Hybrid or Native Mobile Development: What to Choose?

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Max Litvinov

Mar 30, 2021 | 10 min read

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The modern and digitally driven world has seen a remarkable reliance on portable technology. The majority of people prefer to use cellular phones or tablets for tedious and official work. Smartphones are becoming productivity devices as they provide instant access to social networking sites, entertainment, web surfing, and the list go on.

A recent survey has shown that smartphone users make more than 50% of web traffic. It means businesses are in dire need of finding ways to attract mobile users to elevate their businesses to new heights of success. The best way to do so will be to offer a mobile application to the potential audience to build a strong relationship.

Mobile applications are becoming the cutting-edge of innovation. Businesses are continually finding ways to adapt to the changing trends by incorporating mobile applications for a seamless workflow. They are becoming aware that they need to step into the mobile revolution to expand market outreach.

The first and most common challenge that many companies encounter is deciding which type of app they should build to enter the mobile-first world. Whether a company should develop a native or hybrid app depends solely on its priorities and needs.

The significant deciding factors are:

  • The goals and objectives you want to achieve
  • The user experience you want to offer
  • The features that you want to incorporate
  • The allocated budget for app development
  • The performance and speed of the app
  • The time needed to develop a fully functional app
  • Whether in-house app development will be beneficial or not

THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HYBRID AND NATIVE APPS

Native and hybrid apps differ significantly, but the major difference is native apps are built for certain operating systems, like Android and iOS. The developers should write separate codes for both iOS and Android to develop native apps. On the other hand, hybrid apps share the same code base and are built to work across the various OS.

Thus, one can deduce that hybrid apps are more comfortable to develop, cheaper, and less time-consuming. They need less maintenance as compared to native apps. Developers can easily add the latest functionalities to different versions of the app with a single shared codebase. But native apps offer better performance and end-user experience as well as integration with OS-level features. These are more flexible and provide better security.

Hence, the major difference is in the implementation approach of the app. Thus, you must set your goals first and work accordingly. There isn’t a plain and straightforward answer to which implementation will work better. It depends on the project requirement as both native and hybrid apps are perfect for various use cases.

Firstly, you should determine the target audience and the type of services you will provide. Hybrid app’s cross-platform framework will be a more reasonable choice for content-oriented apps. However, it would be better to build a native app for better security if you have a financial company.

People often chose native apps for their better performance. Instead of having the option for constant improvement in hybrid apps’ performance, they won’t match native apps in speed.

After that, you should consider the allocated budget for the app’s development. Hybrid apps usually cost less and require less time. You don’t need to appoint two different teams to work on different iOS and Android applications. Maintenance is another area where hybrid apps outshine native apps. It is easier to manage one mobile app; therefore, hybrid apps are convenient to maintain and support.

Firstly, you should determine the target audience and the type of services you will provide. Hybrid app’s cross-platform framework You might be thinking that hybrid apps are better than native apps. However, the most crucial point is still to be discussed. You would want to provide an optimal user experience. A recent survey showed that around 21% of the users relinquish an app after the first use. It means that if your app isn’t responsive and engaging, you will likely lose a huge chunk of users. Native apps are known for user experience as users get more flexibility and responsiveness along with security will be a more reasonable choice for content-oriented apps. However, it would be better to build a native app for better security if you have a financial company.

Let’s have an in-depth comparison of hybrid vs native mobile app development:

A Straight Comparison of Native vs Hybrid Mobile App Development

The application developed for certain mobile operating systems are native apps. User experience and operating system technical guidelines are followed while developing the app. Thus, it is more secure and faster.

It offers complex integrations with specific device-specific hardware and software. It enables quick access to designs and a native user interface panel

Let’s discuss some of the essential characteristics of a native app:
1. Native apps are reliable, simple, have better user experience and performance
2. Natives apps can work with or without an internet connection and works best for a particular OS
3. Native apps can easily integrate with a device’s file system as well as use features of the OS

Some significant advantages of Native Apps vs Hybrid Apps are:
1. Wide range of functionalities by leveraging the software and hardware of the primary mobile device
2. Responsive and quick software performance
3. Offer push notification functionality
4. Come with a UI that matches the UX of the OS in a better way
5. Quality assurance through ratings in the app store

The significant disadvantages of Native Apps vs Hybrid Apps are:
1. Costlier to develop as more developers required to maintain codebase for different platforms
2. Time-consuming to develop every feature on different platforms

Technologies for native iOS app development:
1. Objective-C
2. Swift

Technologies for native Android app development:
1. Java
2. Kotlin

On the other hand, a Hybrid app is a website professionally packaged into a native wrapper. It might look and feel like a native app but is powered by the company’s website. So, it is built by using Javascript and HTML5, wrapped in a native container.

It is much cheaper, less time-consuming, and easier to develop. You can launch it simultaneously and access it across all platforms completely. Additionally, it allows you to launch new versions without manually updating the app and better coping with software bugs.

Some primary features of the Hybrid apps are:
1. Hybrid apps need integration with a web-based service and include the embedded browser for improved accessibility to dynamic web content
2. These can be developed at a faster pace with lower development and maintenance costs
3. Hybrid apps are easy-to-manage with a cross-platform UI
4. The single code base for various platforms makes it easy to manage

Some of the benefits of Hybrid Applications vs Native Applications are:
1. These are cross-platform apps and can operate on both iOS and Android, having a consistent user interface
2. Faster development and maintenance because of having one codebase
3. Hybrid apps are cost-effective and require less human resources.

Some significant disadvantages of Hybrid Applications vs Native Applications are:
1. Foundation similar to web apps that needs an uninterrupted network connection
2. These have to rely on various plugins to access mobile device’s inbuilt features
3. The UX isn’t as great as native apps
4. Hybrid apps don’t fix a variety of functional issues which are fundamental for the development of native apps

The four most popular frameworks for hybrid application development:
1. Flutter
2. React Native
3. Xamarin
4. Ionic

Both native and hybrid app development comes with pros and cons. The demand of the organization and target customers decide the type of app to choose. Thus, it is better to seek expert advice from a developer. He/she would understand the requirements better and translate your ideas in the best possible manner. Don’t think about price points to sacrifice the end-user’s usability because they are the ones for whom you are investing your hard-earned money and time.

As for the more clarity and discussion, you can reach out to the consultants of Appvales and learn more on it. We have experts who can suggest you the most appropriate framework for your particular business mobile app.

Boutique App Development Company

Appvales is a mobile development partner that helps you design, build, test and deploy apps. We can handle end-to-end product development or collaborate with your product team with dedicated mobile developers.

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Written by:

Max Litvinov

CEO at Appvales

IT enthusiast, investor, entrepreneur. Bringing the offshore mobile development to the next level.

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