Native vs Hybrid App: What To Choose For Mobile App Development

As per the research of Statista, consumers downloaded 218 billion mobile apps on their connected devices. The number is quite huge enough to say that mobile apps are taking the world by storm.

Are you an entrepreneur and want to launch a successful mobile app? Are you concerned with the factors like app downloads, features, speed, return of investments, and target audience?

Deciding on the right app development approach can save your investment and time. While choosing the right approach, a dilemma arises, whether to develop native apps or hybrid apps?
However choosing one involves factors like the goal of the business, type, requirements, and complexity.

To help you in deciding one, we have prepared a guide of native vs hybrid apps. This blog will answer your basic questions and help in choosing one approach.

What is Native App Development?

what is native app?

A native application is a mobile app built for a specific platform on Android or iOS. Native mobile apps will only run on a specific operating system, which means an Android app won’t run on Apple iOS, and an iOS app won’t run on Android OS. The businesses looking to build apps with high performance, scalability, better security, and better functioning of apps can opt for the native approach.

Native apps can take full advantage of device features such as camera, SMS, GPS, microphone, and device speaker. For instance: WhatsApp is a native mobile app as it has different interfaces for iOS and Android.

Technologies Included in the Development of the Native App

If you look further to develop native app development, it’s worth understanding the technology stack of both platforms. The app developers code native Android apps in Java or Kotlin, while the iOS native apps in Swift or Objective-C.

Android Technology Stack in 2021

  • In Android native applications, Java and Kotlin are the open-source programming languages used to develop apps.
  • Java helps developers to create scalable and complex applications with its feature-rich libraries.
  • Kotlin was introduced in 2011 by JetBrains to bring more flexibility to developers while developing mobile apps.
  • The toolkit for Android app development is Android Studio and Android Developer Tools.
  • Android SDK is to write programs with the latest features, developers can download it for ultimate use in a particular phone.

iOS Technology Stack in 2021

  • In iOS native apps, Swift and Objective-C are the programming languages used to build apps. Objective-C is the superset of the C programming language.
  • Swift is a powerful programming language with more functionalities and dynamic performance for app development.
  • The toolkit to create the Apple iOS app is Apple Xcode, a feature-rich development environment to create desktop as well as mobile applications.
  • The iOS SDK serves the purpose of connecting software applications on the platform they execute.

Furthermore, let’s take a look at its pros and cons.

Pros and Cons of the Native App Development

ProsCons
  • Native apps can be accessed offline and make available access anytime.
  • Excellent design and top-grade user experience.
  • Easy navigation and offer better navigation understanding to users.
  • Fully functional with the hardware of the mobile device.
  • Better security and reliability
  • Ease to scale the app with new technologies such as AI, ML, DL, IoT, AR/VR, etc.
  • It requires high investment to develop native applications.
  • You will need to build the same app for different platforms.
  • You’ll require a skilled development team to make a top-notch application as per your desire.
  • Building an app for a separate platform will be time-consuming.

What is Hybrid App Development?

what is hybrid app?

Hybrid apps are a combination of native and web applications. They are specifically built using web technology languages like HTML, CSS, Javascript, React Native, and Xamarin.

Hybrid apps offer the approach of writing codebases once and run across multiple operating systems. These apps can be installed similarly to native apps on mobile devices.

Hybrid applications have access to the internal application interfaces (APIs), which makes fairly complete access to device features. A hybrid application offers compatibility with web apps. These hybrid apps run on the mobile’s browser and appear with UI features as native apps. In hybrid mobile apps, it becomes easier to scale up and maintain the app for the overall purpose, which results in saving time and cost.

For instance Gmail: It is using native elements and HTML within a single application to provide a seamless user experience.

Technologies Included in the Development of the Hybrid App

Here, we’ll look for the most trending hybrid technologies to build cross-platform apps.

