Native App vs Hybrid App Development: What To Pick?

Mobile app developmentThis guest column is by Arnab Sarkar, Research Analyst, ValueCoders

According to a recent survey, about 70% of smartphone users prefer Android OS and 16% prefer iOS. However, if you go by the demographics, you may find your customers more on iOS. Some may find mostly on Android. However, there is a high chance that you would like to target both the major OS users for your upcoming app.  Therefore, what to pick? Native app or Hybrid app?

Let’s dive deep and discuss both the architectures thoroughly. 

Native App

Native app is the one that is coded in exclusive programming language for each separate platforms. The most popular among them is Java for Android devices and Objective-C or Swift for Apple devices. Undoubtedly, native app is way ahead with  outstanding user experience and prominent performance.

Merits of Native App

native-app-advantages

1) Native apps  mostly have fast graphics with fluid animations built in. It’s also very convenient to use with a native look and feel.

2) Native app can access OS specific APIs such as camera, push notifications,  and in-app purchases, which would otherwise be prohibited.

3) If you’re developing a native app for iPhone, you will get many resources, development tools, and reading material to help you out.

4) It is little less painful to develop a native app as it focuses only on one platform at a time as it gets support from respective platform.

Demerits of Native App

It is a time consuming process to build a native app  if you want separate apps for different platforms. Here is a time estimate for your understanding:-

expenses-for-native

2) Native app typically requires different codes for smartphone and tablets which makes it more difficult sometimes.

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3) If you need to release the app in another app store then you might need to complete re-write the codes.

4) It costs pretty high to develop number of native apps for different platforms and maintain them separately.

Hybrid App

Hybrid app combines elements of both native app and Web apps. It takes most of the good features from native and adds cross browser flexibility from web apps. As a result, you get an app that functions more like a native app with no platform boundations.

Merits of Hybrid App

1) The content of a hybrid app is easily portable and requires a native harness to run in another platform. Hence, it’s quick to develop and easy to maintain.

reutilization-of-Hybrid-apps-1

2) By using CSS, it makes the app design flexible and accommodates all kinds of device sizes. On the other hand HTML and Javascript run seamlessly on every platform regardless of the OS. This flexibility helps you to reduce development cost.

price-of-Hybrid-1

3) Some software frameworks like Ionic or React provides flexibility act a web page like a native app. Hence, it can be distributed on the app stores.

4) Hybrid app has options to package locally or through servers that enables to access it online as well as offline.

Demerits of Hybrid App

1)  If the App Store recognizes that your app is not truly native, there is a chance it may deny listing from the App Store.

2)  When a new Apple iOS version is released, hybrid app developers would have to depend on a third party before they  design hybrid apps on the new OS.

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3) Since hybrid app development is still new in the development space, there is not much support available for troubleshooting uncommon issues.

4)  Lack of the genuine UI assets of Android or iOS sometimes result in  slower performance and can brink security threats as well. Here are some examples:

security-in-hybrid-app

How to Decide on Native App vs Hybrid App

Now as you have understood clearly about the pros and cons of both the architectures, this flow chart will help you to end up with right decision:

hybrid-vs-native-flowchart

If you are clear about the requirements of your app and follow this flowchart with consideration of the merits and demerits of both the architectures, we hope this will help you to decide your match.

Image Credit: Warnacle

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  • PushEngage.com

    Great Summary Arnab. I will add one more consideration. Lot of people consider Mobile Apps because of ability to do Push Notifications. Now that is available in browsers as well, so you can use Mobile Browser or App with ability to do Push Notifications. (Disclosure: We are a platform for Web Push Notfications)