Smartphones in the modern era have become an instrument of great utility as they offer multiple benefits such as instant communication through e-mails and social networking, web surfing, entertainment, GPS and various other productivity apps.
While deciding on developing a mobile application, a dilemma that arises quite often is whether to create a native app or a hybrid app.
Mobile applications have become a kingpin of innovation for a decade now. With an expanding market of smartphones, many organizations are adopting ways to incorporate mobile apps in their workflow, to boost their market outreach.
A common challenge faced by companies on deciding on the type of app to be built is whether to build a native app or a hybrid app and which one would be the best for the company based on its functionalities.
The objective of building the app.Features to be included in the app.
The budget allocated to develop the app.The speed of development of the app.Whether to opt for in-house development.
Here, we would help you understand the characteristics of a hybrid and a native app and the differences between them, along with their pros and cons, to help you decide on the best approach to be adopted for
mobile application development.
Before we understand what are hybrid apps, let us find out what is native and web apps.
A native mobile application refers to application software that is developed to work on a specific platform or device. Since it is created to operate on a specific mobile device and its operating system, it has the prowess to use device-specific hardware and software.
Native apps give enhanced performance and leverage the latest technology, like Image processing, in contrast to mobile cloud apps or web apps, that are designed to be universal across various systems.
Mainly, there are two mobile operating system platforms, Apple’s iOS, and Google’s Android. Native applications are designed in a code that is primarily used for the mobile device and its operating system. For instance, developers code Android-native apps using Java, whereas, they code iOS apps using Swift or Objective-C.
Native mobile apps have a quick execution and a high degree of accuracy. Apart from being faster, it also enables the users to get access to all the native user interface (UI) controls and layouts.
However, an application written for iOS using Swift will not function on Android, and vice versa. This implies that you have to develop specifically for each platform, which would require a larger budget and a bigger team size, in case you wish to launch your application on both, iOS and Android.
The primary characteristics of native applications are as follows:
Thus, it works just like a web app and is installed on a device like a native app.
Hybrid apps, with the help of internal application program interfaces (APIs), retain complete access to the mobile device’s features. Native apps can operate offline since they are downloaded, but hybrid apps don’t come with this functionality.
A hybrid app usually has functionality similar to a web app as it is primarily based on a web app. Web applications are designed for various platforms and are not installed on the device, but are accessible over the Internet through a web browser.
Hybrid apps are generally referred with mobile computing, which is a technology that enables transmission of data, voice, and video through a computer or any other wireless-enabled device, without having to be connected to a tangible link. It majorly involves mobile communication, along with mobile hardware and software.
Most of the applications available can be classified as hybrid apps.
A lot of businesses face a conventional challenge of which application should be developed, native or hybrid, to offer a great experience to their customers, and which application would be the best for serving the purpose for their business.
To make an effective decision, let’s have a look at the differences between a native and hybrid app, to understand which option is a suitable one, based on your business purpose.
Hybrid apps are cost-effective and take the least amount of development time. Also, hybrid apps are easier to maintain, as they have a single code base, whereas, native apps have multiple code bases since they cater specifically to each platform.
Since native apps are specially designed for a particular app store, they give the best user experience. Native apps take into account hardware capabilities and screen size. In comparison with hybrid apps, with just one code base for all platforms, hence, it is not possible to provide a good user experience.
For businesses that wish to launch a paid app on the App Store, native apps are recommended, since they have a really good user interface (UI), whereas, free apps can be created as hybrid apps.
If a business plans to circulate its app through an App Store, it’ll have to create a mobile app rather than a mobile-optimized (RWD) web application, which would be accessible from the device’s web browser.
If you wish to make use of the mobile device’s features like the camera or the GPS, you’ll have to opt for a native or hybrid mobile app , since a web app cannot access the device’s features with ease.
As discussed above, native and hybrid apps have their benefits and drawbacks. Deciding on what kind of an app to opt for depends largely on the demands of the organization. After looking into the specifications of the business, it is recommended to discuss the same with application developers, who would be giving shape to your ideas in the best manner possible.
Application development can also be outsourced instead of having a permanent in-house setup, since collaborating with an outsourcing team would make your mobile app development an effortless job.
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