React-Native

React-Native is a Javascript framework to build beautiful web apps or hybrid apps. This framework helps Javascript programmers to develop apps for different platforms like Web, iOS and Android. React-Native is especially used to build for a great UI and faster execution of apps on the platforms.

Ionic

Ionic framework is an entirely open-source SDK to develop hybrid app development. It is a complete app development toolkit, which offers feature-rich front-end UI components. This framework also offers the best compatibility with any Javascript framework such as Angular, React, and Vue.

Xamarin

Xamarin is an open-source platform of .NET to build high-end performing cross-platform mobile applications. Xamarin uses a single language, C-sharp, to create mobile applications compatible with multiple platforms. Xamarin utilizes C# language and native libraries package of .Net layer to make cross-platform applications. It even offers platform-specific libraries to access APIs of well-established companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook.

Pros and Cons of the Hybrid App Development

ProsCons
  • Developing a hybrid is quick as you need to use web technologies to build them using a single code base.
  • Cost-effective development of the mobile application, which requires less maintenance costing.
  • The flexible design of UI/UX to get an idea of navigation across the platforms.
  • Easy to upgrade, scale, and maintain the hybrid apps.
  • Offer easy integration with external web-based services to enhance application performance.
  • Hybrid apps include embedded browsers to provide better dynamic website content interaction.
  • Access to inbuilt features requires reliability on plugins.
  • Comparably doesn’t offer a great user experience similar to native apps as designed for both platforms.
  • Hybrid apps offer slower performance comparison to native apps.
  • The apps moderately become restricted due to the use of the framework.
  • You will need to optimize your app for a large number of available browsers.
  • It becomes hard for developers to integrate graphical-based complex features (charts, diagrams, etc.)
  • Hybrid mobile apps lack integration entirely with devices and OS.
image

Looking for an expert mobile app development team for your project? We have mobile app experts who have years of experience in delivering successful mobile apps.

Hire Us

Native App Vs Hybrid App: Key Differences

Let’s differentiate the difference between these two types of apps to provide a clear idea about both types of apps.

Native AppsHybrid Apps
Offering fast performance makes them lucrative apps.Lack of performance due to pretty little compatibility with the OS of devices.
Deliver a better user experience and easily integrate with the in-built features of the device.The user experience depends on the web browser as they are a sort of web application.
You need to build similar apps for different operating systems.These apps are built using one code base and work across platforms.
In native apps dealt with different bugs depending on platforms.Offer an effective approach to handle bugs and resolve them
Native apps will have an alike interface on all the platforms.These apps won’t have a similar look or feel on each platform.
Native apps tend to be more expensive as you develop and maintain superior products.Better in budget concern to develop an app for all platforms.
Flexible and offer easy integration with core functionalities of devices.Small scope to leverage the features and hardware of the device.
Superlative security and protection against the data.Less secure as it runs on mobile’s browser.
Users need to download the latest version from the app stores.They’ll be always on the latest version of the app.
A slow development cycle requires more time to code native apps.Faster to develop and require less time as compared to native apps.
Languages to develop apps are Java/Kotlin (Android) and Objective-C/Swift (iOS).Scripting language HTML, CSS, and Javascript with hybrid frameworks (Ionic, React-Native, Xamarin, etc)
Examples of native apps are Spotify, Pokemon Go, Lyft, Twitter, etc.Examples of hybrid apps are Gmail, Instagram, Evernote, Uber, etc.

Essential Factors to Consider in Choosing Between Native or Hybrid Apps

Let’s have a look at the necessary factors you should consider while choosing to develop an application between native or hybrid.

Factors to consider between native and hybrid app

User Interface

Of course, native apps offer the best user experience on every mobile device. Native apps specifically run on different OS systems; thus perform well and offer higher FPS (frames per second) rates to offer an exclusive user interface. Hybrid apps don’t offer great UX to their users depending on the components to interact with devices.

