Native vs Hybrid Apps

  • The advantage of using a native app is the performance.
  • Native app offer a better graphic experience and better UX.
  • Writing in hybrid is not as cost effective as project managers think. Max 20% of total project cost.
  • By using hybrid, you will only save on model coding and maybe some UI coding. Developers dilemma.

Whether you are a start-up or a corporate business planning to deploy a mobile app, it is not very easy to decide which approach will be the best for your company. Native or Hybrid app development? Usually, there is no clear answer to this question but we will help you to understand their differences and their benefits.

Let’s start with ‘What is a Native App?’ A native mobile app means the programmer will be using the native programming language of the IOS or the Android. Sound complicated? Let’s make it simple. A native app will be written only for a platform, such as IOS. If you would like to have the same app for the Android, it should be written for the Android separately. I will be explaining the benefits of the native apps later on.

So ‘What is a Hybrid App?’ To make it simple to understand, a native app is a web application wrapped inside a native app shell. This means, your hybrid app will provide a better graphic design experience than the native web browser of the platform but a hybrid app will never offer the same experience as a native app. However, they are easier and quicker to develop. And lastly, a hybrid app always needs an internet connection. It won’t be able to run without the internet.

Now, the big question: which is better? 

Native vs. Hybrid

The main advantage of using a native app is the performance. Both the software and the hardware integration are much better than with the hybrid apps. So how can this happen? As I mentioned, native apps are developed from scratch for the platform, and thus, this makes the native apps offer the best hardware and software integration. 

Both in IOS and in Android platforms, mobile devices are packed with many sensors and features. When you develop a native app, you will be able to access and control all these features with your app seamlessly, such as multi-touch gestures, GPS, barometer, and fluid graphics design experience. And this leads to improving the experience with the app.

Another important advantage of the native app is the graphic experience and better UX. I am sure you know how the iPhone’s graphical design experience revolutionised mobile gadgets. With the native app, you will be able to integrate all these great graphical design experiences into your application. Users can enjoy a very high quality app with a great design experience. 

Connectivity is not a problem. You can develop a native app only to run offline without any internet connectivity. Your app will not be relying on mobile data connectivity. This is quite important for many projects; if you are planning to develop an app that does not need an internet connection all the time, native will be the answer.

As the native apps are coded in native programming language, the process of App Store confirmation and validation will be shorter than with the Hybrid apps. As the native app’s function was coded, there are no surprises for the users and this confidence shortens the process of the approval. 

However, all these benefits come with a cost. Native app development takes a longer time frame and is far from easy. The whole code must be written from scratch for each individual platform (IOS, Android and Windows Mobile). Even though the app will be offering the same functionality for each platform, the coding must be done separately. Also, frequent updates are compulsory to improve efficiency and the experience of the app.

At the end of the project, you will have a great mobile app that offers the functionality you have been dreaming of since the beginning. The cost and time frame are the downsides but the seamless app experience and the performance does make it worth it.

Hybrid vs. Native

If you are planning to extend your web application experience to mobile devices and are not looking for sophisticated functionalities, the hybrid app approach can be a better option for you. Hybrid apps are developing HTML, CSS and Javascript and are compiled with the native application system. 

The hybrid app approach is simpler, delivers faster and is more cost effective. The cross platform adaptation will be easy. This means you can easily adapt your IOS app to Android without a serious development stage. If you would like your hybrid app to access the hardware features, you can use plug-ins to access them. 

The story of the hybrid app sounds like a dolce vita life. However, it has Achilles Heels! Unfortunately, hybrid apps do not run fast. Your users may have the latest smart phones but your hybrid app will not be able to take advantage of this performance. Users may not have a great app experience. As I mentioned, the hybrid app is a web app and this means what you can offer with the hybrid apps is limited. Unlike the native apps, a hybrid app may not be able to deliver outstanding graphical experience. Also the App Store approval times for the hybrid apps are longer than for the native apps. Lastly, a hybrid app can’t run without an internet connection. If you are planning to offer an offline experience, the hybrid app approach will not be for you.

Overall, the hybrid apps are ideal if you are planning to offer a mobile app without sophisticated features, a quick way to access to your web services, and are limited by time and budget.

In the end, before you make your final decision, think about what you are planning to offer on your mobile app. If you wish to develop an app that needs sophisticated and complicated features, your approach should be a native app. However, if you are in the early stages of your business and have limited resources, the hybrid app approach could be a good start for you. Despite the disadvantages of the hybrid apps, they still offer a great experience.

Finally

The biggest drawbacks of hybrid applications are;

Writing in hybrid is not as cost effective as project managers think. (Max 20%)
Mobile development has the elements of planning, design, web services, model coding, UI coding, platform based features, and testing. By using hybrid, you will only save on model coding and maybe some UI coding. Our average native UI coding is 2-3 days per app.

What you are sacrificing;

•    They are not flexible as native apps
•    They are not fast as native apps
•    Native apps have better user experience
•    If you need to change your developer, you will have to find developers who are experienced in this specific hybrid platform. You can use native iOS and Android developers easily