Native vs Hybrid Mobile App Development: Mobile applications are known to be one of the most dynamic and essential business tools. With the advancement in technology, mobile apps are constantly adding value to their platform (be it Android or IOS) which their host or in other words a smartphone has to offer. Without a doubt, they have become a medium to build up an interactive connection. If we discuss how a mobile app is being developed, there are two ways (Actually three ways and we will discuss the third way which is PWA or Progressive web application in another blog).
Lets discussed About Native vs Hybrid Mobile App Development:
1: What is Hybrid Apps:
With the inspiration of web technologies, a hybrid application offers portability across all platforms. A hybrid application extracts it’s DNA from a standard web application and makes use of a wrapper aka Apache Cordova to get transformed into platform-specific native code. With a lot of development support to offer, these are the hot technologies that developers use nowadays to develop hybrid applications.
- React Native.
A slight overview of what hybrid technology has to offer.
Single Code Based:
Hybrid applications offer an abstraction of a single code-based that can be used for IOS, Android, and web platforms. Developers have this advantage to write this code once (with little tweaks needed) which can then be run on all platforms. Hence there is no need to maintain a separate code base for IOS and Android applications, unlike native application development. This approach dominantly proves to save both time and cost.
One development Team for Both IOS & Android:
A single code-based development means that a single development team or a developer can do the work of developing an application for both mobile platforms.
Advantages of Hybrid Apps:
Hybrid applications are portable across all browser supportive platforms. Since such applications are inspired by web-driven architecture, they can run on any platform as long as that platform supports browser-based applications.
Dealing with a single codebase for customizing an application, hybrid applications render a consistent user flow irrespective of a platform that often favors the development team to develop and focus on business logic driven applications rather than worrying about platform-specific dependencies. If you want to get a more result-oriented solution in less time with little or no compromises in UI, hybrid application development will definitely prove to be the right choice for you.
If you have a business idea that you believe will solve a potential market gap, then this approach will seem viable to you. As hybrid application development takes almost half of the development time compared with native application development, you can always roll out a systematic way before your competitors given that they aren’t developing their own system using hybrid app development.
Cost effective solution:
One source code means less worry for future maintenance. But it also means less development time hence lesser cost. On average, hybrid app development costs 30-50% less than native application development.
2: What are Native Apps:
A native mobile app is a platform-specific application. Meaning, if you need to have an android application developed natively, you’ll have to develop explicitly for it using its SDK. The same is applied in the IOS ecosystem as well. One thing to notice here is, an application developed solely for Android platforms will not run on IOS and vice versa, unlike hybrid application development where almost the same source code is used to develop an app for all platforms be it web or mobile.
Therefore, to develop a native application for Android, and SDK designated for Android platform is used and for development, Java is the dominant programming language.
For IOS, a developer needs to use SDK designated for the IOS platform and prominent programming languages are Objective C and Swift.
Disadvantages of native apps:
Prolonged Development Time:
The development team has to deal with writing codebase for each platform separately and from scratch. If one has to develop an application that should run on Android, IOS and Web, then it would take almost 3X of development effort (where X means number of platforms to support in the development).
Unlike hybrid application where a developer has a one-stop to do customization and bug fixing, as soon as a bug is reported, it has to be fixed across all the codebases.
The focused and repetitive programming per platform being done to develop native applications requires highly skilled developers with hands-on experience with the programming language. Hence it will demand more time and more time means more money.
Summary: Which one should I choose?
It is very unlikely that the same developer will have a development knowledge to manufacture a native application for Android and IOS. Therefore, you will be needing a team of developers with expertise in either of these two mobile platforms. More developers mean more cost and therefore more time will be required to develop an application, unlike Hybrid application development which requires one dev to do the development across all platforms.
The main function of hybrid technology was to make development easy, cut down development, and time-based cost. Hybrid technology is now getting neck to neck with native application development and is highly recommended by us as well.