Should I build a Hybrid or a Native App?

The app development process for both native and hybrid mobile applications is changing rapidly with the implementation of software development kits (SDKs). What is Native App Development? What is Hybrid App Development? What are SDKs? Read on to learn the basics from Vancouver’s App Creators at Essential Designs.


What is Native App Development?


Native mobile application development creates one app tailored to Android systems and one app tailored to IOS systems, using two different “native” coding languages. As each code is uniquely designed for each program, native apps provide the fastest and most responsive experience to the user. They also enable access to underlying phone functions – camera, location, internet, etc. Native apps are launched from the home screen and do not require “container apps” to run them. Container apps, or application containerization, are used to run apps without launching the entire operating system. Applications that require container apps, require more development time.


native app creators


Pros of Native App Development:

  • Native apps are custom tailored to IOS and Android systems which make them more efficient and easier to use. The apps’ interface and navigation, in both systems, is easy to understand.
  • Native apps can access underlying operating functions (camera, gps,notifications, etc.).
  • Native apps are accessible through app stores such as Google Play, on Android devices, and Apple App Store, on Apple/IOS devices.
  • Native apps don’t necessarily need internet connection to function.


What is Hybrid App Development?


Hybrid app development copies one code on to multiple platforms.This is not to say that the entire application’s code can be “copied and pasted” onto the different platforms. Approximately 20% of the code needs to be rewritten. However, hybrid application development allows an app developer to use simple application programming interfaces (APIs) such as HTML5 or JavaScript instead of complex APIs used in native application development. APIs are a set of tools, or building blocks, for building software. Hybrid apps may require container apps.


hybrid app creators


Pros of Hybrid App Development:

  • Hybrid apps costs less than native apps.
  • Hybrid apps use one code across multiple platforms in which one version of the app will run on a variety of devices.
  • Hybrid apps use simple APIs which cut down on development time.
  • Hybrid apps don’t need to be updated through app stores. Minor changes can be updated on a page which is loaded from the server and users will instantly see it.


What are SDKs?


A software development kit (SDK) contains software development tools that allow app creators to develop for a specific platform or operating system. SDKs allow developers to write a single code for multiple platforms; cutting down development time.


software development kits for app creators


SDKs For Hybrid App Development


Ionic is an open-source SDK for hybrid app development. Ionic is a hybrid software development kit that allows for customization with IOS and Android systems. Ionic, released in 2013, uses Apache Cordova plugins to gain access to both Android and IOS operating system features (camera, gps, flashlight, etc).This emulates native app development as it allows the developer to customize apps for Android and IOS.


Apache Cordova and PhoneGap


Apache Cordova ia a mobile development framework created by Adobe/Nitobi. Apache Cordova powers and distributes PhoneGap, an open source software that allows software developers to use CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript instead of using platform specific APIs. It is available for a wide range of platforms including, but not limited to; Android, Blackberry 10, Firefox OS, IOS, and most Windows platforms.


SDKs For Native App Development


SDKs, such as Appcelerator Titanium, React Native, and Xamarin allow for native app creators to use a singular code across both Android and IOS platforms. SDKs for native app development cut down on developing time and improve app efficiency. The use of a singular code emulates the hybrid app development process.


Appcelerator Titanium

Appcelerator Titanium, developed by Appcelerator, is an open source SDK, that allows native mobile apps to be developed with a single JavaScript codebase. This codebase can be shared across IOS, Android, and Windows UWP platforms. Popular apps built with Appcelerator Titanium include; Ebay, Paypal, and Tmobile.


React Native


React Native, developed by Facebook, is an SDK that helps developers reuse code across multiple web and mobile platforms including IOS and Android. Popular apps built with React Native include; Instagram, UberEats, and AirBnB. You can learn more about our React development here:



Similarly Xamarin, owned by Microsoft, is an SDK that uses C# to share codes across multiple platforms including IOS, Android, and Windows UWP. All native apps can be accessed by the C# codebase. Popular apps built with Xamarin include; Storyo, Just Giving, and The World Bank.

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