What is better for your startup - native or hybrid app development?


It's dependent on the app's purpose. If it's social and you need to be on both platforms, I strongly encourage hybrid. A webapp is cheaper and can perform the same as an app with a dedicated backend. If you are more of a service app, an iOS version may be a slightly higher price than the webapp, but you'll have the experience of going through the Apple testflight testing and then their approval process. Once you get on apple, Google is easy. You'll also get a better idea of your target user's willingness-to-download.

I've worked with both native and hybrid. I'd be happy to find a time to discuss further if you like.

Answered 8 years ago

Obviously you want your app to run on as many platforms as possible, for as little development cost as possible. A hybrid app (i.e. HTML5 + JS) facilitates that, but make sure before you get started that the app you want can be implemented well with a hybrid platform (such as Ionic). Some things to think about include:
- Sensors and other hardware (make sure the ones you want can be accessed from a hybrid framework)
- Visual effects (hybrid isn't great for graphics-intense applications)
- Libraries you'd want to use (some will work better with a hybrid framework)

If you want to discuss this issue more with respect to your specific app idea, let me know,

all the best,


Answered 8 years ago

I would second previous replies. The decision should be based on a number of factors:
- do you plan to offer the same features on other platforms and if so how much effort can you save by developing core functionality in a portable format?
- will your app require complicated animations or integration with technologies not easily accessible through a hybrid framework (Cordova, PhoneGap, etc)
- also look at the talent you have access to. If you have an awesome iOS or Android developer, it may make sense to develop a native version first.

Answered 8 years ago

Among other services, I provide product development marketing consulting for startups, which includes branding and UX design. I third previous replies adding, target audience will impact use and, subsequently, platform.

Most B2C apps (social, lifestyle, educational, etc.) are sold primarily, or exclusively, in the respective App stores (iOS and Android). Whereas, B2B apps (namely SaaS) fare better as a web app because they are used via the desktop in conjunction with other tools or software.

I hope that provides "clarity."


Answered 8 years ago

If you are asking, you should probably go with hybrid, which is what works for 99% of cases.
Hybrid offers not only easy cross-platform deployment but also much faster single-platform development and re-use of your existing developer team (or cheaper if outsourcing).
The most common reasons to lean towards hybrid is enhanced security or elaborate graphics (ie games).
Let me know if you want to chat more, I've already explained this a million times to clients.

Answered 8 years ago

I've been running an app development company for the last 6 years. Its good that you are even aware of the difference because many people don't. Going native is always best for performance reasons (there's lots written about that so I wont go into the pros/cons) and access to core OS APIs. For a startup, there is no reason for the need to be on Android and iOS at launch, which is typically the main argument for going hybrid (one code base, both platforms, lower cost etc).

I would say go native, minimal MVP for your startup and iterate on the features once you have a decent number of users on your app. This way you are building a quality product from the start.

If I have a better idea of your app and what your trying to accomplish I may be able to assist further. Good luck!

Answered 8 years ago

Native or hybrid app development for startups? I'll try to keep things straight and simple here.

If you are in the early stage of your business - a startup then its best to choose the right app development because for a startup company the funds and resources are limited and they have to get the most out of every buck spent.

Besides this, you must execute things quick and efficiently to ensure success. So it's highly recommended to decide your priorities before taking a decision on the type of app development you are going with.

- Define your app requirement in the long run; for now, and for future as well.
- Keep user-experience and utilities in priority this is what your app users will care about.
- Focus on one market at a time.
- Estimated app reach.
- Features you are looking in your app.
- Plan, Design and Develop, Test, Improve and then Launch.
- Platform for which you want these apps - Android, iOS, and Windows etc.

Ultimately its all depends upon on your needs, time-scale, and the budget you have.

The basic difference between Native and Hybrid App development is:

Native apps are precisely developed for a specific mobile operating system iOS, Android etc. Where as Hybrid app development is cross-platform and can be distributed between app stores without the need to develop two different versions for Android and iOS.

Hope these points will make your decision a bit easier.

Answered 8 years ago

it depends. If you have unlimited resources and an experienced development team, then it might make more sense to go native as it results in the best user experience.
If you are looking to build on a budget, or test a product, it will be faster to go with an hybrid framework (like ionic). A hybrid app can definitely save you time and money (initially).
You can also just choose to only build the app for either IOS or Android and build the second one after you tested the market and perfected your app.

Facebook originally tried to build their app as an HTML 5 app (hybrid) and ultimately were not pleased with the result (unlikely to see large, popular businesses choose a hybrid app). Here's a link to their story:

In summary, here are the benefits of each.
Native Apps: better user experience, very slick looking apps, app itself is faster
Hybrid Apps: shorter time to market, Portability, one code base.

Good luck!

Answered 8 years ago

Knowledge source:- I run an app dev agency creating apps for statups since 2010, have been principal supervisor to more than 100 app projects so may know a thing or two about technology and app market.

Go for native (even if one platform):-
1. If your App is a fresh new product (unlike an extension of existing popular website on mobile) and getting early adopters (your future evangelists) is important than any other thing.
2. If you care about first impression on users in terms of app's performance, speed, competitive UI.
3. If you know that getting popular one 1 platform only at first is enough to go further in the market with new high quality versions, for ex. Instagram was iOS only, so as whatsapp didn't launch on all platforms on day 1, even the clarity App is on iOS only for now.
4. If you believe that instead of targeting many platforms with an inferior product, it is better to target one at a step with a superior native app.
5. If your app is no banking app that has many security layers compelling it to go via web route.
6. If you know even facebook tried hybrid and cross platform for long and then finally switched on native ones because of the inferior user experience of latter which was causing them revenue loss from advertisements.
7. If you want your app to be well optimized in terms of memory and resource consumption, should take best advantage of native features and capabilities.
8. And if you know that "creating an hybrid app and creating a "good quality comparable" hybrid app" are two different efforts and the latter one would ultimately "COST" you as good as you'd pay for "Two native apps" development; while the former is mostly "nice to have".
9. If you know that your end user is not bothered about how many source codes are you maintaining and how you update each app at all, and all they look for is a superior experience which an hybrid app can never offer.

Go for hybrid or cross-platform:-
1. If your product is already popular on other platforms like web or Android (or iOS) and you just want to extend its reach by launching another platform tweaking the web technologies.

2. If you really believe "doing it quick" is more important than "doing it right".

3. If you want to bypass native controlled environment for any additional benefit (can elaborate more later).

4. If you have no easy access or budget to hire native developer (though hybrid web experts also charge same on equal experience).

5. If you know web technologies yourself and having to incur no development cost (even in that case I'd suggest you to utilize your web skills in creating the backend and web front end (responsive) of your system but as soon as you need an app then go native.

Bottom line; a Native App is more "focused" towards its end user while an hybrid one is mostly a decision influenced by creator's own dynamics and choices and priorities.

Feel free to agree, disagree, enhance or condemn my answer; I'm only a leaner and won't mind changing thoughts if given good reasons.

Answered 8 years ago

The answer to this like a lot of questions is "it depends". I lean towards hybrid mobile unless the app requires complex user interaction and high performance. Even if you require access to phone features like location, camera, accelerometer, etc. Those can all be done via Cordova / PhoneGap plugins.

Hybrid mobile's main benefit is with speed of development. You can build one codebase which runs on iOS, Android, and desktop in the browser. That lets you build and iterate much faster, which is vital in the early stages of a startup.

Answered 8 years ago

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