Best Magento Mobile App: War of Hybrid App and Native App?

why magento pwa magento hybrid app are killing magento native app

The best Magento mobile app is the fierce war between the Magento Native Apps and Magento Hybrid Apps.


In the first period, the winner seems to be the native app warriors, but the situation has been “upside-down” in recent years with the strong attack of the hybrid apps.

Let’s find out the reasons why in the later part…

But first,

I would like to recall the basic definitions of these two types of Magento apps.

What are the Magento native apps?

It is undeniable that native apps are what most of us usually think about first when we talk about building a Magento app. Moreover, more than half of the current apps on the market are Magento native apps.

Written in a programming language specialized for each platform, each native app can just run on only one operating system.  For example, a native app that is written in Java is built for Android and one written in Objective-C and Swift is developed for iOS.

What are Magento hybrid apps?

Different from the native apps, the Magento hybrid apps are built with Javascript, HTML, and CSS, running on the Web view – a simplified browser within your app.

In other words, the hybrid app is a mobile app containing the web view to run the web application inside while using a “native wrapper” to communicate with the native device platform and the web view.

Just based on these definitions, it would be useless to say which type of Magento mobile app is better.

Because of that, we will give you a detailed comparison between Magento native apps and Magento hybrid apps.

Now, we will compare 2 Magento app types in 4 aspects: Functions, Development Time & Cost, and User Experience.

Functions Comparison

best magento mobile app comparison
 Magento Native AppsMagento Hybrid Apps
SpeedUndoubtedly, native apps offer the fastest loading speed to users.Compared to native apps, the speed of hybrid apps is slower but still acceptable. Especially, Magento apps are e-commerce apps so we don’t need an extremely fast speed for game apps.
The ability to access other devices
The native apps allow easy access to the camera, microphone, compass and swipe gestures, and so on.

Like native apps, you retain the same ability to access device features when going with a hybrid one.

Push notifications
This is one of the most important features of the Magento native apps, allowing the stores to send push notifications to their users to inform them of news or promotions.The same function is enabled for the Magento hybrid apps.
CodebaseMore than one codebase: The store owners must work with different code bases for each platform since an iOS app can’t run on an Android one and vice versa.Only one codebase: The store owners have to manage one codebase. Instead of developing 2 separate apps, you just need to build one app and tweak it to work on both platforms.

Another thing to consider is that if a hybrid app is well-built, you even don’t see any significant difference between it and a native one.

*** 1st round results: Magento native apps vs. Magento hybrid apps: 1-1

Development Time & Cost Comparison

best magento app comparison
 Magento Native AppsMagento Hybrid Apps
Development TimeNative apps definitely take longer to build than hybrid apps.
The reason is simple: You have to build 2 separate apps so the time might be doubled. Even when they build 2 apps (one for Android and one for iOS) at the same time, it still takes more time since developing native apps is more complicated than hybrid ones.
You save a lot of time building hybrid apps.
Building a native app (for each platform) might take at least 5 months. At the same time, you can spend just 3-4 months to build a hybrid one (for both platforms)
Development CostIn general, a mobile developer is specialized in only one platform. Therefore you have to hire 2 teams to develop 2 apps.
Besides, the time for mobile app development is directly proportional to the cost. As a result, the cost of developing a native app is huge. Get the detailed number here.
The cost for Magento hybrid app development might be just half or even less compared to native app development. The reason is that hiring hybrid app developers might be cheaper and it takes notably less time to build the app.

That’s not all…

Similar to the development time and cost, the Magento store owners have to pay a great more amount of money for the maintenance of the native apps than for the hybrid ones.

Don’t underestimate this cost as it can make up to 25% of the initial development cost per year.

*** 2nd round results: Magento native apps vs Magento hybrid apps: 0-1

User Experience Comparison

magento native apps vs magento hybrid apps

In terms of user experience, we have done several surveys to evaluate the experience that these 2 types of Magento apps bring about for the users.

The result is surprising!

Before getting the survey result, we think that most of the customers will prefer the Magento native apps as it takes more time, money, and effort to build. Also, native apps provide us with faster speed and can support complicated features.

But you know what?

The outcome shows the opposite side.

The hybrid apps won with 59% of the votes.

Moreover, nearly 90% of the people participating in the survey can’t distinguish between a Magento hybrid app and Magento native app. They just experienced the app and gave their votes for the best Magento mobile app based on their feelings.

*** 3rd round results: Magento native apps vs Magento hybrid apps: 0-1


Turning back to a few years ago, when the hybrid app technology was new, the native app dominated the app market and was considered the best Magento mobile app. However, the time has passed, followed by the significant improvement of the Magento hybrid apps.

Do you still want to invest more time, money, and effort while bringing about nearly the same experience for your customers?

Read More:

How To Build Magento 2 App When Having No Money?

How Much Does It Cost To Build Magento App?

How Long Does It Take To Build An E-commerce Mobile App For Magento Website?


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