Smartphones have evolved into a handy tool in the present period. They provide numerous benefits such as immediate communication via e-mail and social networking, internet surfing, entertainment, GPS, and various other productivity tools.
Building a native app or a hybrid app is a typical difficulty when deciding which one to choose.
For almost a decade, mobile applications have been the cornerstone of innovation. However, as smartphones become more ubiquitous, many companies are adding mobile apps into their workflow to expand their market reach.
A common challenge faced by organisations is deciding whether to construct a native app or a hybrid app and which would be preferable for the company based on its functions.
The following variables affect the answers to these questions:
- What is the app’s goal?
- App’s development budget.
- App features to include
- How fast is the app being created?
- Decide whether to create in-house or not.
You can learn about the characteristics of a hybrid and native app, as well as the distinctions between them, as well as their benefits and drawbacks, to help you choose the right way for mobile app development.
Before that, you need to understand what hybrid apps and native apps are.
What is a Native Mobile Application?
A native mobile application is a software created specifically for a platform or device. It can utilise device-specific hardware and software because it needs to work on a specific mobile device and its operating system.
In contrast to mobile cloud applications or web apps designed to be universal across many devices, native apps offer better performance and exploit the newest technologies, such as image processing.
Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are the two most popular mobile operating systems. Native applications include code written in a language specific to the mobile device and its operating system. For example, Android-native apps are written in Java, whereas iOS apps code in Swift or Objective-C.
Native mobile apps are easy to use and offer a high level of accuracy. In addition, it makes things faster and gives users access to all native user interface (UI) features and layouts.
An iOS app created in Swift, on the other hand, will not work on Android and vice versa. If you want to launch your app on both iOS and Android, this means you’ll have to design particularly for each platform, which will need a larger budget and a larger team.
Characteristics of native applications
The following are the significant characteristics of native applications:
- Native apps are incredibly dependable.
- Native apps are easier to use, perform better, and provide a better user experience.
- Native programs support both online and offline operations.
- Native app features can help to their full potential.
Advantages of Native Applications
- It has a wide variety of functions since it makes use of the primary mobile device’s capabilities.
- It provides software that is fast and responsive.
- It can send push notifications.
- Native apps have a user interface (UI) that is more similar to the OS’s user experience.
- The App Store ratings can help to determine the quality of Native apps.
Disadvantages of Native Applications
- Native apps have various codebases since each device has its version of the app, i.e., in Android, the coding is different, and in the case of iOS, the coding is different.
- The need for more developers to develop and maintain a code base for each platform results in a higher cost.
- Every feature update devotes a significant amount of effort to numerous fabrications for various platforms.
What is a Hybrid Application?
Therefore, it functions similarly to a web app, and you can install it on a device similar to a native app.
Hybrid apps have exclusive access to the mobile device’s functionality thanks to internal application program interfaces (APIs). Furthermore, since it is possible to download native applications, they may be used offline, whereas hybrid apps can not.
Hybrid applications are a technology that allows data, speech, and video to be sent through a computer or other wireless-enabled device without the need for a physical connection. Mobile communication, as well as mobile hardware and software, are all crucial components.
Characteristics of hybrid applications
A hybrid application has the following characteristics:
- Hybrid apps can work regardless of whether or not the device has access to the internet.
- Hybrid apps can work with the device’s file system and take advantage of operating system capabilities.
- Web-based services integrate into hybrid apps.
- An integrated browser is another vital aspect of hybrid programs, as it improves access to dynamic internet information.
- Hybrid apps need less time to build and have lower development and maintenance expenses. As a result, it saves both time and money.
- Hybrid apps are easy to understand and maintain.
- The user interface of hybrid apps is cross-platform (UI).
- One of the most major benefits of hybrid apps is that they have a single code base for various platforms, making them much easier to manage.
Benefits of Hybrid Applications
- Because they have the same code base, they may function across several platforms, such as Android and iOS. It also works on a wide range of devices because of its uniform user interface (UI).
- Hybrid application creation and maintenance (including updates and modifications) is faster since developers have to construct one codebase.
- Hybrid applications are cost-effective due to their single code base, which takes less time to build and does not require as many developers as native apps.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Applications
- Hybrid apps, like Web apps, require a constant network connection to function appropriately.
- Due to their architecture, hybrid mobile apps rely on plugins to access the device’s built-in functionality.
- Hybrid apps do not provide the same level of user experience as native apps since the interfaces for both Android and iOS get degraded. If too much emphasis is on Android, the user experience for iOS users suffers, and vice versa.
- The paradox in producing a Hybrid app is that Native app developers are required to create a Hybrid app since the construction of a Hybrid app does not address several functional concerns that are critical to Native app development.
Many organisations confront the traditional problem of deciding whether to create a native or hybrid app to provide a fantastic experience for their consumers and which app would be ideal for their business’s needs.
The following things influence the answers to these questions:
- The goal of the application’s development.
- The amount of money set aside to build the app.
- The characteristics that the app must have.
- Is it preferable for the company to create the application in-house or outsource it?
- Time duration to create the application.
- Who are the company’s target customers?
- How will users get access to the app?
- Is it necessary for the app to be available in the App Stores?
- Will the app need to be updated regularly?
- What amount of functionality complexity does the company want to develop?
- Will the application take advantage of the device’s inherent features?
- What type of user experience does the company want to provide?
- What are the company’s mobile application development resources?
The differentiation between a native and hybrid app to see which choice is best for you, based on your company goals:
Native App vs Hybrid App
Based on development time and cost
Hybrid applications are the most cost-effective and time-saving. Hybrid applications are also easier to maintain since they have one code base, whereas native apps have numerous codebases because they cater to each platform individually.
Based on User Experience
Native applications provide the most incredible user experience since their development is for a specific app store. In addition, native apps consider hardware capabilities as well as screen size. Compared to hybrid apps, it is impossible to deliver a decent user experience with only one code base for all platforms.
Based on the app’s features (Free or Paid app)
Native applications benefit businesses who want to publish a paid app on the App Store since they offer an excellent user interface (UI). In contrast, the development of hybrid apps may be free.
Based on the platforms
Availability on App Stores
If a company wants to distribute an app through the App Store, it must build a mobile app rather than a mobile-optimised (RWD) web application that can be accessed through the device’s web browser.
Incorporation of native device functions
If you want to use the camera or GPS on your mobile device, you’ll need a native or hybrid mobile app, as a web app will not access those capabilities.
Need of developers
As previously said, both native and hybrid apps have advantages and disadvantages. The needs of the company primarily determine the type of app selection. Following a comprehensive review of the business specifications, it is good to have a word with application developers, who will give your ideas the best possible shape.
Instead of having a permanent in-house setup, the outsourcing approach can be beneficial since partnering with an outsourcing team would make your mobile app development a breeze.
Do you still have some confusion about your technology options? Weignyte can assist you!