app and you want to test a limited private market on the viability of your app then use hybrid app development.


- Hybrid apps are easier and faster to develop in comparison to native apps.

- Hybrid mobile apps require less maintenance.

- You can build hybrid mobile app on a single base, which allows you to add new functionalities to multiple versions of your app. Therefore, it only requires one team and less time period.

- Hybrid mobile app building requires less investment in comparison to building a native app.

- Hybrid mobile apps have access to device’s internal APIs.

- Internet connection is not required for hybrid mobile app.

- The core of the hybrid app can be updated without going via the app store.


- Hybrid mobile app does not run as fast as native app.

- Performance of hybrid mobile app depends on users’ device capabilities.

- It is difficult to achieve same experience of native app in hybrid mobile app.

- Hybrid mobile apps are slower than native apps.

- Figuring out the cause of debugging can be lengthier and tedious process.

- There are some high-performance apps you never knew were Hybrid such as Khan AcademyEvernote and Twitter.

                        “Mark Zuckerberg revealed that Facebook’s mobile strategy relied too much on HTML5 hybrid app rather than native applications.”

Though hybrid mobile app may seem to be a tempting option as it’s easier,quicker to build and less expensive. Although don’t choose hybrid mobile app option. Don’t take a shortcut. It is simply not worth it. Each app has its pros and cons but at the end of the day, a native application will be more beneficial  for your company. Get in touch with best developers of thirstyDevs; to create a mobile app. At thirstyDevs; we can help you choose the right app for your business.

Author Details


Gaurav Patel

Gaurav Patel is Founder of thirstyDevs InfoTech
thirstyDevs InfoTech is a Web solutions company offering innovative web solutions. Our company focuses on providing the best web solution for our customers.

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