When we look at the dynamic landscape of 2023, one thing that sticks in our minds is that innovation knows no bounds. Over the past decade, mobile apps have become the talk of the town, embraced by users all across the globe, as evident in the graph below.
The unmatched popularity of mobile apps has paved the way for business owners to carve out a success gateway and seize the opportunity by developing a highly disruptive app to help their brand stand out from the competitors.
Now when it comes to building an app that stands out, there are multiple things that businesses need to map out, and one of the most vital decisions is to choose between developing a native or a hybrid app. The debate of native vs hybrid mobile app development has been going on for a while, and honestly, there is no black-and-white answer to it.
This blog will help you understand everything related to native vs hybrid mobile app development and the benefits and cons of both. In addition to looking at these two disruptive development methodologies, we will also help you understand how to decide on an app platform as per your business requirements.
So, without further ado, let’s begin by understanding Native and Hybrid apps in detail.
Understanding Native Mobile App Development
Native mobile app development is creating applications designed to work on specific devices and mobile platforms, such as Android and iOS. These apps are carefully crafted to meet the requirements of a single operating system, using programming languages that are specific to them. This allows for the creation of intuitive apps that are backed by interactive designs and functionalities.
Native mobile app development involves harnessing the native programming language of the chosen operating system, such as Java or Kotlin for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS, and developing an app finely tuned for a single platform. Whether destined for desktops, smartphones, smart TVs, or other advanced digital gadgets, native mobile app development ensures an optimal user experience and an aesthetically pleasing UI/UX.
By leveraging the native approach, developers can tap into a platform’s full potential, delivering a visually pleasing and responsive application and unlocking the ability to add advanced features that fully utilize the unique capabilities of modern digital devices. Some of the native app development tools used by organizations across the globe includes Android Studio, Xcode, Visual Studio, Swift, Java, Kotlin, Objective-C, C#, etc.
Examples of Native App Development
Here are some examples of native apps that we use in our daily lives:
Spotify: Operating as a native app, Spotify maximizes the potential of your device’s platform, whether iOS or Android, to deliver superior audio quality and an intuitive user interface.
WhatsApp: Seamlessly integrated as a native communication app, WhatsApp guarantees seamless performance and effortless synchronization.
SoundCloud: By tapping into your device’s native capabilities, SoundCloud offers an immersive music streaming experience to the users.
Google Maps: Employing native mobile app development, Google Maps is a powerful and reliable mapping tool.
Benefits of Native App Development
In today’s dynamic digital landscape, mobile applications have become integral to our daily lives. It is vital to understand that the app development method plays an important role in determining the overall UX of the app. Let us help you determine the multiple benefits of Android and iOS native app development process below:
Native mobile apps offer high-speed performance and can stand out with their streamlined code. Unlike hybrid and cross-platform apps, native mobile apps preload most elements, ensuring swift display. This rapid development speed is backed by cost-effectiveness, making native applications a prime choice for startups.
Seamless Offline Functionality
Another standout perk of native apps is their ability to operate seamlessly without an internet connection. Users can access all app functionalities even in airplane mode. This offline support has proven indispensable for individuals in areas with limited internet access, remote locations, or constrained data availability.
Native apps offer an elevated user experience and only cater to the guidelines of a specific operating system. This adherence leads to an enhanced, intuitive interaction that aligns seamlessly with the chosen OS.
Reduced Error Potential
Native mobile app development minimizes the complexity of managing two different codebases, unlike hybrid app development. The lack of reliance on cross-platform tools leads to fewer bugs and smoother performance.
Cloud native app development for a specific platform ensures optimized performance. Since the apps are tailored to a particular operating system, they exhibit responsiveness and exceptional speed. When it comes to native vs hybrid mobile app development, native apps usually take the upper stage as they can leverage core programming languages and APIs that contribute to their overall efficiency.
Cons of Native App Development
Here are the multiple cons of hybrid app development:
Limited Code Reusability
Creating separate native apps for iOS and Android requires individual coding and development efforts, resulting in a significant amount of time, resources, and costs. This contrasts hybrid or cross-platform app development that allows code reusability across different platforms.
When it comes to hybrid vs native app development, the latter usually requires substantial maintenance expenses, which usually exceed the initial development investment.
Intense Talent Demand
Native mobile apps, due to their language-specific nature, require developers that are proficient in the specific programming languages of each platform. Now hiring this kind of specialized talent can prove challenging. On the other hand, it is relatively easy to assemble a single cross-platform development team.
