Native Versus Hybrid Apps: Key Points to Help You Decide Which Is Right for You

What Is a Native Mobile App?

What Is a Hybrid Mobile App?

A hybrid app is created for use on multiple platforms (e.g., Android, iPhone, and Windows smartphones). They are web applications (or web pages) in the native browser, because the same web pages (e.g., HTML, CSS, JavaScript) used in web apps are used in hybrid apps as well. Examples are UIWebView in iOS and WebView in Android (not Safari or Google Chrome).

Advantages and Disadvantages of Native and Hybrid Apps

Pros of Native Apps:

  • Full integration of the device: Native apps work with many of the functionalities offered by mobile devices, for example, the camera, GPS, calendar, microphone, and many more. Native apps give users a fully integrated experience that is easy to use, making it the best UX.
  • Works without an internet connection: The most important feature of native apps is that they also work without an internet connection. According to the functionalities, native apps can work without accessing the internet. Both the mobile app’s software and its data are stored locally on the mobile device.
  • Excellent performance: If you are looking for some high-speed application or game, then a native app is the right choice for the developer. Native apps provide great performance because of a simpler, cleaner design to be used on only one operating system.
  • Better look and feel: 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.
  • Better UX standards: All the native apps follow the specific UX/UI standards for creating Android or iOS apps, which allow users to easily understand the interface and navigation of the apps.
  • Safer and more secure: All the native apps of Android or iOS are accessible only through the app stores. Before all the apps are approved to be featured in the stores, they are fully tested and reviewed by the app store approval team. This process provides a certificate of reliability and assurance.

Cons of Native Apps:

  • Higher development and maintenance expenses: Native apps are quite complex because they have a different codebase for each platform. They require a lot of time and effort to maintain, since separate teams have to work on and support each version.
  • 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. Also, there is a possibility that the app might get rejected.

Pros of Hybrid Apps:

  • Unified development: The principal advantage of hybrid apps arises from the fact that you are saving yourself stress. Instead of building two apps, you are building one app and tweaking it slightly so it works on both platforms. That means hybrid apps offer unified development, which allows the organizations/companies to save a huge amount of money. The developers can create a single hybrid framework and the common codebase can be used flawlessly for different platforms.
  • Deals with one codebase: Hybrid apps are easier to maintain, as you have to manage only one codebase. While developing hybrid apps, you require fewer developers as compared to the native apps, which ensures smooth and efficient productivity.
  • Fastest development speed: Hybrid apps can be developed easily without much effort in a short period of time. They require less maintenance as compared to native apps. Hybrid apps are flexible; they are easier to transform into another platform.
  • Efficient scaling: Hybrid apps are known as cross-platform apps, which are easy to scale on different platforms and on different operating devices. It allows the development team to reuse the code without making many changes in the app.
  • Supports offline use: Hybrid apps support offline work, but while working offline, data cannot be updated. In hybrid apps, users can easily load the app and access the previous loaded data, which allows for playing games in offline mode.
  • Less expensive for a hybrid app: One of the unique qualities of a hybrid app is that it uses web technology for app content, and this fact makes building a hybrid app much easier. Web technology knowledge outweighs a native app’s coding, providing more leverage for resources so you can save time and money.
  • Hybrid components are interactive: Visual and interactive programs like games and 3D animation are present in hybrid apps, but these programs still work much better on full native apps. Businesses are not likely to have more graphical and platform-specific needs like games or animated apps, which is the main reason why hybrid apps are ideal for business and professional services apps. Fortunately, more innovations are being introduced into hybrid apps on a daily basis and they have been catching up with their native cousins.

Cons of Hybrid Apps:

  • Slow performance: Hybrid apps are a bit slower because they are based on web technology. Hybrid apps use mobile platforms such as Kendo, Onsen, Ionic, and Cordova; these platforms cause apps to take more time to function, depending on the application, which can result in loss of performance. It is one of the biggest flaws of hybrid apps, because if the user does not have a good experience, the likelihood of the app becoming popular decreases.
  • Poor UX: One of the serious disadvantages of a hybrid app is that it never offers a user the full native experience. And in the app domain, a user rarely gives an app a fifth or sixth chance. So the UX has to be flawless. Hybrid apps still have some way to go before they catch up with native apps on the UX front.

Which App Should You Choose?

Usually, hybrid apps attract more developers and clients because of their easy approach, cost savings, and compatibility with more technologies and platforms. All these things are appealing, but if we look at the long term, then hybrid apps can become a pain because they need more time to fix the UX and performance issues that users might report.

Select the Right App to Meet Your Business Needs

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Ashok Sharma

Ashok Sharma

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A #DigitalStrategist, Marketing Consultant, #SOCIALMEDIA INFLUENCER, and #GrowthHacker