Nowadays, a mobile app is an irreplaceable part of any business intended to leverage from the use of modern technologies for building strong relationships with customers. Taking into account the ever-increasing role that mobile devices play in people’s lives, there’s nothing unusual that mobile apps help companies to stay in touch with clients 24/7 and provide them with a great experience.
Even if you’re entirely sure that a mobile app is an exact thing that can boost-up your business, you’re still one step away from beginning the development process. You have to make an important decision and choose between hybrid and native mobile app development. You can make this decision based on your goals and available resources. In this article, we’ll try to highlight some advantages and disadvantages of both approaches to help you decide which option will work better for your particular company.
Native and Hybrid Mobile Apps in a Nutshell
First of all, it’s crucial to understand that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions in the world of mobile development. Both hybrid and native mobile apps have pros and cons that may affect the final decision. It depends on certain circumstances, which option will work better for a particular company.
In consideration of native vs hybrid mobile app development, we should remember the important feature of native applications. They are built specifically for only one platform, thus the applied technologies will differ. In order to handle the development of Android mobile apps, the engineers can apply Java or Kotlin, Swift or Objective-C will be needed for iOS development. Companies that usually choose this approach have the necessity to build two applications simultaneously. It is clear that the engineering process is longer and requires more effort. But the final result is going to balance it. The customers are able to have a more responsive and faster experience. The better performance is the advantage for complicated mobile applications dealing with animation and rendering. Moreover, data security is another beneficial feature. As we are looking for the difference between native and hybrid apps, let’s check the possible frameworks.
Technologies for iOS development
Objective C— This programming language is known for its great development experience, available libraries and a vast pool of experts. Objective-C is a mature framework, which also obtains compatibility with other programming technologies. Despite those benefits, we realize that new languages appear and sometimes it will not have the ability to support all the latest features.
Swift. It is a relatively new programming framework introduced by Apple that has become the alternative for building the iOS native applications. The developers have pointed out its quicker performance and it is easier to learn and work with. It is constantly developing that’s why it may lack some components. However, it is said that it might replace Objective-C in the future.
Technologies for Android development
Java. The programing language that is not only primarily used for Android mobile applications but other purposes. Much of desktop and web development is based on Java. It has become a special system of tools, the developers have access to a powerful library. It helps to simplify the overall programming process. However, applications on Java require more memory and perform slower compared to other frameworks.
Kotlin — is a programming language specifically developed to work with Java and Java Virtual Machine. Because of that, its usage is supported and approved by Google for the development of Android applications. One of the main advantages of Kotlin over regular Java is that its type interface allows working suing shorter syntax. This fact reduces the time for the programming needed to make an application for Android. Now it is included as an alternative to the standard Java compiler for the Android Studio. Expedia, Square, Pinterest, and Flipboard can be named among the most demonstrative examples of the companies that use Kotlin for their Android applications.
Advantages of native apps development
- Better performance — When we analyze hybrid vs native app performance, it is clear that the native applications will be faster. They are built with a framework that is native to the platform.
- Data protection — It is much easier to make the native application secure. That is the advantage that a lot of companies are interested in providing for their customers especially in the enterprise sector, fintech, and applications with sensitive data.
- Overall functionality — The application will have the important ability to connect the device hardware features and different databases. There is no need for plugins or extra tools.
- Customer experience — They will definitely have high performance. In addition, they can work in offline mode, which is still an issue for the hybrid app examples.
- Comprehension — The developers are already aware of all the strengths and weaknesses of using well-established technologies. They will help to find the right approach for receiving final desirable results.
Disadvantages of native apps
- Be attentive checking the list of disadvantages of native apps development, it might depend on the chosen platform as well.
- Time and money-consuming — It definitely requires time to build complex software. Distribution of users across two main platforms doubles the amount of work and testing needed to keep two separate applications for both iOS and Android up and running.
