Why Developing Apps Using PhoneGap Gives Higher ROI Compared to Native

August 14, 2015
App Development,Help Guide,Resources

Hybrid apps are growing up: a startups realistic solution to the ‘one system fits all devices’

To understand what a native or PhoneGap (hybrid) app is click, HERE.

PhoneGap Explained

What languages can’t you understand? I can’t speak Spanish, so if I’m faced with a situation where I have to communicate with a Spaniard who doesn’t speak English it’s a problem. What do I do? I use someone who can speak both English and Spanish, a translator. Now, PhoneGap is a cross platform native development framework which allows you to write native apps using HTML5, CSS AND JavaScript. A hybrid uses these web technologies (think of them like languages), places them into a container (PhoneGap) and PhoneGap translates them so that the native mobile device understands.

So why isn’t everyone doing it!?

They are. Here is a list of some bigger players in the market making use of this type of technology:

– Netflix
– Evernote
– Wunderlist
– Live stand by Yahoo

And that’s because PhoneGap is capable of running on iOS, Android, Blackberry 6.0+, Blackberry 10, Windows Phone 7+, Ubuntu, Firefox OS and Web OS with more coming.

One platform and your app is capable of covering 8 devices, while native development is essentially forcing you to create a brand new app for each device i.e. one app for Apple’s iOS and another for Android (java).


Using PhoneGap to build a hybrid application is the most cost-efficient method of launching a new mobile system. PhoneGap’s extensive high quality library sets including tools which dramatically reduce development time, means ‘time-to-launch’ can be achieved much faster than a native build.

Only a small amount of native code has to be written for each device to be able to run, it’s like changing your adapter each time for a wall socket in a new country, one charger fits many.

An average saving of around 40% can be achieved using PhoneGap technology.


Comparing time between one iOS native and one PhoneGap (hybrid) app development the PhoneGap project takes the lead again. PhoneGap’s library sets and tools as explained as well as the ability to re-use code makes hybrid development more time efficient.

There’s no need to download and make use of many SDK’s and toolkits as PhoneGap is cloud based. You upload, and they complete the build for you.

It must be taken into account however how intensive the feature use is on the native device. If the hybrid is pushed beyond its framework’s capabilities then a larger amount of native code must be written to accommodate the shortfall. Native components in use may include hardware such as sensors and cameras.


This is where PhoneGap can take a hit.

The User Experience (UX), providing there aren’t many large intensive animations on a PhoneGap app will operate in such a way that most users will see no difference between what they are using and a native application.

However, an important consideration is that, because a middle-man (PhoneGap) is being placed between the user and the native, device so things do take longer. Native apps receive a command and execute – simple. Hybrids on the other hand have to have their commands rendered then executed by the platform’s web engine, making the whole process slower. For a hybrid which is using intensive animations, this can irritate the user; for example, other features such a scrolling may not operate seamlessly like a native app would.


This is where PhoneGap (hybrids) becomes a dream. Updating your app to improve and fit closer with user needs is inevitable. Using native platforms means adding new code or altering it for every device your are operating on. Not only that, these alterations must be audited by their provider such as Apple, and this can be painstakingly soul-destroying! The process may take weeks, even months of altering based upon the provider’s commentary. It’s not ideal and certainly not efficient.

Using PhoneGap to build a hybrid app means one system, therefore only one change. Updating happens once. Updating, depending on the feature concerned can happen instantaneously. That’s control. That’s time efficient.

A Final Word

For a start-up from an individual or an organisation who is using the smarter ‘lean’ model to bring their app to market, PhoneGap offers the ability to make the product live faster with less capital, certainly offering more ROI. It allows the startup to cover numerous platforms with minimal manpower resources and an ability to maintain the system through quick alterations using more control. The ability to launch fast to a wider audience and having the control to make faster ‘pivots’ means a project can spin quicker to accommodate user data gathered during the early and full stages of growth.

Depending on native feature use, PhoneGap offers a hybrid system which provides a similar User Experience (UX) built on platform which is continually improving.

For more information, get touch with our Edinburgh office by email or phone.

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