For years, mobile apps have been transforming the way we communicate, get things done, travel, and learn. But not all apps are created equally, and the evolution of customised app development has touched new heights.
Knowing the difference between native and hybrid apps is the first step to helping figure out what type of app would eventually move the business forward. Luckily for you, we’re here to help!
Native and hybrid apps both provide ways to meet different needs and purposes of users and developers, but neither type of app can be said to be the perfect solution. Our developers will work closely with you to determine which one suits their needs better or which app is ideal for the business needs, including budget and specific goals.
Without further ado, here are the critical differences between native and hybrid mobile apps:
Native Mobile Apps
Native mobile applications are smartphone apps developed to carry out a very specific task within a particular operating system—iOS or Android. It’s what usually comes to mind when we think of mobile apps.
They are developed specifically for a device to be downloaded and installed on a device from the App Store or Google Play. Android apps are written in Java and iPhone apps are written in Objective-C or Swift.
Pros of Native Mobile Apps
- Excellent performance: Since they are native to the platform they are developed for, native apps are much simpler, faster and more refined than their other counterparts.
- Online and offline usability: For the most part, no internet connectivity is required to run them, so if one of your users is stuck in the middle of nowhere, they can still access the basic features of your application.
- Better UI: The trendy look and feel of native apps is eye-catching and inspiring, which allows users to connect easily, and quickly to the icons and buttons.
- Familiarity: Native apps tend to have a recognisable look and feel to them, as they are essentially a nuanced version of the operating system’s default applications.
- Safer and more secure: Native apps must get the approval of app stores being featured on the platforms. Once accepted, the business can be assured of complete safety and security of the app because they are accessible only through the app stores.
Cons of Native Mobile Apps
- Higher development: Perfecting code for both Android and iOS can be quite difficult and time-consuming because native apps have a different codebase. This also makes it difficult to release the same exact feature on all platforms at the same time.
- More maintenance required: Because there is a different codebase for each platform, native apps require a lot of time and effort to maintain, due to separate teams needed to work on and support each version.
- More expensive: Higher development and maintenance requirements ultimately adds to the cost of keeping up the application.
- More time consuming: Each platform code will need to have its own release cycle and updates.
- No guarantee that apps will get accepted: Once the apps are created, they must be approved by the play store/app store, which can be a long and tedious process for the app creator/developer. Also, there is a possibility that the app might get rejected.
Hybrid Mobile Apps
Hybrid applications combine features of native and web apps (websites optimized for mobile browsers). They can be both downloaded from an app store or access via a web browser as they are built using cross-compatible web technologies such as React, Ionic and Xamarin.
Pros of Hybrid Mobile Apps
- Less expensive: Because of their ‘one for all’ build, hybrid apps are usually much quicker and cheaper to develop.
Easy to build: One of the unique qualities of a hybrid app is that it uses web technology for application content, and this fact makes building a hybrid app much easier.
- Unified development: Because there is a single code base for all platforms, developers only need to write it once and tweak it slightly so they can run the code wherever necessary.
- Fast development cycle: Hybrid apps can be developed easily in a short period of time. They require less maintenance as compared to native apps.
- Easy scaling: Hybrid apps are known as cross-platform apps, which are easy to scale on different platforms and on different operating devices.
- Can work like a native app: Hybrid apps can achieve the same hardware-based performance acceleration as native apps. This is not necessarily a pro, but something to keep in mind.
- Consistent UX: Regardless of the device you are using, hybrid apps will have an identical and consistent user experience. This can be better for efficiency, however, it doesn’t take into account how users behave in different environments
- Online and offline usability: If a hybrid app is developed locally or through a server in order to create an application that functions (mostly) without the internet.
Cons of Hybrid Mobile Apps
- Slow performance: Hybrid apps are based on web technology and because they run on so many different operating systems, interfacing complications can lead to lagging.
- Poor UX: One of the serious concerns of a hybrid app is that it never offers a user the full native experience. The UX has to be flawless and sadly 3D and HD games, applications with high calibre graphics, and other performance-based apps may not operate consistently or well in hybrid app form.
- Design: Most operating systems operate differently and have different hardware choices. Because of this, developers may need to develop different branches of features and user flows to suit each operating system.
- Plugin dependent: Although hybrid apps can access all of the native device features, such as media and touchID. they are dependent on native plugins. Unfortunately, not all features are readily available as naïve plugins. A good developer can write their own, but this can add more complications to the development process.
Ultimately, if you want to create a successful app, you need an edge that will make your app stand out among others on the market. And that requires more than hard work and luck.
As mobile development is advancing, the way businesses approach apps is also transforming. At Cyber, our developers are well versed in the latest technologies, and we know that what matters when it comes to app development is a great user experience, intuitive, responsive, security and speed.
No matter what your concerns are, Cyber are here to help you out. We are committed to developing products that match all the needs of our clients, contact our team now to learn how we can help you.