There is more than one way to build a mobile application. Success begins with choosing the right approach. Developers need to stay on top of the various mobile app development options in order to select the best one.

The three main mobile app types you can explore for your mobile app development project: native and hybrid also, web application development,. All three development paths hold intrinsic value, but which approach is right for your project? In this tech blog we will talk about Native or hybrid apps?

Learning pros and cons of both approaches and which one always leads to a better customer experience can be a concern for you, at PlusInfosys we always take these factors into consideration.

Choosing correctly between native, hybrid, or web app type sets your app for success – here’s why:

  1. A mobile app needs a clear purpose to succeed. By aligning your app type with its core purpose, you will focus on your audience’s pain points and ensure your app features and capabilities are user-driven.
  2. App costs can vary greatly by platform. By choosing the right app type from the beginning, you will ensure that you’ll be able to develop the app you intended within your budget.
  3. An app requires long-term dedication. Choosing the ideal app type will help you account for all the resources you’ll need for maintenance, updates and the ease of future releases.

Native App Development

Native mobile apps are the most common type of app. They are built for specific platforms and are written in languages that the platform accepts. Taking into consideration, Swift and Objective-C for native iOS apps and Java or Kotlin for native Android apps are some of the examples for the same. Native apps are also built using the specific Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the selected operating systems.

Both Apple and Google provide app developers with their own development tools, interface elements, and SDK. We at PlusInfosys provide Android app developers as well as iOS app developers, because most companies will invest in native mobile app development as the multitude of benefits offered in comparison to other types of apps.

Benefits of Native App Development:

  • Native apps deliver the best performance of all three development approaches.
  • Native apps receive complete support from app stores and the overall app marketplace. Distribution in app stores helps with discoverability.
  • Native apps are interactive, intuitive, and run more smoothly in terms of user input and output.
  • Native development allows developers to access the full feature set of the selected operating system.
  • The user experience of native apps is far superior to web apps or hybrid apps. To the user, the flow is more natural because of each mobile operating system’s specific UI guidelines and standards.
  • A native app must be approved by its respective operating system which assures quality, security, and device compatibility.

Disadvantages of a Native App:

  • More than one codebase: iOS apps will not run on Android and vice versa, so you will have to work with different codebases for every platform you choose to build in.
  • Native apps generally cost more to make than hybrid apps: Most developers specialize in one platform (Android or iOS), so to have your application developed on both platforms will require two separate developers (or teams), which can also add to time and cost.

But problems are a fit, if you have a solution. As discussed in disadvantages, the main disadvantage of native apps is having to develop apps separately for each platform you want to cover.

There are several platforms that allow for cross-platform development including Xamarin, React Native, Titanium, and Google’s Flutter, which are all worth a look.

Hybrid Apps

The mobile application is an important improvement step for your business. When you make the decision to create the hybrid application, you should learn its development process, check all the features and find out strengths and weaknesses. This application is originally regarded as a website that is put into the containers. Thus each hybrid application has to use specially designed APIs to reach the fundamental features as well as engage the third-party means for it. You install it like a native app, but it’s actually a web app on the inside.

Hybrid apps, like web apps, are built with Javascript, HTML, and CSS and run in something called webview, a simplified browser within your app.

Why Hybrid?

Mobile development companies are working with a combination of technologies. There are three most popular frameworks for hybrid app development:

  • React Native. Facebook has created this open-source technology for cross-platform compatibility. The simplified UIs have considerably increased performance specifically reloading. React Native is mostly utilized because of the short development time. Both Facebook and the community regularly provide updates.
  • Xamarin. The open framework is strongly supported and maintained by Microsoft. They have recently offered the new development approach that enables the availability of the code across platforms. It has helped improve development speed and simplify maintenance. The developers can use the logic in common, however, the UI regulations will stay specific for each platform. Xamarin will not deal with complicated graphics but is suitable for simple apps. This technology is usually chosen for business-directed projects.
  • Ionic. This framework produces mobile applications with standard web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, HTML, Angular, etc. The developers also have a lot of accessible UI components which are simple to deal with. Developing time is as great as with all other frameworks for hybrid app examples. 

Hybrid app advantages

  • They can use the device’s native features.
  • They are much quicker to develop because most development is done using standard web technologies.
  • They can work with no internet connection.
  • Building on a single base saves resources because developing a single codebase only requires one team and takes less time.
  • They make updates easier to make and deploy.
  • They are distributed through both app stores and can leverage them for distribution.

Disadvantages Of Hybrid App Development

  • Hybrid apps are much slower than native apps.
  • With hybrid app development, you’re dependent on a third-party platform to deploy the app’s wrapper.
  • The more customization the app requires takes away from hybrid development, which costs more money that can be saved with native app development.

The Decision:

The decision to build either a web, native or hybrid app should be based on your business objectives. Before jumping into development, you should consider the following factors:

  • How fast do you need the app?
  • The quality of the user experience you want your app to have
  • The complexity of features you need for your app to work

Whichever approach you choose should, above all, be quick, responsive, and reliable. As users are demanding more from mobile experiences, it’s important to keep up with their changing demands. Whichever app you decide to build, remember the following:

  • Your API infrastructure should have reliable and easy access to your content and services
  • A mobile app should not be a replication of your website, rather an extension of your brand
  • Always have an understanding of your users’ expectations and behaviors and adapt as market demands change

 The following is a list of factors that should help you decide what kind of app to build.

  • User Experience: User Experience (UX) is the overall experience a user has when using your product, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is. The best possible thing you can do for UX is to write two separate native apps for iOS and Android. Like we mentioned earlier, there are differences between the two operating systems and people have gotten used to them. If you hand an Android phone to a loyal iPhone user, chances are they’ll stumble a bit, and vice versa.
  • Time to market and cost: How much does building an app cost? There’s obviously a large range here. Prices will vary based on complexity, features, and platforms. But essentially, your mobile app development cost can be determined by just 2 factors: hours required to build and hourly cost. The hourly cost will stay mostly the same and is easy to determine, but the number of hours the app requires depends on what you need the app to do.
  • Features and functionality: Do you need to access more advanced device features, such as streaming? If the answer is yes, you can eliminate a web app from your options. It is also important to note that plug-ins for hybrid apps are not usually immediately available for new device features, making native the better choice over hybrid in these situations. As a general rule, if you start adding a good deal of customization to your hybrid app, you may as well have gone native, as your costs and time to develop will be the same, but the app’s performance will be poorer.
  • Performance: When performance is critical, nothing beats a native app. Real-time updates and 3D graphics, for example, will load faster on a native app. Hybrid performance takes second place, although it is getting better thanks to advances in OS performance and device power.
  • Available skill level: Assess the skill level of your development team. Native mobile app development demands knowledge of Software Development Kits (SDKs) and programming languages for each platform you want to support. Web and hybrid apps allow you to deliver on multiple platforms with the same skill set.
  • Budget: How much money is dedicated to developing the app? A native app is the most expensive, followed by hybrid and then web apps.
  • Distribution: Do you want your app available in the app stores? Then you need a hybrid or native application.
  • Graphics and animation: Native apps offer the fastest graphics and fluid animation. These features are critical if you need a quick data refresh or provide interactive reporting in your app. This is why game apps are often native.

Available skill level—Assess the skill level of your development team. Native mobile app development demands knowledge of Software Development Kits (SDKs) and programming languages for each platform you want to support. Web and hybrid apps allow you to deliver on multiple platforms with the same skill set.