Hybrid vs Native Mobile App Development: Key Points Comparison

Keshav Jeet

The undeniable power of mobility has been redefining how businesses are run. It’s transforming various aspects of workplace and operations. Mobile apps are imperative to this much need mobility for a digital transformation.

People are increasingly depending on these apps for a variety of tasks everyday. The apps also prove immensely helpful to deliver a strong self-service experience to customers as well as employees. Additionally, mobile apps are gradually strengthening brand recognition, providing a competitive advantage and most importantly–improving customer engagement.

As the number of mobile users registers a year-on-year growth of 4%, reaching 5.15 billion in 2018, Statista predicts mobile app revenue to be around USD 188.9 billion in 2020. Clearly, looking at the ongoing trend, this figure doesn’t come as a surprise.

Mobile applications

Source: Pixels

If you’re considering to build an app for your business, one of the first few questions you may come across is– Should you go for a native mobile app or a hybrid one? Of course, this is an important question and the option you choose will play a key role in determining the success of mobile marketing strategy of your business. However, before we dig deeper into this, let’s look at what exactly these apps and their characteristics are.

Native apps

A native app basically is what someone would imagine a mobile app to be, in basic terms. It’s the most commonly used app. Most of the apps you find on your smartphone are native mobile apps. They leverage the inbuilt capabilities of your smartphone such as camera, maps and address book to deliver a focused user experience.

The reason why they’re called native apps is that each of such app is built for a specific platform like Android, iOS, Windows etc. Since each platform has its unique set of tools and traits, native apps are written in the language which is compatible with the platform. For example, an app developer would use Java to build a native Android app and Objective-C or Swift for an iOS app. Also, they’re installed on the device through a dedicated app store of the platform.

Advantages

  • ◙ Since the app is built in the same ecosystem as the users are familiar with, it provides them with a consistent experience. Hence, they can quickly learn how to use it and find the navigation process fast. This results in a positive user experience.
  • ◙ Native apps deliver a high performance. Besides, they are quite interactive, intuitive and responsive.
  • ◙ Compared to hybrid apps, they offer a greater level of security.

Limitations

  • ◙ Since native apps are meant for a particular platform, this also sets a limitation for them as they cannot work with other platforms.
  • ◙ Each platform requires a different development process and skill and has different app updates. Therefore, offering the same set of features on each platform can be difficult in the case of a native app. Moreover, these challenges will further shoot up development cost and time.
  • ◙ If you have a quick app on mind, native apps aren’t the best choice.

When to go for native apps

  • ◙ If your budget allows you to go for separate native apps for different platforms
  • ◙ If you have a sufficient time at hand for the mobile app development; it may usually take more than six months before a native app is developed, tested and is ready for market.
  • ◙ If you’re looking for enhanced graphics and API; this especially holds good for gaming apps.
  • ◙ If you need an app that’s high on performance, responsiveness and security

Hybrid apps

In the most fundamental terms, hybrid apps are web apps which are packaged and presented as native apps. Like native apps, they can also be downloaded from the app store and installed on a mobile device. The appearance and functioning of a hybrid app are not much different from a native one. In a manner similar to their native counterparts, hybrid apps can also use the camera, storage, GPS etc. of the mobile device. However, there is a significant difference between the two.

A hybrid app is built using a single source code and is designed to work across different platforms. This also means their development cost is much lower than that of a native app.

Unlike native apps which are built using a specific set of tools and technologies for individual platforms, hybrid apps require web technologies like HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

Advantages

  • ◙ Such apps are built based on web technologies. That’s why their development process is not as complex as it is in the case of native apps.
  • ◙ There is no complicated coding or programming knowledge required for hybrid mobile apps development.
  • ◙ They’re quicker to build and their development costs is significantly lower.
  • ◙ They’re compatible with multiple platforms. So, one app is sufficient across all OS.
  • ◙ You don’t have to queue multiple apps for approval to update them.
  • ◙ Since their source code doesn’t vary much, you can hire a single developer to build your future apps. This also results in considerable cost-savings for your business.

Limitations

  • ◙ Hybrid apps are generally slower and not as interactive as native apps are.
  • ◙ While the performance of most of the hybrid apps is satisfactory, when it comes to high-definition graphics and overall user experience, they lose to native apps.
  • ◙ These apps require a considerable experience to build and are generally based on a third-party.

When to use hybrid apps

  • ◙ If you don’t wish to spend a higher sum of money on app development and intend to get an app which is rather economical
  • ◙ If you prefer to get the app developed quickly and released to market in a short span of time
  • ◙ If you’re looking for a single app which is compatible across various platforms and operating systems
  • ◙ If you want an app which is less complex and doesn’t have to be rich in features

Native app vs hybrid app–which one is right for you?

There is no definite answer to this. It entirely depends on your business preference and goals. Both hybrid and native mobile apps have their unique set of advantages and limitations. While not every limitation may be a concern for you, not all advantages are fit for your strategic needs either.

In order to make the most out of your app, you need to carefully measure the benefits each one offers and evaluate them against your objectives. If you’ve decided to go for a mobile app for your business, here are a few critical questions you must ask yourself.

  • ◙ How much budget have you set aside for developing your app? Is the budget flexible?
  • ◙ Are you looking for an app that is enhanced for smartphones?
  • ◙ What kind of user experience are you planning to deliver through the app?
  • ◙ What holds the strategic priority–user experience or app compatibility across all the platforms?
  • ◙ How complex are the features of your app going to be?
  • ◙ Are you looking for a faster time-to-market for your app?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can get a clear picture of what kind of app development your business requires.

And if you still have any confusion remaining with respect to this, or you want to know more about mobile app development, you can always contact the team of experts at TechJini with your query in detail. We’re one of the leading mobile app development companies in India and have delivered more than 450 mobile solutions to our clients in various industries.

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about the author

Keshav Jeet

Keshav is the most creative and innovative thinker who is never isolated with the bandwidth. He always strives to bring out the potential of technology to deliver a remarkable impact. Started as a programmer he gradually gained expertise in Developing, Designing and Architecting solutions for startups and enterprise. He has varied experience from healthcare, public procurement, ERP and mobility. He helps clients ideate, innovates and uses cutting-edge technologies to solve real-world problems. He brings technological leadership, by evaluating and implementing solutions on next-generation technologies.