Mobile apps: Which platform should use? Native/ Hybrid/ Cross?

Native apps

Native apps are vendor specific and runs only on that platform.

Platform Vendor Language IDE Library OS
iOS Apple Swift/Objective-C Xcode Cocoa touch Mac OS
Android Google Java Android Studio Android API Win/Mac/Linux
Windows Microsoft C# Visual Studio Silver light Windows


  1. Maximum performance
  2. Small footprint (App loading time, executable files size)


  1. Need to know multiple languages/libraries
  2. No code re-use

Hybrid apps

At its core hybrid apps are web apps. A notable difference is hybrid apps are available on app store and installable on device.

Popular platforms

  • PhoneGap
  • Telerik

Sample apps

Telerik platform:


  1. Web skills can be used.
  2. Javascript device API/libraries can be used. Like, JQuery, Knockout etc
  3. Code and UI are reusable up to 100%


  1. Wrapper of a web application
  2. Expected performance hit or UX

Cross platform

A framework that enables you to share code between platforms and the end result is native mobile apps. The framework might generate native codes or create a runtime environment/interpreter to the run the code in multiple platforms.

Popular platforms

  • Xamarin
  • Titanium


  1. Create mobile apps using C#
  2. UI need to be designed in a native way.
  3. Need two separate license for Android and iOS
  4. Final app will be a bit bigger than the native app. Currently 2.5 MB.


  1. Create mobile apps using Javascript
  2. UI code is shared as well
  3. Final app will be a bit bigger than the native app. Currently 5 MB.


  1. Code sharing is possible. (might be 100% or somewhat near)
  2. Only one language is required to code
  3. Performance is comparable to native apps


  1. Footprint (executable size) is substantial

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