Native Vs Hybrid Mobile Apps: The Definitive Guide
Understanding the differences between native vs hybrid mobile apps to make a more informed decision
We know that deciding between native vs hybrid mobile apps can be challenging. So allow us to break it all down for you.
- Native apps are mobile apps that are built natively to their operating system (OS).
- Hybrid apps, on the other hand, are web apps – meaning that they are actually websites that share the same interactive features as mobile apps to make them feel similar to a mobile app.
Hybrid apps are usually cheaper to develop, however, they generally come with drawbacks such as lower performance and less functionalities when compared to native mobile apps.
Native apps may cost more to develop during the initial development phrases, but being designed and developed for a specific OS can give the native apps a performance boost along with more features, better functionalities, and stronger security.
Which one you choose really comes down to you or your user’s requirements, your budget, and your timeline to complete your desired app.
Keep reading below to get as much info as you can, so that you can be sure which kind of app will work out best for you.
Native vs hybrid mobile apps – a quick overview
If you are considering starting a new project for your business, it’s important to understand the following points and have a better understanding of native and hybrid apps before diving headfirst into a software development project.
According to a survey conducted, while 79 percent of consumers would only retry a mobile app once or twice if it did not work the first time, only 16 percent would give it more than two tries. Users are unlikely to use a mobile app again if they have had a bad experience with it.
In some cases, you only get one shot to get it right; and will very rarely receive a second try.
At the end of the day, your decision to develop a native or hybrid app comes down to your budget, timeline, and desired features. It is critical to choose the right application for your specific project to match your business goals.
In this article, you will learn the core differences between native and hybrid apps to help you determine which is the better choice for you in 2022.
Native applications utilize a platform-specific technology that is only available on the Android, iOS, or Windows platforms. These platforms run their own operating systems that are written in different coding languages:
- Android apps are written in Kotlin or Java
- iOS apps are written in Swift or Objective C
This means that they are unable to operate on other platforms since they were built specifically for their native platforms.
The core benefit of developing a native app is that the applications are created for single platforms, such as iOS, Android, or Windows, meaning that they can utilize all of the unique features of a specific platform/device. This greatly allows for apps to run a lot smoother, causing fewer mistakes, which can lead to a better user experience in most cases.
Native apps have been known to provide superior user experience, as they tend to include more sophisticated and complex features that, in most cases, have proven to be more reliable and faster. Some examples of native applications are the apps for Twitter and Gmail.
“The biggest mistake we’ve made as a company is betting on HTML5 over native.”
– Mark Zuckerberg at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco
Pros and Cons Of Native App Development
Native apps are designed for a specific operating system which makes them faster, more refined, and are also the better choice for running games and apps at high performance.
The cost of building native mobile applications is steady during the development period. Support and maintenance are required for both codebases – which may likely increase the budget.
|User experience (UX)
Android or iOS? The choice comes down to the user’s own preferences. The good news is that if you’re a loyal user of either, you won’t be having any issues navigating the app, which follows platform-specific UI standards. As a result, these apps are now more user-friendly than ever before.
|Longer Development Times
Longer Development Times – Native apps are specific to their operating system, meaning that they usually take longer to develop. So developers must code for iOS and Android.
App Accessibility – Native apps can easily access the device’s camera, microphone, calendar, GPS, fingerprint sensors, and motion sensors – all making the app very accessible.
Having different versions of the app on different devices results in maintaining two apps instead of one hybrid app.
Native apps must be approved by the app stores that they have been developed for in order for businesses to be assured of their app’s security. These apps can also get full support from the app store or marketplace. Furthermore, programmatically native apps tend to more often be more secure than hybrid apps.
Pros and Cons Of Hybrid App Development
A hybrid app that runs on both iOS and Android can be built at the same time as a single native app for one platform. The time it takes to develop a product directly impacts its final cost.
|User experience (UX)
The user experience of a hybrid app will never be native if you’re still doing it the old-fashion way using web frameworks like Cordova.
One codebase can run on both Android and iOS. Unlike native apps, you don’t have to build an app for each platform.
|Native App Development Involvement
Engaging a native app developer to fix functionality issues in hybrid apps can add costs.
Building a hybrid app takes less time because developers don’t have to write code for each platform. Moreover, your QA engineer will need less time to ensure the product is bug-free and high-quality.
Hybrid app development may not be suitable for apps with complex features and functions. Because few hybrid frameworks support every native feature. As a result, this limitation may affect the overall stability of your mobile app.
|Changes & Updates Are Easier To Implement
Again, due to the single codebase, your team doesn’t have to work with each platform separately to change, say, the placement of several elements. Changes made once will be applied to all platforms where your hybrid app runs.
|User Experience (UX)
When Kotlin Multi Platform UI is used, the user interface is entirely dependent on platform components. Improved user experience results in increased consumer engagement and the apps’ long-term viability.
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Make your choice on native vs hybrid mobile apps based on your needs
Many factors must be taken into account throughout this important decision-making process, including user research, analytics, skill requirements, long-term planning, cost of construction, development time, and hardware/Bluetooth integrations. Learn more about our product design discovery here.
Considering each of these criteria can help you choose which sort of application development technique is ideal for your business. Take a look at how to decide between native and hybrid, mobile app development, and when to choose.
The choice between native vs hybrid mobile apps should be driven by your business objectives. Before you dive into the development, we advise you to consider the following points first:
- Are you willing to take the risk of having performance issues, lack of UI, and lack of security?
- How sophisticated are the features required for the product to function properly?
- How important is the user experience of the app to you?
- Which is more important to you: the time-to-market or
Choose a Native App if:
- You have already budgeted for development (your total estimated project costs) and are hesitant to increase your investment.
- It uses the mobile device’s functionalities in your app.
- You need an engaging, high-performance app.
- Your apps need to pick among a variety of features.
Or choose a Hybrid App if:
- You want the first version of the app quickly deployed and inexpensively. Then using MVP might be the best solution for you! Learn how Minimum Viable Product can be beneficial.
- The app is basic with no complex calculations or designs.
- You are still market testing your concepts.
- The application does not require access to the device’s hardware, at least during its first release.
Both native vs hybrid mobile apps have their own benefits and drawbacks.
Single source code, cross-platform web technologies, easy updates, and lower (initial) budget costs make hybrid applications more appealing.
However, the biggest disadvantage of hybrid apps is that they require added time for fixes & optimization when users complain about UI elements or performance issues.
The native application also has the advantage of being specific to the OS they are built on (e.g., camera, GPS, address book, etc.). The use of this approach can also provide the best security, performance, and access to all native APIs.
Even though the initial investment may be slightly higher, it saves the company time and money while providing a great user experience and industry-standard app performance.
So, which should you choose between native vs hybrid mobile apps? While each method has its advantages and disadvantages, a native approach will ultimately have a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.
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