Native vs. Hybrid App Development: Which Approach Fits Your Needs?

by Technology 09 November 2022

Hybrid App

Learn what a hybrid app is and how it compares to a native one in terms of user experience, development complexity, and cost.

More often than not, mobile app development companies need to reach their audience both on iOS and Android. One way to go about this is to build a native application for each operating system (OS). This approach offers superior performance and functionality but increases development costs and time.

Another option is to create a hybrid application, which is essentially an interactive web page embedded in a native shell. Hybrid software uses web development frameworks that run on trending mobile platforms. This brings significant cost savings but introduces other compromises.

This article overviews the positive and negative aspects of each approach to mobile app development.

Native Apps Improve The User Journey

Native Apps

Utilizing hardware capabilities and software features to their fullest potential, native apps have several advantages over their hybrid alternatives.

  • One of the major perks native apps bring to the table is improved performance and user experience along with faster loading times and better responsiveness, especially in graphically demanding applications (e.g., games).
  • A less sophisticated architecture compared to hybrid apps leaves fewer opportunities for errors and unexpected issues, increasing stability and reliability.
  • Native apps also have seamless access to a device’s camera, GPS, etc. This is a crucial requirement for augmented reality, video streaming/calls, etc.

Major disadvantages of native development root in the necessity to create the entire codebase for the targeted operating system from scratch.

  • For instance, development costs are significantly higher, as you need to release both iOS and Android versions of the app. The same is true for maintenance because engineers essentially have to implement each update and fix it twice.
  • Native application development also requires diverse expertise around multiple OS-specific tools and programming languages, as well as a larger team.

Hybrid Apps Offer Code Reusability

Hybrid Apps

As the very nature of hybrid apps promotes a great level of code reusability, the following advantages emerge.

  • Hybrid apps are usually cost-efficient to build since their core functionality is based on web pages that can be migrated to a different mobile platform with few or no changes.
  • Another benefit is faster time to market, as engineers do not need to develop and test a separate version of the app for each operating system. Consequently, a single codebase also favors the ease of maintenance.

It was previously mentioned that the development of hybrid mobile apps relies on an embedded web browser and an array of plugins to enable the required functionality on different operating systems. These extra layers introduce several drawbacks.

  • Ensuring the security of a hybrid app presents a bigger challenge as the integration of various connectors and APIs may create additional points of vulnerability. 
  • Running in a browser, hybrid apps struggle to match the look and feel of a native interface, resulting in an inferior user experience. These apps are also based on web development frameworks, which tend to be slower than OS-specific programming languages, leading to weaker performance.

As both types of applications have their upsides and downsides, the decision ultimately comes down to the goals and requirements of a particular project. Hybrid app development helps companies to save time and money on projects with a simple interface and basic features.

On the other hand, native apps offer broader capabilities and better performance but may be expensive to build and maintain. If you need to expand your in-house team, consider outsourcing to an established company with mobile app development expertise.

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Arnab is a Passionate blogger. He loves to share sentient blogs on topics like current affairs, business, lifestyle, health, etc. If you want to read refulgent blogs so please follow RealWealthBusiness.

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