Native vs Hybrid Mobile App Development


Smartphones are a deadly combination of utility and addiction. Remember the feeling of despair you experience on realizing that you have forgotten or lost your phone? It is not only with you but each one of us who are reading this article can relate to this grief-stricken situation.

Serving as the most useful and integral device of our daily lives, smartphones are nothing less than a necessity today. And what makes them a part of our routines are the Apps developed to ease up users tasks.

Just like today we have an app for everything. Want to book a restaurant, want to get food delivered at home, book a cab, get groceries delivered, listen to your favorite music, play games, talk to your loved ones face-to-face irrespective of the distance and what not just at a touch of your finger.

If you too aim to get a mobile app developed for your business, then the first thing you need to be clear about is the objectives to be followed. Depending upon your business goals, you need to narrow down your perspectives so that you can arrive at a decision to formulate a strategy.

For an app to get launched successfully and even grow in the market at a rapid pace requires number of factors to be considered.

Among the top factors, the most important one to make or break the success of your mobile strategy is the type of app you have. Broadly there are two of the most used and popular types namely Native apps and Hybrid Apps.

When app developement is on your mind, it might create a lot of confusion too. You have landed at the right place to get your doubts cleared and initiations sorted.

You will find descriptions, pros and cons of native and hybrid app developement in this blog.

About Native Apps

A Native App is a  software or a program which is coded in a specific programming language which is understood by a particular platform or environment. Native Apps are written to perform some specific tasks and are built using Software Development Tools (popularly known as SDK) for a distinct platform or operating system.

As iOS specific apps are written in Swift or Objective-C and are built using iOS SDK, same ways Android apps are written in languages like Kotlin or Java using Java Development Kit and C# as a language with .NET SDK is required for Windows platform. Adding to this IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is also used by Native Apps in order to build and develop an app for a particular operating system.

As the User Interface (UI) of all these platforms differ from one another, it is critically required by the programmer to consider the guidelines of the platform for which they are making an app.

Google and Apple both provide the app developers with their specific set of developement tools, interface elements and officially support Kotlin and Swift as their respective programming languages.

Native Mobile apps enjoy a myriad of benefits.

Pros of Native App Development

  1. Amazing User Experience
    When it comes to offer unmatched user experience to your users, Native apps are the perfect fit. They are fast, user-friendly, and have robust set of features.
  2. Responsive
    Native Apps are quite responsive as they are focused on a particular platform.  
  3. Intuitive
    Due to the ability of delivering an amazing UI, native apps are known to provide fast graphics with fluid animation and smooth transitions. When you aim to stun your users with visualizations,  videos and editing or any other app which requires being intuitive and fast performing then Native apps are the answer.
  4. Performs in offline mode
    Being capable of storing content and images on user’s device, native apps can be used offline. If app’s functionality is not related to connectivity, then even the speed of server or potential website issues doesn’t pose any problem in the performance of  native apps.
  5. More Secure
    Native apps are more secure as they have certificate pinning, easier implementation of two-factor authentication and have access to the in-built security features.

Cons of Native Apps

  1. Cost involved
    Native apps are developed for a particular platform but each platform has multiple devices and versions to cater to. Hence, even if you get it built for a single operating system, yet it involves greater costs in development and deployment .
  2. Longer Build Time
    Building native apps take an average of 4-6 months (or even longer) to be built and launched. Adding a little extra time for building it right and getting it well-tested needs even a little longer.
  3. Need expert developers
    Native apps are written in technical languages and hence requires an expert developer. Not only does development need an expert but even maintenance and update too requires expert developers only.
  4. Maintenance Needs
    With higher device fragmentation and number of operating system versions, you need to have code for present as well as older versions.

About Hybrid Apps

As the name suggests, Hybrid apps combines the elements of native as well as web application. Hybrid apps are installed like a native app but are actually a web app.

Constituted of two main parts, hybrid apps have a backend  which is a webpage written in JavaScript, CSS and HTML. And the other part is a native shell which is meant to load the code using Webview.

Hybrid apps are equally good as HTML5 with an exception that the former incorporates native app features unlike the latter. Deploying a wrapper to act like a bridge between platforms to access the native features makes it possible.

Instagram is one of the best examples of a hybrid app.

Pros of Hybrid Apps

  1. Easy to Build
    Hybrid Apps are built using web technology like HTML/CSS/JavaScript. Hence it is far easier to build an app for all the platforms using technology like Cordova.
  2. Lower Cost involved
    Hybrid app is much cheaper than creating a native app. As one code can make your app available on more than one platforms, the deal drops the cost of two to one.
  3. Time
    Just like cost, even the time involved in creating a hybrid app is quite lesser. If you do not go after including a lot of custom features, you will be able to launch your app on more than one platforms much faster.
  4. Native APIs
    Hybrid apps have the access to the internal APIs of the device used for downloading your app. Hence hybrid app can access storage, contacts, gestures, camera etc.
  5. Single Codebase
    Having a single codebase not only helps in faster development, lesser cost but also in quicker release on multiple platforms and easier maintenance and update of technology as compared to a native app.

Cons of Hybrid Apps

  1. Connectivity Issues.
    Hybrid apps can’t work offline as Native apps can. If you want to  a complex hybrid app, it is a straight NO.
  2. Slower performance
    DUe to the fact that hybrid apps are dependant on network connectivity, a slow network can leads to slower performance as each element of the hybrid app has to be downloaded.
  3. Platform Dependencies
    Hybrid apps suffer from a con of being dependant on the platform which means that features available on one platform are not exactly the same as the other. Hence you need to make modifications in the design and features of your app and hence the benefit of single codebase retains in half only.
  4. Affects User Experience
    For an app to be successful, user experience is the prime consideration. When we talk about app performance and network connectivity dependencies of hybrid apps, the graph for UX takes a nosedive. Choosing an app related to gaming or video editing, you need to go native.

Closing Notes

Above mentioned was a brief introduction on two of the most commonly used types of mobile app development along with their pros and cons. Comparing Native vs Hybrid apps was not the intent of this blog. We aimed to guide you and help you figure out yourself as to which one of the two are best suitable for your mobile app idea. The above stated pros and cons of hybrid vs native are not the only ones that ever exist. But we have tried to show you the best of both and most affecting factors of both the types.

We are not declaring any winner out of the two. As being a Mobile Development Company, we have a profound experience of working on both types.  

Still before closing, it is our responsibility to give you a pro-tip. So here it is.  Hybrid Apps are ideal for an MVP, or Minimum Viable Product which needs to be tested in a limited market. And if your app needs to be rich in custom features, speedy performance and seamless UX then Native is the best fit.

And if you want best of both, Cross-platform development tools are the solution.  Xamarin by Microsoft and React Native by Facebook are the cross-platform development tools.

For any queries or to discuss your app idea with us, please feel free to contact us.

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Until next time, Stay Mobile and Stay Successful!!


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