Today the majority of companies are increasingly using digital products to address industry-specific challenges, for instance, enhance customer loyalty and experience, automate reporting, boost sales, or improve document management.
But mobile app development is an expensive investment. When you want one for your business, the next big question is ‘which development approach to choose for building the mobile app?’.
So, if you are wondering whether you should take the native or hybrid route for creating your next mobile application, you’ll find this article extremely useful.
We’ve decided to compare these two options to help you understand what will be the best one for your project. The critical differentiators we’ve discussed here considering both the options will help you while developing a new application.
Let’s get started!
What is a native app?
A native mobile application is a smartphone program, which is coded in a specific programming language like Java and Kotlin for Android or Swift and Objective-C for iOS.
This type of digital solution offers a higher level of performance and reliability. Installed directly from stores (Google Play, App Store), native apps generally have access to the camera, a list of contacts, microphone, GPS, and other things on a device.
What is a hybrid application?
In recent years, hybrid applications have been growing in popularity. Through using the same user interface, they can be built and released across multiple different platforms. To put it even simpler, this is the same app that can be installed from Google Play and App Store.
What should you choose: Native or hybrid apps?
Before we jumpstart with the comparisons, here are a few questions you must think about and ask yourself first that will help you make the right choice:
-Do you want to amaze your users by building an entirely native application that integrates into the platform of their choice (Android or iOS)?; Do you want to be able to tap into a user’s device functions i.e. camera, GPS, etc. to make a feature-rich and customized application?
-Are you more interested in taking an MVP approach, and quickly developing a hybrid application that can be released across platforms?; Do you foresee future updates and changes that are done automatically?
Comparing Native and Hybrid Applications
The most important characteristic of a native mobile application is that it has different codebases for each OS – iOS and Android.
Native: a separate codebase for each OS
Hybrid: a single codebase
When you require a native app development, you may need a separate development team for each platform, leading to increased development costs. With this, you might need to consider that you have in-depth knowledge and understanding of specific programming languages for each platform.
Though native application development is more time-consuming, it is faster and more reliable by its very design than a hybrid one.
A hybrid app has only a wrapper that is downloaded to the user’s phone (which may or may not contain all the navigational elements) with most of the data being loaded from the server.
In contrast, as users navigate a native mobile app, the visual elements, structure, and contents are already on their phone, available for instant loading, and thereby providing a seamless experience.
Hybrid: Moderate! Can be higher with extra efforts in the development phase
This characteristic is crucial when it comes to apps that have to ensure instant response to user actions, provide high availability through handling peak loads, even with a slow Internet connection.
User Experience (UX)
Native applications offer the best UX compared to all other types of apps. The user experience specifically for a particular OS becomes critically important to the mobile presence in the market.
To offer a good UX with a hybrid app, you would need the most brilliant user experience architect/developer that can truly build an app that caters to the two dominant user types: Android users and iPhone users, as their style guidelines are simply too different.
So, in both cases, the application’s controls, interactions, visual cues, and gestures must be seamlessly integrated with your platform’s extensive style guide.
Mobile application development cost and time
Different codebases have to be written for each platform, and therefore, a native product takes more time. This also implies the team extension, which means the involvement of iOS and Android engineers.
Whereas, making a hybrid app is less time-consuming and needs less effort, which is a great advantage.
Hybrid: Easier and faster to develop
If your programmers are fluent in several languages, libraries, and frameworks, this will reduce the time and price of building any project. Further customizations will be possible to be made, and you can also choose to release only an Android or iOS application.
Enhanced security is one of the key benefits of native mobile apps over others. They enable software developers to integrate various functions such as two-factor authentication that help ensure data safety and privacy.
Whereas, a Hybrid app always has some Native code (for instance to start a Web container like a WebView). That does make them susceptible to vulnerabilities that affect web browsers and those that affect native apps.
Essentially, there is more work involved in securing your hybrid application, but just as much is involved in maintaining native ones.
The battle between hybrid apps and native apps is never going to end because there’s a place and need for both.
Ultimately, to make the best decision for you, you need to measure the benefits each one offers and evaluate them against your goals.
Contact us, if you want to discuss your business application idea. We will help you through the entire process of launching an app, and help you understand the benefits of both the approaches that fit your business needs.
About Galaxy Weblinks
We specialize in delivering end-to-end software design & development services and have hands-on experience with native, hybrid, cross-platform, PWA development. Our engineers also help in improving security, reliability, and features to make sure your business application scale and remain secure.