Native vs. Hybrid Mobile App Development: How to Make the Right Choice!

More than 80% of your customers try to reach you through their smartphones, tablets or other mobile gadgets. Majority of your crucial business processes happen through mobile including activities such as interaction, product (service) selection, order placement, and payment. The profitability that a mobile application can gift your business is indisputable. However, a mobile app can take your business to the next level only if it combines the best of speed, appearance, functionality, intuitiveness, and user experience.

When you select a mobile app development approach, you need to consider these and many other aspects scrupulously. In this post, we highlight the features of both native and hybrid development approaches, their differences and help you understand which one would be the right choice for your business.

Native Mobile Application Development

Native mobile applications are built for a particular platform/ device using the platform SDK, tools and language. The most common examples of native apps are iOS apps and Android apps. A native mobile application is coded using a specific programming language catering to a particular platform. For instance, you have languages such as XCode/ Objective C/ Swift used for developing iOS apps and Eclipse/Java for creating Android apps. Native applications are designed to function on a specific device or operating system. Hence, they take advantage of the device-specific hardware and software to offer highly optimized performance and results.

The key advantages of native mobile development include unmatched user experience, high performance, and processing speed, offline support, seamless with integration with mobile hardware, data security, reliability, personalization, testing convenience and support from application stores.

Hybrid Mobile Application Development

A hybrid mobile app is one that combines the elements of both native as well as web applications. The word hybrid refers to “anything derived from heterogeneous sources or composed of different elements.” It’s a web application that behaves like a native app when installed on a device. A hybrid mobile application is developed using the standard web development languages such as JavaScript, CSS or HTML5. When you install a wrapper to act as a bridge between platforms, it accesses the native features. In the words of Telerik, hybrid application development “is the marriage of web technology and native execution.”

A simpler and faster cycle of development, ease to build using web technologies, lower cost of development, unified application logic, single code base, access to device’s internal APIs, one app for all platforms, etc. are some of the advantages of hybrid app development.

Native vs. Hybrid: What are the key differences

If you’re thinking of building a mobile application, you must consider the differences between native and hybrid development approaches as well as how your selection will impact your business.

Here is a comparison of both frameworks: 

Which one is a better choice for you?

It’s not our point to say one is better than the other. To make things simpler for you, we try to present a guide to choosing between native and hybrid app development.

By this time, you would have come up with the kind of requirements for your project. Have your expectations ready and take a look at which path is better for you.

Go for NATIVE mobile application development, if:

  • Your application needs to work both online and offline
  • Your application needs to be highly responsive
  • Your majority users prefer to use a particular platform such as iOS
  • Your mobile app needs to access device-specific features
  • Your users expect high performance and speed
  • You have a reasonably good budget to develop a native mobile app
  • Your business needs to support particular functions
  • Your mobile app needs to include large amounts of sophisticated graphics
  • You want to offer your users the ultimate user experience

Go for HYBRID mobile application development, if:

  • Your app doesn’t demand any complex calculations and animations
  • You don’t need the advanced graphics performance offered by a native app
  • You need to get to a large number of users simultaneously through web and mobile
  • Your app needs to make use of available hardware provided by the device
  • You need to test your ideas quickly and cut down time-to-market
  • You already have a website, and you need to launch a mobile application with minimal development cost quickly
  • You need to target multiple mobile platforms
  • You need to use the app when the device is offline

Few thoughts to share

In terms of performance and speed, any developer would agree that native mobile apps outperform hybrid. Native apps can access the inbuilt capabilities of a user’s device like the Contacts, GPS, or camera, and the approach doesn’t sacrifice on the design elements unique to a platform. If your priority is to get your business faster to your market within a lower budget, then a hybrid app may be the right choice.

Beyond user experience and other features, many businesses look at the cost of development as a crucial factor for selecting the development approach. Mobile development costs differ on a case-to-case basis. For example, gaming apps that require only a handful of features can choose the hybrid approach. However, if your business needs to offer a highly personalized experience to your users such as a healthcare app or a travel app, then you might have to consider the native approach.

If you are curious to find out which kind of mobile application development approach suits your business requirements, Contact Us. We would be happy to offer both consulting and development services to take your business to the next level.

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