The modern world has witnessed a significant reliance on portable technology. Most people nowadays prefer to choose their mobile devices or tablets for their work processes. Mobiles are also becoming more and more capable of handling most everyday tasks.
It is difficult to imagine today a mobile device that does not have any applications. A mobile application is a developed program for tablets and smartphones installed on a particular platform and has certain functionality. Simply put, it performs certain actions and solves a given range of issues.
Smartphones of the modern era are handy tools, at the touch of a finger. They provide benefits such as instant access to social networking, web surfing, entertainment, and many more.
According to a recent survey, over 50% of web traffic comes right from smartphone users. This means that businesses have to find ways to get the attention of mobile users. The best way to do that would be to develop a mobile application for the business.
Choosing the type of application to build is a common problem most companies face when entering the world of mobile devices. Whether to develop a native app or a hybrid one would depend mostly on the company’s priorities.
To make the right choice, you need to clearly understand what each type of application is and what it is for.
The major factors that would impact this decision are:
➢ What the application is trying to achieve.
➢ The user experience to be offered by the app.
➢ The features to be included in the app.
➢ Application speed and performance.
➢ The budget allocated for the development cycle of the app.
➢ The time slot it takes to develop the application.
➢ Whether to go for in-house development or not.
Read on to find out the main characteristics of native apps and hybrid apps. This is a high-level overview for you to understand the differences between the two. In this article, we will also dive deep and detail the advantages and disadvantages of each type of app. This article would help you decide the best approach for your mobile app development.
What is a Web App?
It’s worth noting that mobile web apps are not really apps per se. As you might have guessed, these apps run through a web browser on the user’s device. These apps are essentially personalized websites that are designed to look and feel like native apps, but they don’t actually reside on the user’s device. They can be compared to cloud storage versus data stored on a computer’s hard drive. With good, quality design that includes sizing and scrolling, web applications often behave like native applications.
By launching mobile web applications, the user performs all the actions that he performs when going to any website and also gets the opportunity to “install” them on his desktop by creating a bookmark of the website page.
Web applications are cross-platform, that is, they can function independently of the device platform. The trump card in their sleeve is that they don’t use the software of the device. And due to the fact that they are a mobile version of the site with enhanced interaction, web applications do not take away precious space in the smartphone’s memory.
Web applications became widespread around the time HTML5 began to evolve and people realized that they could access many of the functionalities of native applications simply by accessing a website with a regular browser. Today, it is difficult to say exactly where the clear boundary between web applications and regular web pages lies since the functionality of HTML5 is growing every day and more and more sites are using it.
Web applications are developed using the tools and frameworks that have become traditional. As a result, the process of their development has recently accelerated significantly. Web applications are sometimes created to imitate native ones, but they are limited by internet speed and design possibilities.
What is a Native app? – A Quick Overview
These applications are called native since they are written in a native programming language for a specific platform. For Android, this language is Java, while for iOS it is Objective-C or Swift.
- Highly Reliable, Simple and Faster Performance
- Better User Experience
- Better Features Utilization
- Support Online & Offline Operations
Native apps reside on the device itself and can be accessed by clicking on the icon. They are installed through the application store (Play Market on Android, App Store on iOS, etc.). A well-known example of native apps is Facebook.
Native applications are designed specifically for a specific platform and can use all the devices’ capabilities – camera, GPS sensor, accelerometer, compass, contact list and everything else. They can also recognize standard gestures pre-installed by the operating system or completely new gestures used in a particular application.
Since they are optimized for a specific OS, they fit organically into any smartphone, featuring high speed and performance.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Native apps
Native applications can access the device’s notification system, and, depending on the purpose of the native application, it can completely or partially do without an Internet connection.
With native apps, companies can tailor an app to individual needs so that the user can then use it more conveniently, in addition to the website or other channel they are already using. This integrity is a significant advantage of native applications.
Some other advantages of mobile native apps:
- Flawless Performance. In the native app development procedure, coding is performed for different platforms using programming languages that are particular for the operating systems. Thus, these apps have different versions designed for the platform and are particularly built for a specific platform on which they run flawlessly.
- Superb Speed. Native apps have extraordinary speed and performance as they are developed for the Android and iOS operating systems. In the development process, every single thing is important including the use of battery and memory of smartphones. Graphical applications, animation applications, and HD games perform well in native apps.
- Remarkable User Experience. It is very important that mobile apps should produce a good impression to different users to not get deleted immediately after installation. With the help of native apps, all the issues of user experience are solved. They provide great scrolling, particular gesture recognition, awesome effects and excellent animations along with other appealing elements that, in a nutshell, deliver an impressive user experience.
