Sep 08, 21  |  Sharjeel Ashraf

How to Find If an App is Native or Hybrid?

Many people want to know if an app is a native app or a hybrid app. But there are not a lot of options available to check that. In this article, we are going to focus on that and tell different ways to find if an app is a native app or a hybrid app after installing it.

Let’s learn all about How to Find if an App is Native or Hybrid in detail below.

How to check if an app is native or hybrid?

Here are some simple ways to check if an app you are installing on your smartphone is a native app or a hybrid app. Check the simple ways to find out how.

Method #1: Check through Developer Options

This is an obvious method to check if an app is a native application for the mobile or a hybrid app that can be used for different mobile OS.

To check that, open the Developer Options in your mobile.

Developer Options > Show layout bounds (Turn it on).

Now open the app that you have installed on your smartphone. If it is a native app, it will show rectangles in each activity that you open. Here is an example of that.


This is Ola app, a car pooling app used in India. As you can see, the app has rectangles available for all the elements available on the activity. These are only shown for a native application. 

Similarly, if you check any non-native or hybrid application, you will see that the app doesn’t have any of these rectangles available and instead a cross line will appear on the app. This is one indication that the app is a hybrid app. Since a hybrid app uses Webview, therefore the rectangles are now shown for the screen on the mobile device.


This is the Amazon Prime app in India. As you can see there are no rectangles available for the elements on the activity screen. This shows that the app is a hybrid app.

However, this is not true for each app that you install on your mobile and some hybrid apps may in fact show the rectangles just like a native app.

Method #2: Use Webview to Check 

Second method to check if the app is native or hybrid is by using the WebView method available. Mobile app developers use a tool called the UI Animator Tool. It is a desktop based tool that you can use to inspect the UI of different mobile apps installed on your smartphone. The tool can tell if the mobile app UI is native or hybrid.


“Uiautomatorviewer” is a part of the Android SDK manager and will be accessible once you install the SDK manager. 

Once the app is installed, you can connect it to your PC and see the UI on your screen. It will show different elements of the UI on the screen in the UI animator window.

Method #3: Copy Text Labels

Last but not the least, you can use the text label copy method to check if an activity in the app is using Webview or a native app. Here is how you can check that:

Go to any label on the activity and keep it clicked for sometime. If you get a popup to COPY, PASTE then that activity is made of webview. Otherwise, that activity and the whole app is built as a native mobile app.

These are some of the best ways to check if an app is a native app or a hybrid app. But now since development frameworks are getting better the line between both native and hybrid apps is getting thin. In the coming years, it won’t even matter if you use a native app or a hybrid app because both will be serving the same functionality.

If you are not sure about the difference between a native app or a hybrid app, here is a summary of that all.

Hybrid vs Native Mobile Apps

A hybrid app is built using HTML and CSS. Since these apps are browser based, they require a browser to work and that is where the Webview (browser activity) comes in. Hybrid mobile apps use Webview for their User Interface. 

On the other hand, a native mobile app uses the native Software Development Kit (SDK) for its development. You can also say that a native mobile app is developed for a particular mobile operating system. 

So, if you have to create apps for iOS and Android, then you will use two different mobile apps. One will be built using Android SDK and the second one will use Swift or Objective C for iOS development.

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 >>> Read our latest blog on Future of Native Mobile Apps: Are They Here to Stay?



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