native app vs hybrid app - selecting an app

Native App vs Hybrid App: How to Select the Right App for Your Business?

Creating a business app is a smart business decision but what kind of app should you create? As a business owner or start-up founder, you need to be careful when you make this decision as it will cost you a lot of money and it cannot be changed at a later stage. There are 2 major types of app that you can create for your business – native app vs hybrid app – and the number of parameters to consider is intimidating. Choosing between a native app vs hybrid app is obviously a gigantic task and I’m here to help you out!

Native App vs Hybrid App: Understanding the basics

Every small factor plays a huge role when choosing which kind of app to create such as your budget, your target audience, time constraints, the functionalities you need, and so on. In this article, we are set out to compare native app vs hybrid app, what difference each makes, its pros and cons, and which is the most suited for your business. But first, let’s understand what these different kinds of apps actually are?

What are Native Apps?

Native mobile applications are developed to be run on a specific platform, such as Android, iOS, Windows Phone, etc. The programming language you use to develop such an app will depend on the target platform, like Java for Android and Objective C for iOS. Since they are designed for the specific platform, they are much faster. They can also easily use the built-in features of the platform, such as your phone’s contacts, GPS, compass and so on. The device platform owners, too, will support the app well.

The most important feature of native apps is that it may have features which do not require an internet connection. It is, however, a costly choice because you need to build one native app for each platform that you wish to be present on.

Most games are built on native. Facebook, and Skype, too, are native apps.

What are Hybrid Apps?

Hybrid apps are meant to be usable on a series of platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, etc.). These applications can just as well be run on a web browser. They are embedded into a native app using frameworks such as Cordova. This kind of development is undoubtedly simpler and faster. It saves you from developing five native applications to run on five different platforms. This turns out especially awesome if you may need to switch platforms in the future.

Frameworks like Cordova allow you to create a hybrid app that can run on several platforms, making the job all the easier with available plugins. While a hybrid app will not have access to the phone’s software features, it can access the hardware, like camera, Bluetooth, location, etc.

A major issue with hybrid apps, however, is that their performance is dependent on the framework on which they run. Nevertheless, with some smart choices in development and resources, you can create a high-performance hybrid app.

Could you have guessed that Evernote and Uber are hybrid applications?

Native App vs Hybrid App: How are they different?

It’s time for war! Native app vs hybrid app – let’s compare them one factor at a time:

Factor

Native App

Hybrid App

Access to Device Hardware Complete Complete
Access to Phone’s Software Features Yes No
Speed/Performance Fast/High Medium/Satisfactory
Programming Language Depends on the Platform.
Eg. Objective C for iOS, Java for Android, etc.
HTML5, CSS, JS
Expense High
(approx. ₹60,000 – 70,000 per platform)

Medium
(approx. ₹60,000 total)

Time needed for development Longer Less
Offline Features Present Absent
Maintenance High Reasonable
Multi-Platform No Yes
UI/UX Great Not as great as native
Ordinary Graphics Better Less
Advanced Graphics Medium Great
Security Great Unreliable
Code Portability Less Most
App Portability Hard Easy
Coding Complexity Complicated Easier
Device Integration
(Using phone features outside the app)
Can use the phone’s built-in features such as Camera, GPS, messages, etc. Only supports the use of selected phone hardware
Internet Connection May or may not be required Always required
Gesture Support Present Present

How was that for an exhaustive comparison between native apps and hybrid apps? If you still have any queries, leave them in the comments below.

Native App vs Hybrid App: Pros and Cons list

Native apps and hybrid apps are designed to serve different requirements. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s look at the pros and cons to find your business its perfect match!

Pros of Native Apps

1. Complete device support and integration

A lot of features that came handy with your mobile device can be integrated with a native app, be it the camera, GPS, microphone, phonebook or calendar.

2. Does not require an internet connection

Depending on your application’s use-case, you can provide your users with ample offline features.

3. Flawless performance and fast speed

A high-speed app or game will best work as a native app because that way, it will remain independent of the native browser. If speed and performance are essential factors to your business, go for a native app.

4. Amazing user interface

The look and feel that come with native apps are unmatchable due to its engaging navigation and intuitive icons and buttons.

