Native VS Hybrid App Development

What Is A Native App?

A native app will make full use of the latest technology and has access to certain hardware, such as GPS, camera, and contact list. They don’t necessarily need an internet connection as the app itself is installed directly onto the smartphone acquired through App Store or Google Play, meaning they are built specifically for either mobile operating systems; Apple iOS, or Android OS. The app is written in the code specifically for the device and its OS and has separate app versions for each device, or brand, in order for it to work at its best. The native app is built for a particular platform with SDK, tools, and languages which are typically provided by the platform vendor e.g. XCode/Objective-C for iOS or Eclipse/Java for Android.

What Is A Hybrid App?

Hybrid apps are much less expensive and can be installed on a device like any other app launching onto both apple and android simultaneously. They have a quick development time meaning you can get the app to the consumer market quickly. The apps themselves are written with the same technology as those used for websites and mobile web implementations as they are a marriage of web technology and native execution. As they run inside a native container and leverage the device’s browser engine (but not the browser itself) in order to render the HTML and process JavaScript locally. By having a web-to-native abstraction layer it enables the app to access the device’s capabilities that aren’t accessible in Mobile Web applications, such as the camera. Hybrid apps are a combination of both native apps and web apps they have essentially been molded into a native shell. They are a popular choice as it allows developers to write code for a mobile app once and still accommodates multiple platforms.

Considering Pros and Cons of Native & Hybrid App

Native App Pros

  • They have broad functionalities due to using the capabilities of the underlying device
  • Fast and responsive software performance
  • Allow push notifications
  • A User Interface that better matches with user experiences of the OS
  • High performance
  • Proven security with reliable data protection
  • Have full access to databases as it isn’t limited to plugins or other third-party tools
  • Allows personalization through native development, keeping the app at a high design level and continues to deliver a great experience
  • Better functionality

Native App Cons

  • Each device has its own version of the app meaning multiple codebases
  • High cost due to additional developers to build and manage a code base for each platform
  • More time is spent on multiple builds for separate platforms in each feature update

Hybrid App Pros

  • Work across multiple platforms as they’re able to run both Android and iOS using just one codebase
  • Able to take advantage of each device’s capabilities, such as geolocation, accelerometer, or the camera
  • App is able to be used even offline
  • Don’t necessarily need to have the advanced graphics performance that you can only get from a native app
  • Less issues with hardware
  • Cheaper and faster to build
  • Easier to change and update

Hybrid App Cons

  • Potential limitations in terms of OS and hardware integration, OS-specific software integration can be harder
  • Limited capabilities
  • If the app does have a website at the core, then constant internet connection will be needed
  • Poor user experience
  • You will need native app developers

Hybrid Mobile Applications

Hybrid apps are a combination of both native and web solutions, hence the name hybrid. The core of the app is written using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which are all confined within a native app. When using plugins, they are able to access mobile device features. They aren’t shown on the user’s browser but are run from within a native app in its own embedded browser making it invisible to the user. This gives you the opportunity to create and publish true native apps that can be submitted to each of the platform’s app stores for sale. A Plugin browser can allow you to go further beyond the confinement of the ‘browser’ and access the full capabilities of a user’s mobile device, you can easily use TouchID for login or connect to a Bluetooth device. A number of developers create Plugins, and many are actively supported. The limitations that come with a web-only app are easily overcome allowing your app to match the features of a native app.

However, a User Interface library has to be recreated and you will have to have constant access to the internet when using the app.

Hybrid Apps Development

Hybrid App Development is much faster and simpler due to the app being easier to maintain. You are able to change platforms at any time you need to. You are able to build your app for more than one platform with just one line of code. As you have Plugins you can also access the phone’s hardware opening up more choices.

Native Apps Development

Despite the number of resources available this development is far from easy. The code must be specifically written for each platform, this same code will then have to be rewritten for each platform and isn’t able to be shared. The logic may be the same, but the language, APIs and development process are different, long, and complex.

Native VS Hybrid Apps

Building native apps come with using native language for the platform (Java or Android), with their main advantage being their performance. They are assembled into machine code with ‘Davlik byte code under Android’ giving the best performance. The apps include fast and fluid animations as well as access to the phone’s hardware, multi-touch support, and the latest APIs.

Both of the apps have ways to achieve different needs and preferences of users and developers, none of them are thought of as a perfect solution due to having both strengths and weaknesses leaving it up to you and your personal preferences for which one to use as your app.