In our debate of native vs hybrid mobile app development, let us now move ahead and look at the multiple pros, cons and examples of hybrid app development to understand the development approach a bit better.
Understanding Hybrid App Development
The hybrid platform includes a backend code and a downloadable native viewer for displaying app functions and backend operations. It uses a single codebase for multiple platforms, which improves efficiency.
Hybrid apps offer performance and user experiences similar to native apps, but there is still room for improvement in areas like UX and navigation patterns.
Examples of Hybrid App Development
Here are some examples of hybrid apps that we come across in our daily lives:
Amazon App Store: The Amazon App Store features a hybrid architecture and allows seamless user access across multiple applications, combining the convenience of native and web-based solutions.
Twitter: Twitter utilizes hybrid app development to combine web-based components with native integration. This approach allows users to browse and interact with content seamlessly while also incorporating features such as push notifications, geolocation services, and media uploads.
Gmail: Gmail harnesses hybrid app development by employing web-based elements for email management and message composition tasks. Functionalities like offline access, push notifications, and seamless integration with device features like the address book and calendar complement the native essence.
Instagram: Designed as a hybrid app, Instagram harnesses your device’s camera and touch functionality, enabling effortless media sharing.
Benefits of Hybrid App Development
Hybrid app development is one of the most common choices for modern businesses considering its distinctive advantages. Let us look at the multiple benefits of hybrid app development process in detail below:
Accelerated Time to Market
For startups that wish to swiftly launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), hybrid iOS app development or hybrid android app development is one of the beneficial approaches. This framework expedites app development and offers a faster time to entry, all thanks to its early-stage deployment.
Hybrid apps, rooted in web technology, help in streamlined maintenance. This simplicity is not possible when it comes to the highly complex coding demands of native and cross-platform app development.
Cost Efficiency and Streamlined Development
The hybrid app development services offer a cost-effective solution, particularly beneficial for startups that are looking for cost optimization. Eliminating the need for separate versions across multiple platforms, hybrid frameworks enable the creation of a single version that functions seamlessly across various platforms.
Hybrid apps combine both native and web app attributes, delivering an exceptional user experience on Android and iOS platforms. The hybrid app UI ensures rapid content loading, contributing to flawless and engaging user interaction.
Cons of Hybrid App Development
Here are the multiple disadvantages faced by hybrid app development:
No Offline Functionality
Hybrid apps lack offline support, which is in contrast to the functionality offered by native apps. Users depend on an Internet connection to access the app’s functionalities.
Operating System Variations
The single code deployment of hybrid apps can result in inconsistencies across operating systems. Certain features tailored for a specific OS may not seamlessly translate to others, leading to potential errors or bugs, such as Android-specific functionalities encountering limitations on iOS devices.
What is the Difference Between Native App and Hybrid App?
Now that you have looked into the various elements of native vs hybrid mobile app development in detail above, let us help you get a good look into their differences as per multiple factors:
When we talk about native app development vs hybrid, the former is designed specifically for one platform, whereas the latter has the ability to work on multiple platforms.
The developer’s role varies significantly when we talk about native vs hybrid mobile app development. Native apps require the expertise of skilled app developers, particularly focused on impeccable UI/UX design due to the platform’s singular nature. On the other hand, the creation of hybrid apps is more accessible and less time-consuming, not requiring specialized expertise.
A pivotal distinction between native vs hybrid mobile app development can be seen in terms of performance. When it comes to native vs hybrid app performance, the former offer seamless operation and superior user experiences compared to the hybrid counterparts, presenting a noticeable difference that can truly elevate your app’s impact.
User Experience Emphasis
User experience emerges as a key factor, where native apps prioritize tailored experiences for specific operating systems. When we talk about native app development vs hybrid, the latter apps, however, negate the need for dual code bases, facilitating quicker development and market entry while relying on a single code base.
Differing app development costs constitute yet another difference when we talk about the native vs hybrid mobile app development debate. The cost range varies from low to medium for hybrid app development, while native app development spans from medium to high on the cost scale.
|Native vs Hybrid Mobile App Development Comparison|
|Performance||Faster and reliable||Slower as compared to the native apps|
|Time to Market||Slow||Fast|
|Speed||Fast||Slower as compared to the native apps|
|User Experience||Rich and intuitive||Never a fully-native experience|
|Security||Highly Secure||Moderately Secure|
|Complexity||Complex Coding Structure||Write Once, Run Anywhere Code|
|Device Feature Integration||Seamless||Inadequate|
|Access to Native APIs||High||Moderate|
|Frameworks||API provided by the operating systems||Xamarin, React Native, PhoneGap|
After looking at the pros and cons of native and hybrid mobile applications and the multiple differences between them, it becomes evident that each possesses a unique array of advantages that complement the other. It is vital to recognize that while hybrid apps offer their own merits, they might fall short in terms of performance and interactivity as compared to their native counterparts. This difference is a valuable factor to consider when looking forward to developing an app for your business, allowing for a comprehensive and informed decision-making process.
