Mobile development: Hybrid or Native?

Increasing use of mobile devices

As stated before in one of our previous published blog posts the amount of mobile device users is still increasing. The number of available apps in March 2017, were 2.8 million apps on the Google Play Store and 2.2 million apps in the Apple  App Store. Hugh amounts and the numbers are still increasing. According to GeoMobile, users spend three hours, 23 minutes a day in apps (compared to 50 minutes on mobile web and a little over two hours spent on PCs). No wonder mobile development has increased last years!

More and more companies are aware of the opportunities mobile development offers. They are searching for ways to incorporate it in their business and marketing strategy. But they are not sure where to start and what they need. Do they really need an app? How does an app fit in the nowadays market developments? Where to start with building an app?

In this blog we inform you about the differences between hybrid mobile development and native mobile development. Knowing the difference means knowing how to start building an app and incorporating them into your business strategy. Do you want to know why your company needs an app? Read our previous blog here.

Start with the beginning: operating systems

All mobile devices run on an operating system. The most well-known and used operating systems are iOS and Android. IOS is developed by Apple and therefore running on all Apple devices as iPhone and iPad. Android is developed by Google and is running on almost every other mobile devices as i.e. Samsung, LG, Sony, Huawei. These two operating systems together have a market share of 99,99% with Android as the undisputed market leader. It is important to keep this in mind if you start with mobile development!

Native or hybrid development?

There are two ways to develop software for mobile devices: native and hybrid. To understand the best way, you need to know the difference.

Native development

Each mobile device uses an operating systems, otherwise it can’t be used properly. Almost 100% of the used devices are working on iOS (Apple) or Android (almost all other brands). When developing an app via native development, you develop an app only for one of these operating systems. So only for iOS or only for Android. You use the tools given by the manufacturer to develop the app. If you decide to develop the same app for both operating systems, you actually need to develop two apps. One for iOS and one for Android.

Hybrid development

When you prefer not to develop two apps or use the tools of the manufacturers, you can use hybrid development. When using the hybrid way of developing, you develop for all operating systems at the same time. The app is build web based. You can compare this with building a responsive website: you build it once and it works on all systems and all browsers. This way of developing is less labor-intensive, often cheaper and faster than the native way of development.

Hybrid apps are mainly coded in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, so you do not need any specialized, hard to find native developer. To develop the app, you also need a framework. Used frameworks are i.e. Framework7, PhoneGap and Cordova.

Pros and cons

Building a hybrid app is often faster, cheaper and less labor-intensive. Why still doing native development? We have placed all the pros and cons in one overview. With this information you can make your own decision!


Advantages Disadvantages
– Fast and responsive – Difficult languages to learn – experienced developers needed
– The best performance – More expensive
– Distributed in app stores – More time consuming
– Overall better user experience – Too much work for simple apps
  – Separate apps per platform



Advantages Disadvantages
– Built on web technology i.e. HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Easier to build. – Slower than native apps
– Cheaper than a native app – Dependent on a third party platform (framework)
– One app for all platforms – Less interactive than native apps
– Faster to develop than native apps due to single code base. – Bug fixes more difficult due to issues that stem from both native systems and hybrid systems
– Distributed in app stores
– Able to access native/device APIs


Ready to decide?

What do you think is the best way to develop apps? Do you prefer native or hybrid. At Global BrainForce we have a slight preference for hybrid. Why? See the pros in the above table: i.e. one app, less time consuming, cheaper and not depending on a native developer.

If you would like to build a corporate mobile app, do not hesitate to contact our team. We would be glad to discuss your requirements for the app to deliver the needed dedicated staff or to determine the scope of your project and give you a fixed budget and deadline.

Fill in the below mentioned contact form or send a detailed mail to [email protected]. Of course we can also be reached by phone via +31 172 52 52 85 (our office in the Netherlands) or via +632-8043903 (our office in the Philippines).

About Global BrainForce

Global Brainforce is founded in 2012 and has roots and presence in The Netherlands and Philippines. Robert Giezen, CEO, heads the Global BrainForce team and leads the overall direction of the company. The company started working on projects and providing remote staff with excellent results in the Netherlands. In the recent years, Global BrainForce has expanded and currently working on projects and providing staff in Europe, US, Asia and Australia.

We deliver our service in two ways. The first one is providing our clients with dedicated software developers. A developer will become part of your team for as long as you want. This developer works closely with you from our office in Makati in the Philippines or can, if desired, receive training from your office. The knowledge is retained because we share this knowledge with our reserve developers. The learning curve is therefore not repeated. You can also scale up quickly and flexibly. You or a colleague can also visit our office. The learning curve is therefore shortened.

The second way we deliver our service is on a project basis. Together we determine the scope of the project and give a fixed budget and deadline for this. The hourly rate is higher than with a dedicated developer.

For both ways, we can use favorable rates. In addition to a branch in Nieuwkoop The Netherlands, we also have a branch in Makati Philippines with our own developers. All our developers are well educated and deliver high quality code. We only work with medior and senior developers, who are able to work independently. We focus on quality and meeting deadlines instead of costs.

More information can be found on or can be requested by sending an e-mail to [email protected].

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