- Distributed codebase — having some features unavailable for iOS or Android is an infamous practice which has its place even in 2019. This happens due to limitations in budget or restrictions of the platform. Sometimes, application in the App Store can be abandoned for years while Android version receives regular updates and vice versa. On the other hand, the hybrid application encourages developers to approach UI and features in a more thoughtful manner and introduce only features that can work on both operational systems.
Technologies used for hybrid applications development
As we have already mentioned, mobile development companies are working with a combination of technologies. There are three most popular frameworks for hybrid app development:
- React Native. Facebook has created this open-source technology for cross-platform compatibility. The simplified UIs have considerably increased performance specifically reloading. React Native is mostly utilized because of the short development time. The software engineers have access to ready-to-apply units, however, the framework might lack certain components. Both Facebook and the community regularly provide updates.
- Xamarin. The open framework is strongly supported and maintained by Microsoft. They have recently offered the new development approach that enables the availability of the code across platforms. It has helped improve development speed and simplify maintenance. The developers can use the logic in common, however, the UI regulations will stay specific for each platform. Xamarin will not deal with complicated graphics but is suitable for simple apps. This technology is usually chosen for business-directed projects.
While comparing native apps vs hybrid apps, you should definitely find all development process pros and cons. All mentioned above technologies characterized by the following peculiarities:
Advantages of Hybrid apps development
- Single code base — This is the advantage that causes all the following benefits. Hybrid apps are preferred by companies and developers as they can perform on both platforms. There will be no need for building two separate codes for iOS and Android by reason of the code common functionality.
- Lower cost. The company can make huge savings by developing one mobile application while addressing users on different platforms. You have the necessity to hire one team with some expertise in both but only good expertise in web development would be enough. Your expenses will be almost the same as building only one that is designed to run everywhere.
- Simpler to build and test — The team will reach the expected result faster. They don’t deal with each platform separately. The code is created once and testing time is also going to be reduced.
- Easier to maintain — All required changes and updates will be maintained simultaneously on both platforms. It is not only convenient for the developers for the users as well. A lot of issues are possible to fix from the server side, and the user will just get the updates automatically.
- Faster delivery time — As we mentioned above, you don’t need to have two iOS and Android teams or large cross-functional team, you just need to find one relatively small team of professionals. They can create a cleverly marketed product that will be interesting for different users. The hybrid applications have recommended themselves as content-oriented.
Disadvantages of Hybrid apps development
- Bounded efficiency — Hybrid app framework depends on plugins to be connected with the device features. Sometimes developers have to create them manually to approach the particular function of the device.
- Internet connection — As for hybrid vs native app efficiency, there is one significant difference. Hybrid app framework requires a regular internet connection. Some functions won’t be available when the user lacks connection.
Hybrid vs. Native. Making a Choice Between Two Good Options
When we take a closer look at native and hybrid apps, the benefits of both approaches will become more evident. All you have to do is to compare the core features of these approaches with the needs and expectations of your company. For example, specialized apps provide excellent security and safety of data. Therefore, they will be a great choice for companies that work with sensitive data or financial information.
On the other hand, there’s cross-platform functionality provided by hybrid apps. This feature will work great for startup companies that have limited funds and want to cover as many users as possible. It’s important to understand that it’s not the nature of hybrid and native apps that determines if your business will be successful or not. The crucial thing is the ability of developers to build them well and your ability to match your requirements with the opportunity that both options offer.
We hope that this article has helped you find the difference between a native and hybrid apps and making the right choice will be easier for you. Each type has benefits that are essential for certain projects. Moreover, you can choose the technology you prefer considering your development capabilities. Taking into account all these criteria, we can make the conclusion that each approach fits some specific case. Your task will be to outline own most important criteria and don’t forget to consult the professionals. This is the best way to choose as every qualified team of developers listens to you first and only later can advise the solution.
If you are interested in the professional development of mobile applications, you can always contact Sagara Technology. We are a software house company with great expertise in both hybrid and native app development that helps find out the best business approaches for your company. If you need any further assistance with your questions, feel free to contact us. Our company will be glad to provide professional consultation and find your own approach.