Deploying Methods

Users will be able to download the native mobile app from the app stores or play stores and be able to install it on mobile devices. Besides, users can update native and hybrid apps only from respective app stores. Hybrid apps are available to install from app stores, play stores, or particular web application stores where deployed.

Hardware Compatibility

There are challenges in hybrid apps to connect with specific platform hardware for effective access to in-built features of the device. Contrarily, native apps are highly feasible to access the in-built features of the device to provide a personal touch in the app performance.

Application Complexity

If your app wants to access the root level of features of the mobile apps to run properly, then native application development could be the right approach for you. However, if your app deals with basic functionality and less complexity to perform well without using core features of the device, then hybrid development could be a good choice.

Security Management

The app stores like Google Play Store and iPhone App Store assure the quality and safety of the app before launching for the users. While hybrid apps lack behind in the security protocols as these apps are built using native wrappers and third-party frameworks.

Application Version Issues

In hybrid apps, you are free from managing the different versions of the application, as the update is universal and users are always streamlining on updated versions. However, in native apps, you need to manage several users for different versions of the app.

Scalability of Application

Scalability is an essential factor, and you shouldn’t neglect this factor. The native mobile app offers better scalability in comparison to hybrid apps. If your app majorly communicates with the core components of the OS and for the future, you plan to update your app, then definitely native app becomes effective for you. Although hybrid apps can also access device features but have limitations.

Development Process and Time

Building hybrid applications takes less time in comparison to native apps. The hybrid apps use a single code base to run everywhere, which ultimately reduces the duration of development. And developers don’t require to build mobile apps specifically for two different platforms. While in native, mobile apps take a long time and increase the developer’s task to build similar versions for Android and iOS platforms. Thus, if you plan to create an application in a short-term duration, a hybrid app can be a suitable option.

Integrations

Native apps provide seamless integrations due to their better availability of resources for applications. For example, integration with Siri voice to access the application over voice command. While in hybrid apps it is difficult because they are built using web technologies that have certain limitations.

These are the critical points that require attention when planning to build an app and confused to pick the platform. As we have seen the different aspects of the native and hybrid app, it also depends on requirements, goals, and business types. Mobile application development doesn’t depend on the type of applications, it actually depends on your thoughts and ideas on how you want to build your application for your users.

To have better clarity, it is recommended to have general ideas about features, development time, cost, platform diversity, and accessibility. All these factors will help you to choose a suitable approach for app development.

Furthermore, we will guide you to decide which app is best for your business. We would advise you to go through with each concern step, which will ease all your problems.

Native or Hybrid: What Type of App is the Best For Your Business?

Building a native app or hybrid app totally depends on one’s business requirements. No development approach is wrong, neither native nor cross-platform development. It depends on the usability and the reason for which they are building the app.

The companies need to identify the exact business goals for which they are interested in developing the app. Every business may find different mobile application development as their perfect solution.

Choose native app when:

  • You are an enterprise company with an unlimited budget
  • You want to develop a game or any mobile app which has complex features or requires high-end UI
  • Your competitors are performing better than you. In that case, you may require an app that provides high-grade performance.
  • You want to develop an app that can utilize the device’s features like phone resources, GPS, camera
  • Scaling is important for you in long-term
  • You want your app to work offline
  • You want your app to manage complex user’s data.

Choose hybrid app when:

  • You’re tight on budget and require an app for iOS and Android
  • You have an idea and want to launch an app fast
  • You don’t require any complicated functionalities
  • You don’t require to use the device’s functions
  • You don’t require a top-notch user experience
  • Your business is not only relying on the app’s performance

Maintaining several versions of the application in native apps is definitely profitable if you have huge audiences like Instagram or Facebook. Nonetheless, for a limited audience, it becomes a tiring task and results in high cost also. Hence, hybrid apps are upfront choices for most businesses to reduce maintenance and put all users at the same pace.

Your decision-making on choosing an app approach is also dependable on the features you want to include in your application. Hence, you need to specify the features perfectly well before building an app, and you can’t restrict app growth due to app type.