- Flexibility. Native applications are flexible enough to deliver fast access to various inbuilt device utilities, such as calendar, camera, microphone, GPS, etc. of the smartphones.
Disadvantages of Native Apps:
- Time-Consuming Development Process. As native apps are built to be suitable for different platforms, separate development efforts are needed to create and implement the design for every device dimension in each platform. This increases development time.
- Costly. In native apps, each platform code has its individual release cycle and updates. Moreover, to develop and maintain the same app on different platforms, you will need specialized proficiency for each platform. This increases the development cost.
- Risk Associated. In the development procedures for native apps, releasing the same feature across all platforms simultaneously seems challenging because of the diverse codebase.
What is a Hybrid app? – A Quick Overview
Unlike native apps, hybrid apps combine both web applications created for web browsers and native applications that are designed for a particular platform and have to be installed on a device.
- Hybrid Apps Function Without Internet Connection
- Hybrid App Development Is Fast & Less Costly
- Easily Integrated with the Device’s File System
- Integrated with Web-based Services
These apps can be downloaded exclusively from markets like Google Play and the App Store. Simultaneously, they have the option of offline updating the information, and an Internet connection is required for their operation.
The disadvantage of hybrid apps is that their speed depends on the browser’s speed; thus, hybrid mobile apps are usually slower than native apps. However, unlike the native ones, the cost of creating a hybrid app is an order of magnitude lower.
The kinship of a hybrid with web applications pays off in the fact that adjustments can be made quickly and easily.
Among other things, it should be noted that the quality and capabilities of hybrid apps depend primarily on the developer’s framework. It is also worth giving due consideration to the factors that make hybrid apps the preferred option over the rest.
So, a hybrid app is worth developing if:
⤍ there is a need to save money on the budget;
⤍ you need to create a relatively simple application with simple animation;
⤍ there is a task of operational development of an application for at least 2 platforms.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid apps
Hybrid apps are the form of mobile + web apps and have their advantages, some of which are as follows:
- Wider market coverage. Since hybrid applications are released on several platforms at once, there will be many times more users. For example, many people use multiple systems at the same time. And it will be much more profitable for them to use one piece of software they are used to, rather than dividing their own areas of use.
- Price. The benefit of many hybrid apps is that they save you the cost of developing two separate versions of the same product.
Hybrid apps are one of the most popular technology solutions right now, but unlike with native ones, there are a lot more drawbacks to consider when creating or building one.
- Limited capabilities. Some native functions may not work completely, or they may not be possible at all.
- Poor user experience. The adaptability of the application does not always work perfectly, bugs may appear on different systems. Hybrid applications are poorly optimized or suffer from network vulnerabilities. And they are also vulnerable to being hacked by scammers with a much greater probability than the native version.
- Workload falls on the Support System. You will have to face the problems of a variety of users, with various devices, but fixing everything quickly may not work due to the variety of problems and the need for constant updates.
- Minimalism in terms of visual elements. Unfortunately, due to the lower budget and development control, hybrid apps are often very limited in their interface. They have an unattractive design, which is unacceptable for many users in this age of increasing interactivity.
A Straight Comparison of Hybrid vs Native App Development
Whenever a company decides on mobile development, they definitely end up comparing native and hybrid mobile development approaches. To say more, both of them obtain the number of advantages to be chosen.
Choosing the right type for a mobile application is a crucial stage in its development, which is influenced by several factors, such as the technical assessment of the developers, the need for access to information on the device, the impact of the Internet speed on the application, whether the application is single or multiplatform.
A common challenge most companies face while entering the mobile-first world is deciding on the type of app to build. The answer to whether to develop a native app vs a hybrid app would depend on the company’s priorities.
This article reviewed the main types of applications, as well as their pros and cons. The final choice will depend on what results the application will target, in what territory it will be used, on the target platform and on the expected quality of the users’ Internet connection.
Sо, сhoose a hybrid app if you want:
⇒ a simple application
⇒ an app for two platforms at a budget price
⇒ 1 application with the ability to quickly enter two markets (iOS / Android)
Choose a native app if you need:
⇒ a professional application that meets all the standards of the chosen platform
⇒ complex application with wide functionality
⇒ high-speed application
Now that you know everything and more about native and hybrid apps, you can easily make the right choice.
What can DevCom offer?
DevCom provides a wide range of mobile app development solutions for clients, including custom mobile apps and enterprise software.
We act as a technical partner for enterprises and startups and take responsibility for product development. You can request a “quick to do” cross-platform app or a well-groomed native app for all the available platforms: Android, iOS.
Devcom will cater to your needs from the concept of deployment and continuous support. So, you don’t need to worry about the security, usability or UI/UX of your app. Request our mobile application development services now.