It does not need any brainstorming to understand that all mobile apps are not created equal. Some apps are built for the particular OS platform, and we call them native apps, while there are apps that can run on multiple OS platforms, and we call them hybrid apps. They are different in many ways and have their respective pros and cons.
Through the length of this blog post, we will explain the definitive elements of native and hybrid app and their mutual differences.
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By incorporating both the qualities of native and web apps, hybrid apps, allow running one single app on multiple platforms. They mostly use tried and tested web technologies, and this ensures faster development and lower cost. But at the same time, by offering a “one size fits all” kind of user experience, they lack the sophistication of native apps.
In India, many startup app projects utilized hybrid apps to the best of their branding advantages. When you hire developers in India for hybrid app projects, remember some companies mitigate these shortcomings exceptionally well.
Pros of Hybrid Apps
- Just because hybrid apps use a single code base for multiple platforms, app developers need to write the code once that can be run across various platforms.
- Hybrid apps can deliver the same performance acceleration of hardware as the native apps.
- By offering a “one size fit all” strategy, hybrid apps can save a lot of development time and enormous resources for building different app versions.
- A Hybrid App is a single app for multiple platforms and offers an entirely identical look and feel and consistent user experiences across all platforms.
- A single development team can develop a hybrid app that can run on multiple mobile platforms and the web and desktop.
- By relying on tried and tested web technologies, hybrid apps reduce the learning curve to a great extent.
- If a small business wants to reshape its old website into a hybrid mobile app, it is possible. Such flexibility is just ideal for small businesses and startups.
- Hybrid apps can also provide both offline and online user experiences.
- Hybrid apps that run on web browsers and mobile OS systems allow businesses to target larger audiences with a sophisticated mobile experience at a low development cost.
Cons of Hybrid Apps
- Hybrid apps built to run on multiple operating systems without platform-specific code can be slower in performance.
- Despite being developed once for different platforms, hybrid apps may not always offer the same consistent look and feel across all devices. To avoid this, app projects need to undergo rigorous testing.
- While for simple apps with basic features, both hybrid and native apps may offer a similar user experience, for apps with a high demand of processing power and graphic output, lack of consistency in performance and user experience can be too visible.
- Hybrid apps relying heavily on native plugins cannot access the latest feature that is yet to be rolled out as a plugin.
- Hybrid apps tremendously rely on third-party tools, libraries and different frameworks like Ionic or Cordova. Often these libraries and tools do not sync well with the latest OS release and latest OS updates.
- Since the hybrid app trajectory comprises iOS and Android, there are too many devices, and just one single app may not offer a consistent experience across all of these devices. A hybrid app needs to branch out features based upon device compatibility.
Native apps are designed and developed targeting a particular mobile operating system such as iOS or Android. Just because they are developed for a specific OS platform, they offer a better user experience to that specific platform.
Pros of Native Apps
- Native apps load faster just because they have instant and frictionless access to the native UI layer.
- Native apps having easy access to the device cache can allow better offline access.
- Native apps adhere to the platform-specific design attributes and provide a better look and feel.
- Native apps targeting specific device ranges of supported OS versions ensure the right aspect ratios for improved graphic output.
- Native SDKs capable of accessing core device features instead of relying on plugins can ensure smooth development and app output.
- Native apps come with fewer dependencies on different third-party tools, UI wrappers and open-source libraries.
- App performance becomes easier when an app is built for a single OS platform delivers the right user experience.
Cons of Native Apps
- When you need to target both iOS and Android audiences, building the same app on two native platforms is complex, time-consuming and resource-intensive.
- Native apps demand command on different platform-specific skills and the challenge of maintaining the app on separate platforms.
- Two platform-specific native apps need to be maintained separately with feature upgrades, security updates and value additions. This is a tedious burden on developers for the long term.
Which One is Right for you, Native or Hybrid Apps?
To make a final call between these two choices, you need to consider several aspects. Building a native app is the right choice if you have a very ambitious app project that demands high processing power, uncompromising performance and the most sophisticated user experience. On the other hand, you need to be ready to pay for the higher development cost, longer development time, skilled and expert resources for each platform.
On the other hand, developing a hybrid app is the right choice for app projects with budget constraints, resources, and a faster development schedule. If you are just turning to a mobile app from your business website and want to develop a simple app for your branding, building a hybrid app is the right choice.
So, both native and hybrid apps have their givers and takers, and none cannot be written off. The choice depends on your app project and your access to resources. I hope you make the right choice after reading this.