Smartphones in today’s era have become an instrument of superb utility, they provide various benefits such as fast communication, emails, social networking, entertainment, web surfing, and many other productivity tools.
The number of mobile application downloads across the world has exponentially increased from 2016 onwards, surpassing 218 billion downloads in 2020 (up by more than 55% from app downloads in 2016)
Before developing a mobile app, a common dilemma that rises very often is; whether to develop a native app or a hybrid app. It is important to understand the difference between native apps and hybrid apps.
What is Native App Development?
Native mobile applications are programmed to work with a specific operating system. An app that is coded for iOS will not work on Android and vice versa. Native mobile apps follow specific guidelines to improve user experience and developers can build applications that take advantage of all features in the operating system.
App developers develop native apps using programming languages such as Objective C, Swift, Java, Kotlin, and C++. When it comes to performance and user experience (UX), native apps have an edge over hybrid apps, since native apps access a device’s full hardware resources.
Advantages of Native App Development
- Performance: Native apps are faster than hybrid apps and use less device memory space. They also take advantage of a device’s hardware such as a camera, GPS sensor etc.
- Security: The code is compiled by the operating system, which means that it is impossible for hackers to inject malicious code.
- User experience: Native apps have a recognizable look and feel as they are very similar to the default applications on a device. The familiar user interface contributes to a more positive user experience.
Disadvantages of Native App Development
- Different Coding: Native apps involve multiple code bases, hence coding would be different on Android, and iOS platforms.
- Expensive development: Since different programming languages are used for Android, iOS, or Windows apps, the cost will be higher. Even after the apps are launched, they would require upgrades regularly, thereby increasing the overall maintenance cost.
- Time-consuming development: As the apps have to be developed using multiple programming languages, the development time is substantially longer.
What is Hybrid App Development?
Hybrid app development is a combination of native and web technologies to create mobile applications. These are built using cross-platform development frameworks and languages.
Hybrid apps use web technologies to develop mobile apps quickly. It allows the developer to reuse code written for website development, without the need for separate code and publish mobile apps on both iOS and Android play stores.
Advantages of Hybrid App Development
- Lower development cost: Hybrid mobile apps are more economical than native mobile apps since developers can use existing web technologies rather than being developed from scratch.
- Faster development time: Hybrid apps are developed using web technologies and compiled into native code for each platform. Development is much faster than developing native applications, as a result, a client can launch an app faster than ever before.
- Greater market reach: Hybrid apps are developed using HTML5 that works on both iOS and Android platforms, without compromising on user experience and functionality.
Disadvantages of Hybrid App Development
- Slow performance: As hybrid apps are built using web technology, the app has to load all the data from a server, when users open an app for the first time. This slows down performance and makes it slower than native apps.
- Functionality limitation: Hybrid apps do not offer complete access to a device’s APIs and cannot access the complete range of device hardware.
- Lacks 3D support: Hybrid apps don’t support 3D graphics, which means that games and visual applications may not perform well.
Native or Hybrid App: Which One To Choose?
Even before selecting the right application platform, it’s important to have a clear understanding of the type of app that would be best for a client’s users, budget, and development timelines.
Keep in mind that it’s not the type of app that matters, but rather how you use it. Mobikasa with it’s vast experience in designing, developing, and launching numerous mobile applications (iOS, Android, Windows) can help a client develop and launch a mobile app on any platform. Hybrid has advantages over native apps, but with the right development team behind you, native apps can do almost anything.
Get in touch to discuss which type of mobile app development suits you the best.