Native Or Hybrid - Understanding Your Mobile App Development Options

Saurabh Singh May 23, 2022
Native Or Hybrid - Understanding Your Mobile App Development Options

Mobile apps have become the need of the hour and each and every business is pushing really very hard to make a perfect app for their business that would consequently boost their sales. This writeup is about mobile application development, it is specifically targeted at developers looking to create mobile applications that interact with users and developers directly. Generally, three types of apps are the most preferred and we would discuss these three in this article:

Native Apps: A native mobile app is a smartphone application that is coded in a specific programming language, such as Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems. Native mobile apps provides fast performance and a high degree of reliability.

HTML5 Apps: HTML apps use industry standard technologies like Java, CSS and HTML5. This approach to the mobile application development creates cross platform mobile applications that are compatible with multiple devices.

Hybrid Apps: Hybrid development combines the best (or worst) of both the native and HTML5 worlds. We define hybrid as a web app, primarily built using HTML5 and JavaScript, that is then wrapped inside a thin native container that provides access to native platform features.

Native Mobile Applications

Native mobile apps are the best one and there are few of the features that you get only with native apps. This platform gives you the fastest and high quality graphics and it also supports fluid animation that is very important in gaming and animation related activities. In addition to this, address book, the camera, Geo-location can be easily integrated into mobile apps.

Native apps are developed using IDE. IDE provides tools for building version control, project management and other tools professional developers need. You need these tools because native apps are more difficult to develop and the experience required to develop native apps is comparatively higher as compared to the other platforms. Simply cut and paste work is not going to help you and it requires a different amount of skill set to accomplish this task. If you are a professional developer, you don’t have to be sold on proven APIs and frameworks, or the benefits of having your code all in one place. Till now, we saw native apps from the developer’s perspective, but the perspective of the end user should also be seen. In my opinion, native apps are the real rockstars as the user is able to easily find them in the app store, it delivers fast performance and in short if gives you everything that you expect from a mobile application.

MUST READ: Are You Confused Between Native And Hybrid Mobile App?

HTML5 Mobile Applications

These apps are mobile web based app or to put it in simple words, an HTML mobile app is a web page, or a series of web pages designed in such a way as to work on a small screen. From a developer’s point of view, if he or she has experience developing web apps, then HTML5 would be a cakewalk for you, but even if you are new to the development, HTML5 is the best and easy way to start with as compared to the native or hybrid development. These days, HTML5 has become the most popular way of building mobile apps and the reason behind this is multiple User interface frameworks are present for solving the most typical & complex problems that developers face. But in spite of all these things, HTML apps are not much accepted by the users because they can’t have the familiarity of the native look and feel of the apps that the users are accustomed to. Moreover, the biggest concern with HTML5 apps is security. Although, the underlying database might be encrypted, the security issues are always there with HTML5 apps. Therefore, if security is the concern, then Native apps would be a better choice.

Hybrid Mobile Applications

It would be absolutely right saying that Hybrid development combines the best part and the worst part of both the native and HTML worlds. PhoneGap is a classic example of the most well known container in order to create hybrid mobile apps. If we look broadly, Hybrid apps are the best ones as they constitute the best features of both native and HTML5 frameworks. We already know that native apps are installed on the device, HTML 5 apps reside on the web server, but where do the hybrid apps store their files?

There is in fact not one, but two ways to do the same.

Local: you can package HTML and Javascipt code inside the mobile application binary in the same manner as in the native application.

Server: you also have the option of implementing the full web application from the server, simply using the container as a thin shell over the UIWebview.

It still remains the biggest question that which framework is to be used for mobile application development solutions. Well, in my view, native apps are the best because:

Quality of the apps: Native apps are a way ahead than hybrid or HTML5 Apps in quality and user experience.

User experience: It is surely not possible to derive an awesome user experience in your app by using HTML5 etc.

Support from platform: Whether it is Google or Apple, both would support app developed on their native platforms on first priority, in case they make any changes in their OS version, App store system etc.

Access to all native APIs: If you require access to all native APIs and device features then Native apps are most appropriate.

Full use of functionality and hardware: Because native apps run on the device operating system, hence they are able to make full use of device functionality and hardware. They can access functions like GPS, Push notifications, offline address and SMS messaging.

Simplified distribution and ease of monetization: with native apps, the biggest benefit is that the users know exactly where to find the apps and if monetization is your goal, app stores make that simple as well.

To conclude, mobile app development as we know, is ever changing world and based on the current technology, it would be suggested that native apps are the best from the business prospects as well as from the user perspective. Even Hybrid and HTML5 frameworks are good, but native apps should be the first choice in case you have a long term vision.

Saurabh Singh
Saurabh Singh
CEO & Director
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