native-vs-hybrid

I have come across many entrepreneurs going mad before planning to go for mobile apps development. Before deciding on which option to choose there are a certain set of questions that needs to be answered.

Do you want your app to use smartphone specific features?

How quickly you want to float your app in the market?

Are you ready to spend on building separate apps for iOS, Android, Windows, or Blackberry?

How often your mobile app needs updation?

What is your priority – best UI/UX or cross platform compatibility?

In order to provide answers for the above questions, let us know in brief about the subjects of discussion.

Native apps are the apps specific to a given platform such as iOS, Android, Windows, or Blackberry. The development tools like Java & Eclipse (in case of Android), Objective C & Xcode (in case of iOS); make the apps run on that particular platform any. They use the smartphone inbuilt OS features that enhances the app largely. They cannot run on multiple platforms, which mean a separate app required for separate platforms.

Web apps or more popularly known as HTML5 apps are built using the standard technologies such as CSS, JavaScript, & HTML5. Once the coding done, they run on any given platform as they are accessed through the Internet. In short, they act as cross platform mobile applications. With these apps there is a restriction on using native device features, cannot have a secured offline storage, and session management becomes difficult. Hybrid apps are the ones that combine the strong points and cover the weaknesses of the above two development types. With this development type, HTML5 apps are embedded into a thin native container.

We just saw a glimpse of what is in store for you. Now let us dive into the deep details to know extensively what are the advantages & disadvantages of Native & Hybrid Development. Also after reading this article, you will be able to decide which development type is best for your project.

Native Apps

native-app

Native apps are built using the specific native tools belonging to a particular platform. This definitely means that every platform has their own set of tools and programming languages. This also means that native apps deliver a more optimized and a fast-paced top-notch performance allowing full access to the inbuilt smartphone OS functionalities.

An integrated development environment (IDE) comes in picture while going for native apps development. IDE has got everything necessary for professional developers to create wonderful apps such as version control, project management, debugging tools, and lots more. In spite of everything being different, the development environments in both cases are very similar.

Native apps gives you everything you expect from a mesmerizing app. May it be instant store approval, rapid startup, swift performance, robust look, or consistent feel. Whenever an update arrives, the end user is informed automatically. Concisely, if we sum up, then there comes up two very important benefits when you opt for a native mobile app development:

High end graphical elements delivering a fact paced performance

Usability of built-in components such as map, address book, camera, and others

Why?

High on performance when compared to hybrid apps

A specific UI for specific platform leading to specific UX

No question of cross browser issues at all

Aesthetic appearance and feel makes the app soothing on eyes

Why not?

Different tools and languages need to be learnt

Expensive enough to build different apps

Very low code reuse across platforms

Scarcity of developers in the market

When to choose?

You can spend individually on a single platform mobile app for different OS

Seamless graphics & API is on your cards

Best suitable for performance based apps

You want your apps to have unique interfaces or carry extremely high graphics

Hybrid Apps

hybrid-app

Hybrid apps are built using standard web skills and technologies that almost all developers possess knowledge of. It is compatible across cross platforms with a 100% code reuse benefit. These apps are partial native and partial HTML5 based web apps. They are first developed in a native container, and then loaded on a web browser. That means hybrid apps run within the internal browser of that platform.

Since it is a balanced approach, hybrid apps covers the best and worst of both HTML5 and native apps arenas. When a web app is created using JavaScript and HTML5, and when it is wrapped within a thin native container, it leads to a hybrid app. Phone Gap is the most sought after popular platform for creating absolutely amazing hybrid apps.

For most of them, hybrid apps work best as you can develop affordable apps quickly without sacrificing on native capabilities. You might ask yourself here that where these apps are exactly stored? HTML5 apps reside on server, while native apps reside on the smartphone device. So where do you implement these hybrid apps. There are two ways to do so:

Store on local by packing JavaScript and HTML5 together in mobile application binary, same as that of a native app. Use REST APIs to move data to-and-fro between the cloud and the device.

Store on server by implementing the full web application from the server itself. Use the thin shell as a container over the UIWebView.

Why?

Standard technologies to use – CSS, JavaScript, HTML5

Cheaper to build because a common app for all platforms

Code reusability across multiple platforms

Many frameworks already available

Why not?

Lacking on performance when compared to the counterpart native apps

Lot of knowledge & experience required to build a native style hybrid app

Cross browser issues continually exists

Doesn’t carry feel or appearance of a native app

Dependent on any third party tool

Might be all the functions and libraries are not available to use in tool

When to choose?

You want your app to be released quick to market

Cross platform compatibility is on your cards

Best suitable for creating business apps

You want your apps to be simple rather than being complex

Some final words…

Both native and hybrid mobile application development has their share of pros and cons. Other than what is already discussed, there are several other factors that play a vital role in deciding which apps to choose, such as team skillsets, domain expertise, etc. Know how to leverage the capabilities as per the requirements of your project and hence select the development type.