Nowadays, people have become more reliant on digital assets due to the advancement of technology. We make key life and business choices through the Internet and smartphone applications. It becomes more difficult for companies to compete in today’s competitive digital market, as various applications compete for limited visibility, talents, resources, and money. In fact, according to Statista, global app downloads are expected to reach 299 billion in 2023, up from around 247 billion in 2020 worldwide.
That being said, even after more than a decade, the discussion over “native app vs. hybrid app” continues to be fascinating. This is because native and hybrid mobile app development methodologies, like any other technology, have their advantages and disadvantages and are continually evolving.
Here, we’ll explain the features of a hybrid and a native app, the distinctions between them, and hybrid vs. native app pros and cons to assist you in deciding on the right strategy for your organization.
What Is A Native Application (NA)?
Native applications are created using platform-specific programming languages and are optimized for a certain operating system.
Native development refers to the process of developing applications or software that must run on a certain device or mobile application platforms, such as Android or iOS. Native application development relies on the operating system’s native programming language to create optimized applications for a certain platform, whether PCs, smart TVs, phones, or any other technological devices utilized in the digital environment.
Java or Kotlin are often used to construct native Android applications, whereas Objective-C or Swift produce native iOS apps. Native mobile application development is appropriate if you want to provide the best possible user experience in regard to the program’s design and feel. Native app development enables developers to expand the capabilities and features of their programs by using major smartphone hardware parts such as GPS, motion detectors, cameras, and microphones.
Popular Native Application Examples
Because video games are generally designed for high-end consoles, the majority of them are native mobile applications.
- Pokémon Go: This game makes good use of the device’s capabilities—the camera for augmented reality, the GPS for position mapping, and the accelerometer for acceleration measurement.
- Spotify: The world’s biggest music streaming service is also a noteworthy example of a native application.
Native Application Characteristics
The following are the major features of native applications:
- Native applications are very dependable.
- Native applications are more straightforward, execute quicker, and provide a superior user experience.
- Native programs are capable of operating both online and offline.
- Native app features may be fully exploited.
Native Applications Advantages
- It is capable of a wide variety of functions because it utilizes the capabilities of the main mobile device.
- It ensures that software runs quickly and responsively.
- It has push notification capabilities.
- Native applications provide a user interface (UI) that is more consistent with the OS’s user experience.
- Their rankings may determine the quality of Native applications in the App Stores.
Native Application Disadvantages
- Native applications need numerous codebases because each device requires a unique version of the software, i.e., the coding for Android and iOS is distinct.
- It will be more expensive since more programmers would be needed to construct and maintain a code base for every platform.
- Each feature upgrade involves a significant effort spent on several fabrications for various platforms.
When Should You Consider Native App Development?
- Your intended audience would be using your application for the first time, and you want to make a good first impression
- Need to write platform-specific code
- Businesses that specialize in 3D games & animations
- You want to acquire many DAUs, get product finance from venture capitalists, and design an easy-to-learn but intuitive software
- Additional device-specific features such as GPS, camera, and so forth are required
What is a Hybrid Application (Hybrid App)?
The hybrid platform is primarily composed of two components: backend code and a native viewer that is downloaded to show the functions and backend.
With hybrid application development, code is developed just once and maybe reused across many platforms. When creating a hybrid app, you may achieve speed and user experience comparable to native applications; however, hybrid app development falls short regarding UX & navigation patterns.
Popular Hybrid App Examples
- Gmail: With a seamless combination of native and HTML features, Gmail was designed as a hybrid application.
- Uber: Uber’s user interface is straightforward and clear, with simple navigation. The program runs quickly on various devices and provides dynamic features for Android and iOS users alike.
- Amazon App: Powered by HTML5, the store has an intuitive user experience and is highly popular with thousands of users.
While native applications are renowned for their “faster” performance, hybrid apps like Uber and Instagram can hardly be described as sluggish or lagging. Thus, we could suppose that there is a negligible difference in these applications’ high-level performance.
Hybrid App Characteristics
A hybrid application has the following characteristics:
- Hybrid apps may run regardless of whether the device is connected to the internet or not.
- Hybrid applications may interact with the device’s file system and make use of operating system functionalities.
- Hybrid applications include web-based services.
- Another critical component of hybrid applications is an integrated browser, facilitating access to the dynamic web material.
- Hybrid applications may be produced more quickly and lower development and maintenance expenses. As a result, it saves both time and money.
- Hybrid applications are easily understandable and manageable.
- Apps that are hybrid in nature have a cross-platform user interface (UI).
- A significant advantage of hybrid applications is that they share a single code base across various platforms, making them far simpler to maintain.
Hybrid Applications Advantages
- They are cross-platform, i.e., they may run on both Android and iOS since they share a common code base. Additionally, its uniform user interface (UI) allows it to run on most devices.
- Hybrid apps are easier to design and maintain (including updates and modifications) since developers have to construct one codebase.
- Because hybrid applications share a common code base, they are more cost-efficient to build because they take less time and do not need as many developers as native apps do.
Hybrid Applications Disadvantages
- Because hybrid applications are built on a similar basis to web apps, they need an ongoing network connection to function properly.
- Due to their design, hybrid mobile applications depend on plugins to access the device’s built-in functionalities.
- Hybrid applications don’t deliver the same level of user experience as native applications do since the interfaces for Android and iOS are impaired. If too much focus is put on Android, the customer experience for iOS users suffers, and vice versa.
- The paradox in the case of producing a Hybrid application is that Native app developers are needed to produce one since establishing a Hybrid application does not resolve a variety of functional concerns that are critical for Native app development.
- Numerous organizations confront the age-old dilemma of whether an application to create, native or hybrid, provides an exceptional customer experience and which application is most suited to serve their business’s goal.
When Should a Hybrid Application Be Considered?
- You want to run the app flawlessly across many platforms, but lack the time to develop a cross-platform solution
- You want to publish your web application through app stores
- With the app accessible through the web and mobile devices, you’re reaching a bigger audience
- A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is used to validate a project’s concept
- You intend to utilize the device’s native functionality, such as GPS and the camera
Native App Vs Hybrid App
Now that you know more about what hybrid and native apps are and their pros and cons, let’s compare the two directly. Mentioned below are some of the most popular use cases and aspects that are important for any application.
Time & Cost of Development
Hybrid applications are the most cost-effective and require the least amount of time to build. Additionally, hybrid applications are simpler to maintain since they share a single code base, while native apps have several code bases because they are platform-specific.
As native applications are optimized for a certain app store, they provide the greatest user experience. Native applications consider the hardware’s capabilities and the size of the screen. In contrast to hybrid applications, which employ a single code base for all platforms, providing a pleasant user experience is not feasible.
Utilities (Free or Paid App)
For companies looking to build a paid app on the App Store, native applications are encouraged due to their superior user interface (UI), whereas hybrid apps may be built for free.
App Store Compatibility
If a company wants to distribute its app through the App Store, it must develop a mobile app instead of a responsive web design (RWD) web application that can be accessed via the device’s web browser.
Need of Developers
As previously said, both hybrid and native apps have pros and cons. Choosing the right kind of app is highly dependent on the organization’s requirements. Following an examination of the business’s specs, it is advised that you consult with application developers, who will give your ideas the best form possible.
Additionally, application development may be outsourced rather than maintaining a permanent in-house structure since partnering with an outsourced team simplifies the process of developing a mobile application. So, if you’re looking for a professional app development company to create a stellar app for your brand, contact our experts at One Dgtal today!