5. High User Experience

Every native app is developed by following the UX standards specified by that platform. This ensures that users will not have a hard time figuring out the interface and navigation. In the match between native app vs hybrid app, the native app takes the UX trophy.

6. Greater security

Since every native application is availed to mobile devices solely through the certified app store, it is ensured that the application has been approved before being released. Any application which is deemed insecure or unsafe is rejected from the app stores. This makes your application more credible in the eyes of your audience.

Cons of Native apps

1. Complicated development and maintenance

Native apps are more complex to build since they require knowledge of development on the specific platform. Even when you have successfully created one, you will need to start from scratch and build another if you want to support a new platform. Maintenance for native apps is not easy, either. Every time you try to introduce a new business feature or encounter a bug, you will end up developing or fixing the native apps on separate platforms separately. This means inevitable manifold effort.

2. High budget requirement

Since native apps require more complex development environments than simple HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, be ready to pay more for this option. That’s not it. For every platform that you target, you shall bear the expense of a separate application. You shall be spending minimum between ₹60,000-70,000 for each platform that you intend to support your app on.

3. The uncertainty of acceptance on the play store/app store

Every native app, before it reaches the users, needs approval from the respective official application store. This may turn out to be a tedious ordeal for you. Also, there is a chance that the platform’s app store may end up rejecting your app due to some quality or security setbacks.

Pros of Hybrid Apps

1. Develop a single app!

The best part about developing a hybrid app is unified development. You need to develop one and only one application. It will run on the platforms of your choice with minor tweaks for each. You will save a lot of time, obviously, as compared to native app development. Your company, too, will save funds by paying for just one application that integrates flawlessly with all leading platforms with slight alterations.

2. Single code-base to maintain

When, you encounter a bug, a change in requirement, or the need for a new feature, what do you do? Simply make the changes in a single code-base running on all platforms, and they will reflect everywhere. How productive is that!

3. Swift app development

Hybrid apps require less development time, and this allows you to create more features in less time. The application’s flexibility also minimizes the efforts required for maintenance. Building a single hybrid app is enough for launching your business on multiple platforms.

4. Easier to scale

The fact that hybrid apps can run across platforms and operating systems makes them much easier to scale than native apps. Developers can reuse the code anytime for an additional platform without the need to make major changes.

5. Partial offline support

Hybrid apps do provide partial offline support. Though, until there is an internet connection, the data displayed or entered while in the offline mode will not update.

6. It costs less

Since the same hybrid app is ready for launch on different platforms, you save on development and code maintenance expenses. Moreover, web technology for hybrid apps opens the doors to leveraging unique resources not available with native apps. You can develop a complete hybrid app for running on multiple platforms starting at an approximate cost of ₹70,000. Money matters, and there’s a clear winner in terms of cost-effectiveness when you consider native app vs hybrid app.

Cons of Hybrid Apps

1. Lacking performance

Hybrid apps work slower for two reasons:

  • They are based on web technologies, allowing internet connectivity and server speed to make a great difference in performance.
  • The speed is dependent on how the chosen framework such as Ionic, Cordova or Kendo performs.

This is a considerable flaw in choosing hybrid between native app vs hybrid app since the chances of your app’s success sink if the performance does not impress your user.

2. Poor User Experience

Another serious setback in hybrid apps is that they lack the platform-specific experience present in native apps. The user may not come back to use your app if they do not find it engaging the first few times. There is still some space for improvement in case of hybrid apps as they try to compete with native apps in UX.

Native App vs Hybrid App: In Conclusion…

Each type of application satisfies different kinds of business and user needs.

If you plan to create a video game or similar application, which requires high visuals and 3D animations, think no further and opt for a native app. Otherwise, too, if you need to target just one platform as of now, and factors like UI/UX and app performance are crucial to your users, native apps are the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if your business requires uniform availability on multiple platforms, we definitely recommend building a hybrid app. This app is the right one for you especially if the budget or development expertise is limited. Businesses choose hybrid app development mostly if they plan to scale up, expand across platforms, and maintain the same code-base in the future.

You can hire trusted app developers for developing both native and hybrid apps by posting a task on InstaTaskers.

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