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1783Native vs. Hybrid App: Considering Pros and ConsMax SavoninChief Executive Officer at KeenEthics

Native vs. Hybrid App: Considering Pros and Cons

You will learn the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches and which one is better for your own business.

App development is one of the most important decisions when it comes to promoting your business to a higher level. Yet, this decision is also might be a complicated one. It often holds business owners up when they have to choose between a native app and a hybrid app. 

Which is better: hybrid or native app? Hybrid apps are faster to develop, though they are known for their slow performance. Native apps, in turn, perform very fast. Yet, native applications are usually much more expensive to create. So, what type of app to choose? Read more to find out the essence of both native and hybrid apps and decide which one is right for you. 

What Is a Native App?

A native app is an application designed for use on a particular device. In other words, this type of application is installed directly onto the device. Users can find native applications in online stores, for example, Apple’s App Store or Google Play. In brief, the given type of application is supposed to be used on a particular device and its operating system. Thus, it also relies on device-specific hardware and software. Besides, native apps are usually written in a specific code used for that particular device and its operating system. Thus, iOS apps are written in either Objective-C or Swift. Android-native apps, in turn, are written in Java

The term “native apps” can also be applied to the Photos or Contacts apps that are, in fact, preinstalled on every Apple computer. Yet, when we talk about mobile web apps, native apps usually refer to apps that work on a specific device or platform. 

Examples of Native Apps 

Native apps can access a lot of services such as mic or push notifications. This way, native app development can promote a better user experience. There are various examples of native applications ranging from navigation programs to social applications or games. Instagram and Waze might serve as bright examples of native applications. 

What Is A Hybrid App? 

A hybrid app is an application that is a mix of a native app and a web app. In other words, this type of application has features of both a native app and a web app. Hybrid apps are usually hosted inside native apps, though they allow a user to use them on different platforms. One of the most prominent examples of hybrid applications is Facebook (by the way, below you will find out why Facebook management regrets making the world’s most famous social media a hybrid app). App users are allowed to use Facebook on their computers or phones. 

Hybrid apps usually have access to the device itself. Thus, you have to allow the hybrid app that is installed on your device to have access to your camera, contact list, or some other features, if you want to make use of all the advantages of that particular app. 

As a rule, hybrid apps are developed with the help of such programming languages as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. The majority of businesses prefer native apps to hybrid mobile apps. The reason for this is that the latter type of application is usually very slow. That is, in fact, the main disadvantage of hybrid apps: their speed depends on the speed of the browser (more on this below). 

There are two ways hybrid mobile apps can be created. The first way is called WebView app. It presupposes the code running in an embedded browser which is wrapped in a native application. Compiled hybrid app, another way of creating a hybrid mobile app, refers to the code being written in C# or JavaScript. Afterward, it is compiled for each platform supported by the hybrid mobile app. 

As mentioned above, many companies do not want to create a hybrid mobile app because of its main disadvantage. Still, due to the fact hybrid app development allows you to build both iOS and Android apps without the need of writing separate code for each two times, they remain extremely popular on the market up to this day. This means you can obtain two applications without wasting a lot of time and money. 

Native App Vs. Hybrid App?

Without a doubt, developing a mobile app for your business is a useful way of promoting engagement with your customers these days. When you finally decide to create a mobile app for your company, the next step would be to choose whether to build a native app or a hybrid app (or maybe a web app). 

P.S. Besides, there is another type of app called a web app. This type of application refers to application software that runs on a web server (native apps, for example, are run locally on the OS of the device). Examples of web apps are Google Docs, Google Slides, cloud storage, and others. 

Mark Zuckerberg has relatively recently claimed it was a mistake to make one of the most popular social media a hybrid app. According to Medium, ​​

”their reputation has become negative in tech circles because of their slowness and a perceived lower-quality experience for the user.” 

Though due to the fact hybrid apps have many advantages, many people express their support for hybrid mobile apps rather than for native apps. On the whole, such famous apps as Uber and Instagram are all hybrid mobile apps. 

Pros and Cons of Using Native and Hybrid Apps.

So far you have learned the essence of both hybrid and native apps. Now, let’s take a look at the advantages of using each type of application. 

Advantages of Choosing Native Apps

Speed. As previously mentioned, hybrid apps tend to be very slow. Yet, when it comes to native applications, they work much faster. As Clutch points out,

“since they work with the device’s built-in features, they are speedy.” On the whole, native apps work faster because they are native to the platform. 

Functionality. Native applications have access to multiple functionalities. Thus, while designing a native app, developers have access to all the tools and APIs that are offered by the host’s platform.

Rank Highly on App Stores. Due to the fact, native apps show better user experience, they often occupy higher positions on the app stores than many other types of apps.

Advantages of Choosing Hybrid Apps

Cost-effectiveness. Businesses do not need to spend extra money to build various versions of one particular app. That means hybrid apps presuppose building both iOS and Android apps. Thus, the app development team doesn’t have to write separate code for each twice. Consequently, businesses can save a lot of money this way. Obviously, such an advantage would be extremely beneficial for small and medium-sized organizations that are on a budget. 

Top-notch performance. Hybrid apps are known for their outstanding performance. This type of app can show significantly better performance than versatile web applications or responsive sites.

Integration with other apps. Hybrid apps can be incorporated with other applications. This is an incredible advantage for the app launchers as well. 

Although both hybrid and native applications have several advantages, they have certain limitations too. Below, you can find out some of them.

Disadvantages of Choosing Native Apps

Costly to Develop. Unlike hybrid apps, native apps are usually costly and time-consuming. This downside is caused by the need for developers working on two different code bases for both Android and iOS. 

More Support Needed. Since native apps presuppose building and maintaining more than one codebase, they require a lot of support to keep an app running smoothly. 

Disadvantages of Choosing Hybrid Apps:

Slower performance. Hybrid apps are very slow. It takes a lot of time for hybrid mobile apps to load all the elements. This downside is usually caused by the device and the software version (the browser).

Internet Connection. Hybrid applications require a constant internet connection to function properly. That means users might not see the full range of features when the app works in an offline mode. 

To Wrap Up

Native apps are apps designed to run on a particular OS. Hybrid apps, in turn, show features of both a native app and a web app. The main difference between a native app and a hybrid app is that the first type can be developed across all platforms, whereas the latter one is developed for a specific OS. 

You have to understand that customers do not care which way an application is built. What is important for them is the proper functioning of an app. In other words, the decision depends mostly on how the users have to approach your app. Do not forget to reach us and we will help you to make important decisions concerning your application. 

Do you need assistance in developing a native or hybrid app?

Our developers have expertise in building apps that will make your business stand out. Contact us and we will make the best solutions for your business together.

Alex Pletnov Max Savonin CEO
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