Native vs Hybrid App Development


Over the last ten years, mobile app development has experienced speedy rise. While earlier, users were predominantly dependent on their PCs and laptops to stay connected to the internet, today people use their smartphones to run any online service or website. As a result, it is important for their mobile apps to be as reliable and responsive as possible. 

In a sea of mobile apps, users are quick to pick any app as their favorite if they find it good enough while poor user experience can make users leave an app forever. If you intend to design mobile apps, then you have two choices: native app development and hybrid app development.

Native Mobile Apps

There are two major mobile OS out there: Android and iOS. Both platforms are powered by their own languages which are used to design apps. For Android, you can use Java, or more recently, Kotlin. If you are going to design iOS apps then you have to master Objective-C and Swift

When an app is created by using the designated language provided by the platform’s official creators, you can use their official UI/UX and technical documentation for working with a wide range of functionalities such as configuring the swipe gestures. 

Pros 👍

So, what advantages do native apps provide?

Speed

Optimization of mobile apps with the help of Android and iOS ecosystem helps it to attain an improved performance with blazing speeds. You have to keep in mind about how much battery and memory your app is going to consume and its after-effect on the performance. 

Fluidity 

As native apps are composed of their official platform languages—created to complement and modify the system settings of their respective OS—therefore you cannot replace them with other languages. Their smooth, fluid performance is irreplaceable. 

Security

Native apps make full use of the available hardware resources. As a result, they offer better security against cyberthreats. 

User Experience

As we discussed earlier, the first impression of a mobile app is necessary. At this front, native apps shine brightly because their UIs are without a doubt, more responsive. Users can scroll better, enjoy high-quality animations, and benefit from a wide range of gestures.  

Personalization

While iOS only releases a handful of devices in a year, the Android ecosystem is filled up with numerous devices. Each of these devices comes up with a unique screen size. By using native tools, you can delve deeper into their internal structure and modify their layouts accordingly.

Flexibility

The use of native apps offers an unparalleled access to the in-built components of the equipment such as microphone, calendar, GPS, camera, etc. With no limitations, native developers are able to implement other technologies more readily and easily. 

Cons👎

On the other hand, native apps have their drawbacks as well. 

Costs

A few years back, other than Android and iOS, there was Symbian, Windows Phone, webOS etc. While most of them failed, you cannot rule out the possibility of newer operating systems in future, especially since recently a major mobile manufacturer like Huawei announced its intention to release a new operating system. 

Even now, you have to assemble two different teams for developing iOS and Android apps. With more mobile OS in future, expect your costs to increase further.

Time

It takes considerable time for designing hybrid mobile apps. Similarly, as we just discussed the possibility of increasing number of mobile operating systems, you may have to implement and develop apps for a wide range of operating systems.

Hybrid Mobile Apps

Essentially, when you work with a hybrid framework, you are designing a website and fitting it into a native wrapper. At first glance, they seem identical to the native mobile apps; however, in fact, a website powers them. Generally, front-end web technologies like JavaScript and HTML5 are used to build hybrid apps. This app is then processed by a native container so it can be wrapped up and then displays the relevant data accordingly. 

Pros 👍

Hybrid apps offer the following advantages.

Maintenance 

Since in hybrid development, you are essentially working on web apps, therefore it is easier to modify content and manage updates in this model, making up for low maintenance. 

Marketing Advantage

Are you assigned limited time to publish the app? Is timing too crucial for you? Often, an app idea has to be published as soon as possible before others can release better solutions. In such cases, hybrid apps are your best bet—between a native app and hybrid app working on the same idea, a hybrid app is always developed first. 

Development Cost

How tight is your budget? In those development environments, where there is no freedom to spend money on different native platforms, hybrid apps ultimately save the day. This means that you can use the same development team—since the technology stack remains the same—for your iOS, Android, or any other  mobile operating system. 

Cons👎

Like native apps, hybrid apps always have some of short comings. These are the following. 

Debugging

Since hybrid infrastructure makes the matters complex by incorporating an additional layer, therefore debugging becomes tricky. 

Performance

Mark Zuckerberg once opined that among their wrong decisions, one that stood out was the use of hybrid app development to power Facebook over native apps. This is because the additional hybrid layer that exists between the mobile platform and the source code causes a drop in performance. As a consequence, back then, Facebook was forced to migrate to the native ecosystem for achieving greater performance. 

Final Thoughts

So, which ecosystem to pick between native and hybrid apps? Ultimately, the answer lies in the type of your app and requirements. For example, if your app is going to need the best possible performance and you have to make the best use of the device’s hardware components, then a native app will suit you better. Similarly, when you are low on time and budget and your app is not too complex then hybrid apps will be a better option. 

Not sure what to choose? Don’t hesitate to сontact us right now! Our business analysts will provide you with all possible options, and qualified mobile app developers will create a first-rate mobile app for you.

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