However, there is no particular answer to the question “which is best from native or hybrid mobile app”? Certainly, it totally depends on your principal criteria and business goals. Let’s check the application examples of hybrid vs native apps.

Native App Examples in Business

Below we’ve taken some of the famous Android and iOS native apps to manage the business operations to scale the growth,

Basecamp App

basecamp

An app similar to basecamp is built for easy management of the project. Basecamp comes with the feature to upload files, communicate and collaborate with your team members. Here, performance is a priority because users will need real-time interaction and updates from the app. On top of that, security could be the second reason to choose native app development.

Jira Cloud App

jira cloud app

Jira tracking application is used by a million businesses. This app is primarily built to track the team planning and creating the project development. This application similarly functions to manage project operations, hence they have chosen native app development to provide better performance and user experience as well.

Trello App

trello app

This one app is built to manage all types of business activities in a company. In addition to that, one can even customize the app with their needs and work styles. They have chosen to build native apps because of security and providing high performance to carry out multiple tasks at a time.

Dropbox

dropbox

It helps you to manage the data over cloud storage and provides you with effective access to the core components of the mobile device. It manages the business to escalate the usage of physical record copies. Although, the app provides powerful performance to access and process a huge amount of data without any technical failure. If you’re looking to develop a similar storage app like Dropbox which can efficiently store huge business information, then choose the native app development approach.

Hybrid App Examples in Business

Any.Do: To-Do List App

The to-do list app manages your business operation on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. It doesn’t need any heavy configuration and technicalities. If you want to build similar apps like to-do-list apps, then hybrid app development is the best approach.

Amazon App Store

amazon app store

The Amazon App Store for Android is an app store for the Android operating system operated by Amazon.com. This app is highly used across the globe and offers the best ways to streamline the process of buying and checking the different products without any struggle. As you know, you can access Amazon on mobile as well as on the web browser. This app is an excellent example of a hybrid application.

Remote POS system App

remote pos system app

A remote POS system can help you manage the restaurant business operation and helps your manager to streamline all the processes in your restaurant. Building hybrid apps for internal operations of restaurants helps them to manage cost and they don’t require to manage a web app and mobile app differently.

We hope the above-mentioned examples of native and hybrid apps give you a proper idea of “what type of application can choose according to the requirements.” Mobile apps play a vital role to manage multiple tasks at a time. The major difference you can consider here is the features you are going to consider for your app development that ultimately leads you to the perfect approach.

image

Want to know which type of app you want for your business? Need guidance? We have expert app developers for your help.

Connect with Us

Still, have doubts? You can check our frequently asked question section for further details

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Facebook a native or hybrid app?

  2. Facebook is an example of a hybrid app, as it was specifically built to be accessible over every platform. You can download the app easily from the  Apple App Store/Google Play Store or can access it from the web browser.

  3. How are native apps built?

  4. Native apps are built using the platform-specific program language to run on the native operating system. Android apps are built using Java or Kotlin with the use of a software development toolkit. The iOS app is built using Objective-C or Kotlin with the use of Apple Xcode.

  5. Native Vs Hybrid: Which approach is the best?

  6. Certainly, there is no specific answer because native apps and hybrid apps both have pros and cons. It ultimately depends on the business goal, requirements, size of businesses, and target audience.

  7. How do I make a native app in Android?

  8. For building the native app in Android, you need to decide the features, flow, and integration as well as user navigation to provide a complete product for the users. After creating a wireframe, then you approach an app development team.

Conclusion

Developing a native app or hybrid app depends on your goals, business type, size of the company, target audience, and needs. To be precise, different apps have different requirements. You can bring your idea into reality by approaching mobile app development companies or hiring mobile app developers.

We, at Space-O, have more than decade years of experience in delivering top-notch mobile app development services across the globe. Being one of the trusted mobile app development companies, you can consult us anytime to discuss your app ideas.

  • 2
Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.