Native Apps and Hybrid Apps? Which one to choose?

Kevin Nguyen
Aug 19, 2019 · 5 min read

Generally, businesses often find it difficult in the first stages of mobile app development. They don’t know where to start, how to allocate their budget or choose the most suitable option. They also struggle with choosing between hybrid apps and native apps. Here are some tips which help you find it easier to make a decision:

1. You decide to choose native apps if…

…your required app is available only on a specific platform

Native apps are designated in the native programming language for one targeted platform. Therefore, they fit the best to apps built for a particular platform. For example, you use Swift or Objective C to develop an iOS app, use Kotlin or Java to build an Android app and use C# for a Windows app. Thus, native apps are the best if your target audience uses one specific device platform.

This allows native apps to be compatible with the operating systems and the hardware of a mobile device. Thus, they find it easy to collaborate with other functions and maximize the app’s benefits to users. Many businesses realize the efficiency of native mobile apps in business so they try to use them for other platforms. However, it’s difficult to share native apps among different platforms such as between iOS and Android or between iOS and BlackBerry. Native apps need time to collect materials to develop for different platforms.

…your app needs to work and run fast

Native apps are faster than hybrid apps. They are created by one specific programming language and provided all functions of this operating system. Direct language, as well as the independence from a third-party app, help to increase native apps’ overall speed.

The speed includes display speed (smooth) and processing speed. It’s obvious to see native apps’ navigation or scrolling are very smooth. Also, the fast processing speed allows native apps to build game apps with a lot of animations. At present, native apps are the leading ones in the game industry, that why if you have to find a trusted software development team to turn your idea become reality.

…your app emphasizes the best performance and user experience

In terms of performance and user experience, native apps prove their outstanding advantages, compared to hybrid apps. Native apps are installed locally in mobile devices or distributed in app stores. Thus, they can access mobile hardware (camera, GPS, recording…) or other locals (files, phonebook, image library, call or message). This allows native apps can access push notifications or microphone through GPS and map to serve users better. Moreover, native apps can work on well in offline mode by using data saved in the previous cache, at the last time users access online.

Moreover, native apps provide an intuitive user interface if UX/UI designers follow the design principles or Human Interface Principles. This is to allow seamless integration with Android or Apple platforms. The intuitive and modern designs of native apps help businesses to target users more precisely. A newspaper in Bosnia and Herzegovina collected 18.000 downloads on both Android and iOS services in two months after developing a native app. This impressive boost mostly comes from user-friendly features of native apps.

2. You decide to choose hybrid apps if…

…your required app is available on multiple platforms

Hybrid apps don’t depend on operating systems such as iOS or Android. Every device accessing the Internet (HTML5), CSS and JavaScript can use hybrid apps. The reason is hybrid apps are developed using web technology to build web apps. Hybrid app development is simple to many developers. There is no need to use other materials to support video and audio functions. Developers just share a website link for customers to use without asking for permission from operating system providers. Therefore, users find it easy to use hybrid apps right after publishing. On the other hand, hybrid apps are easy to do cross-platform so the development time is much shorter than native apps.

However, these advantages of hybrids apps also limit the design part and hardware-access part of them, especially in game apps. Hybrid apps are just used to create some simple games such as 2048. These apps can’t access the hardware of mobile devices. Only a few of them can do simple tasks such as upload or read files.

Thus, you can consider building a hybrid app if you K which has a web version such as Facebook. However, hybrid apps are not safe for shopping apps or other paid apps because they can’t protect the payment process.

….you need to save time and money for the app development process

Generally, you will save more money to develop a hybrid app than a native app. Hybrid apps use very popular programming languages (HTML and JavaScript) which are known by most developers. Thus, you only need to hire ordinary developers to build a hybrid app without hiring iOS or Android developers.

Developers need to develop only one version of hybrid apps with one program code. This single code allows easier and faster updates. Thus, hybrid apps will save delivery time, maintenance time and updating time. Moreover, unlike native apps, hybrid apps don’t need to be rebuilt through SDK or xCode. Their new versions for different platforms will be updated to users automatically after the deploy process.

Although the overall cost of hybrid apps is cheaper than native apps, you still need to pay more when adding more functions. This may influence the whole cost of development process so you should check:

- What are the different features you need?

- What kind of functions will be written natively?

- How does the total cost will increase?

Although hybrid apps tend to be similar to native apps, both of them still have their advantages and disadvantages. While hybrid apps provide a fast solution, native apps give out a longer-lasting performance. Businesses should consider budget, timeline and do marketing research before choosing the right one. So if you need more consultancy, you can call Adamo Digital to get more information.

Kevin Nguyen

Written by

Software Development — Mobile App Development — Website Solution Development

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