Native vs Hybrid vs Web Application: Which one should you choose?

Mobile app development is a highly growing field all over the world. Whether you are developing a new app for one of your clients or you are developing it for your own business, in most of the cases you need to build it for at least 3 major mobile platforms Android, iOS and Windows.

Now, it is quite baffling whether you should make it Native, Hybrid or Web app. Before you come to the decision, let’s have a brief overview of these three app types.

1. Native Apps

Native apps are usually developed to work on a single mobile platform using the native programming language. For instance, Java for Android, Objective C for iOS and .net for Windows. Once, the app is developed and launched, it can be installed from the Google play (For Android), iTunes App store (For iOS) & Microsoft app store (For Windows).

Pros of Native Mobile Apps:

• Easily available in standard play stores

• Offers better security and performance level

• With native apps, it is easier to integrate all the mobile device features such as camera, GPS, fingerprint security, sensors, gyroscope and many more.

Cons of Native Apps:

• One of the biggest drawbacks of developing a native mobile app is that it requires separate efforts to develop for each of the platforms (iOS, Android, Windows).

  • Some of the native apps are often too expensive

2. Hybrid Apps

Typically built with the combination of languages, including CSS 3, HTML 5 and JavaScript. Unlike Native apps, Hybrid apps don’t need separate efforts for each mobile platform. They are developed once and can be made available in all the play stores.

Pros of Hybrid Apps

• Offer more customization options for users

• Often requires less development time compared to a fully native mobile app

• The use of web technology (HTML 5 and CSS 3) in Hybrid apps makes it much easier to develop than the native one.

• Can support for dynamic content

• Because, the web technology is almost similar for all platforms, it is possible to reuse the code without the need to start from scratch.

Cons of Hybrid Apps

• May get rejected by app stores

• Not as fast as Native apps

  • It is difficult to make a very complex app with Hybrid structure

3. Web Apps

Web apps also built with the use of CSS 3, JavaScript and HTML 5 and can be accessed through the mobile browsers. If designed properly, web apps can also be made work similar as native apps.

Pros of Web Apps

• Common for all users, irrespective of hardware or operating system

• No need of approval from different app stores

• Requires less cost of development

Cons of Web Apps

• Have a very limited access to the mobile hardware features

  • As the web apps are not listed on the standard play stores, it might be typical for users to find them.

How to make a decision: Native vs Hybrid vs Web

Before you make a decision, you need to think about some important factors such as cost, time frame, performance requirement, type of app etc. In many cases, Hybrid would be the right choice whereas some other high performance app may only need to be native. If you can afford to pay for all native (Android, iOS and Windows) developers and you are not restricted for the time, then it’s great to make it native. But if you have a limited resources and money, then it would be a wise decision to go with Hybrid or Web app.

In conclusion, the choice of application type completely depends on your expectations. Native mobile applications may provide you the best user experience but need more efforts and time. On the other side, Hybrid apps are quite inexpensive, but need to be carefully developed for all platforms.

Actually, there is no one size fits all solution, decide your own business needs and make the right choice.

The article is originally published at theninehertz