By Prometteur solutions 18 Min Read

Have you been searching for the answer to the question “What is the difference between native and hybrid app development?” If you are in the IT industry, Non-technical entrepreneurs go crazy in deciding whether to take a Native vs Hybrid app development approach for their next million-dollar startup ideas. This blog will help you solve your problem.

Do you want to develop a mobile app but want to find out about all the Native vs Hybrid app development pros and cons to help you make a decision? This can be a dilemma for startups or established businesses looking to create a new mobile application for smartphone users.

It is no longer news that the smartphone has become a great utility tool as they provide a plethora of benefits. This includes instant messaging or communication via emails, web surfing, GPS, entertainment, etc. But you need to be able to understand how to identify if an app is native or hybrid to know the best option for you.

Android Application

Next, we’ll cover the Android app and how it is transforming businesses. The expanding market of smartphones has made mobile apps objects of innovation for about a decade. And for this primary reason, many organizations across numerous industries are adopting innumerable ways to seamlessly incorporate mobile applications in their workflow in order to enhance their market outreach. 

But the common challenge that these companies face has to do with the type of app to be developed: this is dependent on the Native vs Hybrid app development pros and cons. 

In this guide, you will fully understand the characteristics of a native app or hybrid app, Native vs Hybrid app development pros and cons, how to identify if an app is native or hybrid, etc.

Therefore, if you are ready to learn more about Native vs Hybrid app development as well as hybrid vs native apps pros and cons, let’s dive in!

If you are in the IT industry, you would have come across this question ( Native vs Hybrid app development ) more often. Non-technical entrepreneurs go crazy in deciding whether to take a hybrid or native app development approach for their next million-dollar startup ideas. This blog will help you solve your problem.

Lets understand concepts first.

Native vs Hybrid app development

Let’s take a look at Native vs Hybrid app development:

Native App Development

User Experience

Native apps are designed for a specific app store and are known to offer the best user experience. Native applications allow for screen size and hardware capabilities. The single code base that hybrid apps are made of makes them unable to provide an excellent user experience.

Cost of Development/Time

Hybrid applications are generally cost-effective and take the least development time. They are also far easier to maintain since they have a single code base. 

But native applications have multiple code bases because they cater to each platform, i.e., Android and iOS.

Utilities That the Mobile Application Offers

If you plan to launch a paid mobile application on the App Store, you should go with native apps development. This is because they have a really excellent user interface, while free applications can be created or developed as hybrid apps.

The Platforms Your Mobile App Will Operate On

If your organization plans to run its mobile application across several platforms like Android, Windows, iOS, it is highly recommended that you create a hybrid application. And the only reason for this is because hybrid app development saves time.

When you develop a hybrid app, you only do it once since it requires only a single code base. When the development is complete, you can publish the app across the platforms. 

On the contrary, native applications require highly distinctive programming for each platform, e.g., Objective-C for iOS and JavaScript for Android, etc.

Using Native Device Features

You can develop a native app or a hybrid app if you want to use a mobile device’s features like the GPS, address book, or camera. 

Are the Required Developers Available?

If you decide to create a native app, you will need to create one for each platform. And for this project, you need specialized mobile application developers to meet this high demand.

But if you don’t have access to highly skilled developers, you may have to develop a hybrid mobile application. It is also the best option for you if you have less than 4 months to develop a functional mobile application. 

What is a Native Mobile App?

A native mobile app is an application software developed to work on a particular device or platform. It is designed to operate or function on a specific operating system and mobile device. The native application only uses device-specific software and hardware. 

Native applications leverage the latest technology – such as image processing, etc. – and give superior performance. This is in contrast to web apps or mobile cloud apps developed to be universal across a wide variety of platforms.

Native App Development

There are 2 major mobile operating system platforms: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. Native apps are designed using code that is unique to the mobile device as well as its operating system. 

For example, most developers that create Android-native applications use Java programming language while they code iOS-native apps using Objective-C or Swift. But then, an app written with Swift and designed for iOS will not function optimally on Android and vice versa. 

This implies that if you want to reach your target audience, some of which use iOS and Android devices, respectively, you have no choice but to develop a native mobile app for each platform or operating system. This will require a much larger budget, a bigger developer team size, more development time, etc.

Each platform is unique and your choice should be made after understanding hybrid vs native apps pros and cons. Check out the characteristics of native application in the next section.

Characteristics of a Native App

Here are some of the characteristics of native applications to help you understand how to identify if an app is native or hybrid:

  • They are simple and offer a much better user experience
  • They offer super-fast performance
  • Every feature of these apps can be utilized effectively and in the best way
  • They work seamlessly offline and online
  • They are highly reliable

As you can see, the characteristics of native apps show that they are the most popular types of mobile applications. This is because many smartphone users rely heavily on native apps for their day-to-day activities. Customer experience for mobile is much more critical to your business than you might think.

This is why you should consider developing native apps for your organization so that your prospective clients can access your products and services. 

But if you are still not convinced, check the next section for the benefits of native apps.

