How to determine if an app is native or html5?

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I would like to know how any mobile app is native or html5. Is there any software or website that tells that. How can i detect if an app is native or html5?

2012-04-04 18:42
by elvainch
If you can't tell from using it, does it matter? : - Joachim Isaksson 2012-04-04 18:44
To explore the UI behavior - SVGreg 2012-04-04 18:45
Are you wanting to do this programmatically? If not this question would be better suited for Android Stackexchange. And either way I think the answer to the question is no, you cannot know for sure whether an app is Native or HTML based. If you have a lot of experience it is possible to tell while you are looking at it and interacting with it, but even then you are making an educated guess based on the way it looks / behaves. You don't have any guarantees one way or the other - FoamyGuy 2012-04-04 18:45
Well if you downloaded it from the AppStore (or android equivalent) it is at least partly native (although it could just be wrapping a browser view - Frederick Cheung 2012-04-04 18:57
Go to Developer Options > Debug GPU overdraw > Show Overdraw Areas. After that go to the desired app, if areas have different colors on each components tgen it is a native app. If you see app's components as normal then it is a hybrid app - malhobayyeb 2017-02-10 20:33


You can unzip the .apk with any tool like winzip or winrar. If it's an html5-based app, you will see .html, .js and .css files in the /res/assets folder.

To get the .apk, pull it from your phone with adb. You might need root for this though.

2012-04-04 21:07
by Reinier
you can use AirDroid to grab the .apk w/o root access - bradley4 2013-05-18 18:05


Native apps often use web views for rendering purposes - these are termed hybrid apps. The use Java to figure out what to display (cf a web server) and then use a web view to render the display. Thus the presence of HTML/CSS/JS files cannot be used to definitely determine that its an html5 app.

As @Tim says - unless you dig very, very deeply you can't be 100% sure. Probably not even then.

2012-04-05 02:48
by Colin
Correct me if I am wrong, but a native app is one that renders views etc with XML files etc. The use of web views is what hybrid apps use. Also, apps built with Phone Gap use the web view as well - Droid Chris 2013-10-23 18:14
A native app does not need to render views with XML file etc. I have native apps that programmatically create their layouts and views with only single root XML file that has a linear layout. I have native apps that create a web view and then populate the web view with content, and other views such as image views with their content. I would term such an app a hybrid. You can tell an app is based on PhoneGap et. al. by the large amount of JavaScript and the general clunkiness in their user interaction (my opinion) - Colin 2013-10-25 21:19