Mobile apps have taken the tech world by storm for more than a decade. These apps are reasonably referred to as ‘Kingpins of Innovation’. With the market of smartphones expanding at an exponential rate, more and more of the business organizations are now embracing ways to make mobile apps as a part and parcel of their business to increase their outreach and ensure smooth business growth.
To develop a mobile app, the app developers need to plan in details to incorporate different types of process. Ahead of developing apps, the app development companies need to choose the way in which the client wants to create and implement it. The developers usually rely on a couple of ways to do preliminary research to develop mobile apps.
Most of the app developing companies deal with a common challenge – what to be developed – hybrid app or native app. The question remains what works best for a particular organization. The answers depend on multiple factors as follows:
- Speed of app development
- Required features in the app
- Budget for app development
- The purpose of app development
- If the organization decides in favour of in-house development
Definition & Features of Hybrid Apps
Salient Features of Typical Hybrid Apps
- Fast to Develop
- Easy to Maintain
- Cross-Platform User Interface
- Integration with a device file system
- Less expensive to develop apps
- Cost-effective maintenance
- Single code management across several mobile platforms
Merits of Hybrid Apps
- Once coded, run everywhere
- Unified development
- Faster development
- Single codebase
- Cost-effective and time-saving
Demerits of Hybrid Apps
- The target mobile platform and the source code have an extra layer between them and it can possibly lead to loss of performance.
- Hybrid apps cannot access hardware like CPU, GPS, display directly and need 3rd party plugins
- As any hybrid app is developed to run across different platforms, it affects user experience.
- It is not framework independent (example, Cordova) for app development.
Definition & Features of Native Apps
A native app can be defined as a program developed by using a particular programming language, for devices running on specific operating system. The native app development companies use Java for Android phones or Objective C for iOS. These app development companies make most of the OS features as well as other software tools installed on the particular platform.
The hybrid apps are easily accessible across several phone functions including gallery, contact list, camera etc. Native apps are assembled into machine code. Due to these provisions, native apps offer best performance on a mobile platform.
With plenty of resources available, it’s fairly easy to develop native apps. However, everyone does not understand the app development process as the codes are written for each platform. The logic is same but the language, development process and APIs differ. As a result, it takes a lot of time to develop complex native apps.
As the codes to develop a native app have to be rewritten for each platform, a company is required to develop duplicate versions of the same app in order to ensure that it can work across different platforms. The best examples of native apps are mobile-friendly video games, Paypal, Gmail, Pokemon Go.
Salient Features of Native Apps
- Highly reliable
- Delivering fast performance
- Offering better user experience
- Supporting online and offline transactions
- Exploiting native features in the best possible way
Merits of Native Apps
- Specific language is used to develop platform-specific apps.
- Code is written and rewritten for each platform.
- Native apps deliver smoother and responsive user experience.
- Native apps can access hardware like CPU, display, GPS directly, thereby offering faster execution.
Demerits of Native Apps
- High cost of development
- Longer development cycles
- Higher investment of time, talent and resources
Hybrid Apps vs Native Apps
Safety & Security
All the native apps developed for iOS or Android platform can be accessed only through the app stores. The app store approval team tests and reviews each native app before approving it and enlisting the same in their store. Testing and reviews certify assurance and reliability.
No Third-Party Dependencies
By using a native toolset for app development, the developers don’t need to rely on a third-party to access location services, camera and other functions categorized under ‘Core Features’. Dependence on any open source community (for example Cordova) is not that much to stay abreast of the latest features.
Design & Feel
The trendy appearance and feel of native apps are inviting and inspiring, enabling users to connect quickly and easily to the buttons and icons.
Native apps, specifically developed for a single app store, deliver the best user experience. With a single app store, the users can get the best compatible apps. The screen size as well as the hardware capabilities is taken good care of.
With hybrid apps, it is hardly possible to offer a good user experience with just single application code across all platforms.
Development Cost & Time
Hybrid apps are easy to develop as the codes need not to be written for every single platform. For native apps, developers need to write codes for every single platform. Compared to the native apps, they take less time and cost to develop. However, it is never to suggest that native apps are not good as they also have several advantages.
Use of native SDKs enables the iOS app development service providers to access the most advanced features explicitly designed for these platforms, without involving any complexity of managing native plugins. It is a key feature when you need to deliver an enriched and encouraging contextual user experience such as touch ID for Android or facial recognition for iOS.