Benefits of Native Apps

The benefits or advantages of native apps are as follows:

  • Native apps give highly responsive and super-quick software performance
  • They come with the popular push notification functionalities
  • Native apps offer a broad range of functionalities because they leverage the potentials of primary mobile devices
  • The quality of native applications can be easily determined via the ratings in the respective app stores
  • Native apps come with a UI (user interface) that better matches the user experiences of the operating system
  • Access to device software/hardware, i.e., calendar, GPS, location, shake, etc.
  • Easy to discover in app stores, i.e., Play Store, Apple’s App Store
  • The native user interface makes it incredibly easy for users to learn more about the application quickly

These are the advantages of native apps. But despite these benefits that native apps bring to the table, there are some downsides to developing and using them.

Disadvantages of Native Apps

The following are the downsides of native applications:

  • Developing native applications involves a lot of money as developers are expected to build and then handle a codebase for Android and another for iOS operating systems. 
  • A lot of time will be spent extensively on multiple fabrications for different platforms in every future update.
  • Native applications involve the use of multiple code bases as devices using different operating systems would have different versions of the application. 

In a nutshell, these are what native apps are all about. Now, let’s see what hybrid apps are all about, starting in the next section.

What is a Hybrid App?

A hybrid application is a program that seamlessly combines the elements of native and web apps. The app is coded using web technology languages like CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. These are condensed in a native app.

Therefore, hybrid apps work like a web application but are installed on a smartphone like a native app. 

Native App Development

Hybrid applications retain complete access to mobile devices’ features with the help of internal APIs (application program interfaces). Native applications can efficiently operate offline since they are generally downloaded. However, hybrid apps do not come with this unique functionality.

A hybrid application usually carries the same functionality as a web application since it is primarily based on the latter. Web apps are typically designed for a wide variety of platforms. They are not installed on smartphones or smart devices but are easily accessible via a web browser. 

Hybrid applications are usually associated with mobile computing. This technology enables the transmission of voice, data, and video via a computer or other wireless-enabled device without the need to be connected to a tangible link. This majorly involves mobile communication as well as mobile software and hardware. 

Most of the applications available today can be classified as hybrid applications. Let’s check out the characteristics of a hybrid app in the next section to help you understand how to identify if an app is native or hybrid.

Characteristics of Hybrid App

The following are the characteristics of hybrid apps:

  • Hybrid applications involve seamless integration with web-based services
  • Hybrid apps can function efficiently, whether or not the device has an internet connection or not.
  • Hybrid applications also have an essential feature that includes an embedded browser that boosts access to dynamic online content.
  • Hybrid apps integrate with the device’s file system while using the operating system’s features.
  • They can be effortlessly managed and highly comprehensible
  • The development of hybrid apps occurs at a much faster pace and usually involves lesser development as well as maintenance costs. This means hybrid app development saves money and time.
  • One crucial benefit of hybrid applications is the single code base for multiple platforms. This makes them very much easier to manage.
  • Hybrid applications have a cross-platform UI (user interface)

As you can see, the characteristics of hybrid apps make them the obvious go-to option for anyone who wants to develop a mobile application. The benefits of hybrid apps are highlighted in the next section.

Benefits of Hybrid Apps

There are important details when it comes to Native vs Hybrid app development pros and cons. Here are the benefits of hybrid application:

  • The hybrid application works across various platforms, i.e., it can function efficiently on iOS and Android. And this is possible because hybrid apps have a single code base.
  • The consistent UI of hybrid apps enables them to function optimally on most devices.
  • Access to various software/hardware capabilities via plugins
  • The single code base of hybrid applications makes them highly cost-effective because they require lesser time to develop. 
  • Hybrid app development does not require as many developers as is required for native app development.
  • Much faster – i.e., initial – speed to market since developers only need to create a single code base
  • Portability (multiple platforms, one code base)
  • Much cheaper origination costs

These are the benefits of hybrid applications. But they are also not without some disadvantages.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps

  • Hybrid apps do not offer as great a user experience as native applications. This is because the interface for Android and iOS has been compromised. For instance, if too much focus is given to iOS, the user experience for Android will be compromised, and vice versa.
  • Hybrid mobile applications rely heavily on plugins – owing to their architecture – to access mobile devices’ in-built features.
  • Hybrid applications have a foundation that shares lots of similarities with web applications. This means that if they must work to their full potential, hybrid apps will need an uninterrupted network connection.

The final app you choose depends on your requirement and how well it suits the Native vs Hybrid app development pros and cons available.

How to Identify If An App is Native or Hybrid

If you want to know how to identify if a Native vs Hybrid app development, there is a pretty simple way. Go over to Settings and then to Developer Options. Turn on Show Layout bounds to view the highlighted part

Then launch the mobile application and see the highlighted layout. If there are several rectangles highlighted, that app is a native one. But if otherwise, it is a hybrid application.

We hope that this guide has helped you compare Native vs Hybrid app development pros and cons. By now, you no longer have to google: “What is the difference between native and hybrid app development?” You can also choose the technology you prefer based on your organization’s development capabilities. 

When you consider all these criteria, you can see that each approach is suitable for specific cases. Your task is to create an outline of the most crucial criteria that your organization needs. This will help you make the right choice when presented with the choice of Native vs Hybrid app development.

And you will also be able to hold your own when discussing your mobile app choice with a qualified team of developers. The developers will always listen to you and your choice before advising the best route to take.

Now that you are fully armed with the answer to the question “What is the difference between native and hybrid app development?” you can go ahead and have the right team to create yours for you.

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