Native App Vs Hybrid App

Native or Hybrid App – Answer these 7 Questions Before You Decide

When digital transformation is the topic of CXO conversations and mobile has taken over the world, organizations of all sizes are keen to adopt the latest mobility innovations and trends to unlock opportunities for employee productivity, efficiency, and transforming the customer experience.

While enterprise mobility solutions serve different business purposes, consumer-facing mobile apps add value to customer relationships.

But mobile app development is an expensive investment. When you require one for your business, the next big question is ‘which technology to choose for developing the mobile app’?

Sometimes, support for one particular platform (like Android or iOS) might be sufficient for your app. But most of the business mobile apps need cross-platform compatibility across a variety of popular operating systems. So, one needs to decide if you need native apps or hybrid apps.

However, before you jumpstart, let’s know what they mean.

A native app is developed using the platform-specific native programming language. For instance, Android apps are developed using Java or Kotlin, while iOS development uses Swift or Objective-C. Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail are some of the examples of native apps.

A hybrid app is more of a web app that is wrapped in native elements using a mobile WebView object. This feature helps hybrid apps to act as a website app on a device via a browser. A hybrid app uses web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. Yelp, Uber, Amazon, and Instagram are some of the examples of hybrid apps.

How to choose the right mobile app development technology?

To help you make the right choice, here are seven questions you need to think about.

1) What are the key differences between Native and Hybrid apps?
From the definition, we understand the basic difference between hybrid and native apps. Let’s take a look at other key differences –

Parameters Native Applications Hybrid Applications
App store distribution Yes Yes
Cross-platform/code reusability No Yes
Offline Access Yes Yes
Releases Frequent updates and downloads Frequent updates and download
Performance High Slower than native apps
Touch Features Swipe, pinch, and spread Swipe, pinch, and spread
Development Framework Specific for each OS Xamarin, PhoneGap, Appcelerator Titanium
Design High User Interface Medium Range User Interface
Development Needs skilled tech talent. Development is time-consuming Faster development

This brief overview of the comparison between native and hybrid apps can help you decide the right technology for your app.

2) What features do you need for your mobile application?

Depending on how feature-rich your app is, the choice of technology changes. With native apps, you gain access to various functions, utilities, and interface objects of modern mobile devices. Using an application programming language, you can leverage both the visual elements as well as the native functions of the platform. Native apps allow using device features such as cameras, GPS, microphones, and many others. Contrary to it, hybrid apps can make calls only to the SQLite database and hence limit the functionality. If you think you need device features, we suggest you go for a native app.

3) Do rich user-interface and swift navigation matter to your mobile application?

When there are millions of apps available, how do you make your app stand out? A stellar user interface that helps users easily use the app can contribute significantly to the success of your app.

Studies show that 21% of mobile users stop using an app after one use if it doesn’t deliver the expected experience.

Smartphone users are typically familiar with the device features and can use those if the user interface of an app uses those features to make the overall experience interactive and seamless. With native apps, it is possible to personalize the app’s interface using gestures, buttons, and icons, according to the device, and make the app more intuitive.

4) Which operating system do your app users use?

If you have a reasonable idea about your users’ preferred platform, you can define and prioritize your app development efforts. If you need an app to work on only one operating system such as iOS, Android, or Windows, it is better to develop it natively for that particular operating system. However, if you need to support multiple operating systems, go for the hybrid approach because native app development across multiple platforms is time-consuming and costly. Hybrid apps are scalable across all platforms and are easy to maintain as the code is reusable.

5) What is your budget for app development?

Your financial capability determines the approach to app development. Native application development requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of specific programming languages for each platform. Therefore, you may need a separate development team for each platform, leading to increased development costs.

6) What are your app release timelines?

Native app development requires more time as it needs separate code for each operating system. On the other hand, hybrid app developers can reuse the code across multiple platforms. Therefore, from the perspective of speed to market, hybrid apps are better suited. But, if you can wait to make the best use of native features, go the native way.

7) How frequently do you need to update the app?

Updates are essential to keep your users excited about using the app, fix bugs, or add on enhanced functionality. With native apps, users need specifically install the updates whenever the new version of the app is available. On the other hand, hybrid apps receive automated updates from the web, and the app users don’t need to do anything to avail the latest functionality.

So, which one is better than the other? Well, there is no right or wrong answer here. The choice purely depends on your business needs, goals, and objectives. Each approach offers unique benefits and challenges. So, think carefully about all the aspects before you decide.

Connect with us if you need to speak with mobile application development experts who will be happy to guide you.

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