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

native or hybrid mobile apps

When starting a project, entrepreneurs usually face an important choice: native vs hybrid app development. Both options have their pros and cons, so how to make the right choice?

The Choice of Android or iOS Platform

One of the first stages preceding the process of code creating is the choice of a suitable platform. As the statistics show, over the past few years, the most part of the market is distributed among two competing platforms: iOS and Android. The latter, however, is distinguished by a significant gap ahead in relation to the total number of users. However, in spite of this fact, the iOS platform is no less relevant for developers in terms of creating new software.

Historically, if the application becomes popular enough on one of the above-mentioned platforms, the developers convert it to another platform after some time. Native application development for a new OS, as a rule, takes at least half the time spent by programmers to create the first one and therefore will cost not much less than the original project.

Read more: iOS vs Android: Which Platform to Choose

As for the hybrid version, which, in turn, combines elements of native and cross-platform development, it will cost you a little cheaper, but your application will require an initially different approach to creating code in this case. Hybrid applications take the HTML advantage inherent to the cross-platform approach in parts responsible for the content, and connect native modules, in which it is vital to provide increased responsiveness when interacting with the user. So, which option is the best in the confrontation of hybrid apps vs native apps? In this article, we will find out in which cases the best solution will be native development, and in which the hybrid app is the best, and what their main difference is.

Native Development: the Main Features

Advantages of Native Development

  • Native language. Native applications development for a particular platform involves the use of its native language. For iOS, it’s Objective-C or Swift, and for Android it’s Java. Due to this development approach, the greatest possible responsiveness of the application is achieved, thanks to the immediate compilation of the programming language into machine code.
  • Increased productivity. Do all applications need high performance? It should become an obligatory attribute of your software solution if it contains high-speed animation (from 60 fps and above), uses the client-server type of interaction when using items on the touchscreen, and also applies some of the most advanced API resources to date. Therefore, if this parameter is critically important for you, give preference to the first option in the native vs hybrid app development contest.
  • Full use of mobile device resources. Native development, as a rule, is required to create applications that actively use the specific resources of a particular mobile platform. If the logic executed in both versions is the same, then the way of its implementation is fundamentally different from each other (of course, programming languages will differ there, as well as APIs and some details in the design). In particular, for each of these OS, you will need to take into account particular UI design policies (Flat Design for iOS and Material Design for Android). That’s why you most likely will have to hire two separate teams of designers who will not use elements that contradict with the concept of these platforms when developing the interface.

Disadvantages of Native Development

  • iOS development specifics. Before you start creating a native version of the iOS application, you need to consider the fact that you will need original Apple hardware. In addition, be prepared for the fact that you need to lay out $99 earned by the sweat of your brow for the annual Apple developer license.
  • Large time and financial costs. As already noted above, creating a version of the application for an additional platform will require half of the time (and therefore financial) resources spent on developing the original solution at best. It is also very important to understand that the work of the team aimed at adapting the app for the new platform is not a simple “translation” of the code from one language to another. They will have to create the app functionality literally from scratch. Therefore, if you are interested in limiting your budget, you will have to choose hybrid development at the initial stage of the application creation, the nuances of which will be discussed below. Thus, in the opposition of the native application vs hybrid application, from this point of view, the latter wins.

Read more: How to Port Your App to Another Platform

native vs hybrid app development

Hybrid Development: the Main Features

Advantages of Hybrid Development

  • Accelerated development process. When it comes to budget or time limits to implement the software, in the competition native app vs hybrid the latter option wins uniquely. The elements of the application developed through cross-platform tools are simultaneously created for both platforms. This means that if your software is dominated by elements related to static data, you will need considerably less time to create a cross-platform solution than in the case of developing separate versions for each platform.
  • The ability to run the application in any browser. One can run hybrid applications via a web browser provided by the developers of a particular platform (for iOS it’s Safari, for Android that is Google Chrome, and other browsers embedded in a particular OS). The data involved in creating such applications initially have the HTML, CSS and Javascript formats, which is then wrapped up using specialized platforms such as PhoneGap, Framework7, Ionic. In fact, users of such applications can use any browser available on their mobile device. The nuance of such an application format is the impossibility of running it without an Internet connection.
  • Availability of advanced tools for creating hybrid software. Today, there are many advanced tools for hybrid applications creation (for example, the PhoneGap app mentioned above). As for the PhoneGap development process, you will need an additional set of IDEs, as well as various plugins for implementing the intended functionality. Creating an app using this framework will involve the development of separate HTML, CSS, and JavaScript files that will be wrapped up later in order to obtain a thick web application.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Development

  • Relatively low application performance. Since hybrid applications can be accessed via a browser, it is obvious that they will not be as high-performing as native ones. One could feel that well during rendering when the server processes user requests. Therefore, when asking the question what to choose, native apps vs hybrid apps, you need to carefully think about whether lower performance will become an obstacle to further promotion of your project.
  • Inability to create desktop applications. If your application should have an ability to work without an Internet connection, hybrid development is not exactly right for you, because such software solutions are launched only via an Internet browser.

Hybrid App vs Native App: Summary

So, what is the winner in native app development vs hybrid confrontation? Due to the rapid growth of technology, the tools that will allow creating hybrid applications to be not inferior to native ones in their level of responsiveness will appear soon. Nevertheless, today you can not do without a native approach to creating software if you need a high-performance application with complex business logic, which should be able to work without a network connection and maximize the resources provided by a specific platform.

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