How to Decide Between Building Native or Hybrid Apps?
Before deciding between native vs hybrid mobile app development, some factors must be considered:
- The speed of the app
- The UI/UX of the app
- The complexity of features in the app
- The app development budget
- The purpose of the app
In simpler terms:
Choose Native apps,
- If you want an app that works online as well as offline.
- When you want an app that is interactive and high performing.
- If you can accept some low responsiveness in your app.
- If your app needs to choose from a wide range of functionalities.
- If your app needs to access the mobile device’s features.
Choose Hybrid apps,
- If you have an existing website and want an app for it.
- If the app constantly needs to download information from the internet.
- If you want to get an app in a short period at a lower cost.
- If the app is simple and does not have complicated calculations or designs.
- If you are still testing your ideas in the market.
- If the app should be able to use any hardware the device offers.
What Is the Best Choice for Mobile App Development?
For mobile application development, choosing between native vs hybrid mobile app development depends on the overall goals and priorities of your business.
Based on platform
Based on Cost
When it comes to development time and cost, the native vs hybrid mobile app development debate resolves in itself as hybrid applications are the most cost-effective ones. They are simpler to maintain as they have a single code base. Native apps, on the other hand, have multiple code bases since they serve specifically to every platform.
Based on User Experience
Since native applications are specially designed for a specific application store, they give the best user experience. Local applications consider hardware abilities and screen size. In correlation with hybrid applications that only have one code base for all platforms, thus, one must have to compromise on a good user experience to a certain extent.
Native apps can outshine with their robust features and advanced technical capabilities, ensuring a seamless and optimized user experience tailored to specific platforms. On the other hand, hybrid apps offer organizations a cost-effective and faster development option ideal for projects that demand swift market entry without compromising product quality.
Thus, when making the decision between native vs hybrid mobile app development, it’s crucial to consider the unique needs of your organization and the preferences of your end-users. It is advisable to seek guidance from mobile app development experts to ensure the optimal choice for your project.
At Appinventiv, our experts are ready to guide you through this pivotal decision-making process. We are an app development company whose team of developers is experienced in both native and hybrid app development and will work closely with you to understand your project’s requirements, business goals, and user expectations. With our extensive experience, we offer valuable insights and recommendations to help you choose the best approach for your objectives.
We have helped multiple enterprises and startups in realizing their business visions by delivering state-of-the-art mobile solutions that drive growth and engagement in this competitive landscape. Catering to a wide range of startups, we have helped them bag commendable fundings of more than $950 million. Some of our notable clients include JobGet, Vyrb, IKEA, KFC, and Adidas.
Get in touch with our mobile app development experts to get a personalized app development approach as per your project requirements.
Q. Native vs hybrid apps – Which approach is better for mobile app development?
A. When choosing between native and hybrid app development, it’s vital to understand that each approach has its advantages and limitations. Native apps offer exceptional speed and smoothness as they are optimized for a specific platform like Android or iOS. On the other hand, hybrid apps provide remarkable cross-platform compatibility that allows businesses to expand their reach across multiple devices and operating systems without duplicating efforts. Both approaches can be valuable considering your unique business requirements, time to market, and ultimate business goals.
Q. Why is native app development often more costly than cross-platform or hybrid app development?
A. Native app development is usually costlier due to the need for separate code bases for each platform, such as Java for Android and Swift for iOS. This results in increased development time, resources, and specialized expertise. On the other hand, hybrid app development utilizes a single codebase across multiple platforms which allows the developers to save time and reduce the overall costs.
Q. What are some hybrid app development tools used by Appinventiv?
A. Some of the latest hybrid app development tools used by experts across Appinventiv includes:
- React Native
- Appcelerator Titanium
- Onsen UI
Q. How much does native app development cost?
A. The cost of creating a native app can vary from $50,000 to $250,000. There are several factors that further impact the overall cost of development such as the app complexity, delivery time frame, the location of the native mobile app development company, features to be integrated into the app, etc. Get in touch with our experts to get clear cost estimates based on your custom business requirements.