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Native vs Hybrid vs PWAs: What Really Matters to Your Business

It is rare to find a mobile app development enthusiast who has not come across or made a wrong decision because of being tangled in the mesh that the world of technical mobility experts has been seeing. A mesh that is also called — comparison between Native vs Hybrid vs Web application development.

As a mobile app development company that has developed apps in all the three segments, which development approach to follow is one of the most common questions that we come across.

The Truth: There is no one best app development approach. All three of them come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages that business gamble upon depending on their end objective.

In this article, we will look into what really matters — When to Invest in What. And while we find answers to that, we will also look into what the three approaches stand for and the respective benefit and disadvantage they come with.

Let’s begin.

Concept and Advantages: Native vs Hybrid vs Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Native Apps

Native apps are the one that are designed for a specific operating system, which can be either Android or iOS. These are developed in either Swift/Objective — C for iOS Apps or Java, when developing an app for Android.

When you invest in Native mobile app development, you get an app that is responsive to an operating system and interacts with the in-built device features like Camera and GPS etc. The responsiveness that Native apps come with, ensures that your users get an app that has very low learning curve and offers them an experience that is highly intuitive.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are those that are developed using a single code language for multiple platform. When you invest in Hybrid application development, what you get is an app that runs on both Android and iOS. You can achieve the device specific interactions with the help of plugins that are made for the specific operating system. The biggest benefit that Hybrid apps come with is that their development process is highly cost effective.

Progressive Web Apps

Written in JavaScript and HTML5, Progressive Web Apps are nothing but websites that are developed to be responsive for the mobile users. The most cost effective of the lot, PWAs are also on a much safer spot when the time comes and the app bubble finally bursts.

Also, since they need no installation on the device, they are ideal for the users who suffers with low memory space syndrome.

Now that we have seen both what each of the app type means and the benefits that they all come with, individually, it is time to look at some of the drawbacks that comes attached.

An article on the comparison and deduction among the three of the most used mobile app development categories, worldwide, would be incomplete until we touch base on their disadvantages and what they lack in.

So, let us give you a closure by looking at the drawbacks of the three approaches.

Drawbacks: Native vs Hybrid vs Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

Native Apps

The biggest drawback that Native apps come with is that they are highly expensive. Since they are made for a specific operating system and more often than not, even for a specific set of version, any diversion costs a lot of money to the clients.

Another drawback that Native Apps come with is that it calls for specialists who individually excel in both iOS App Development and Android App Development.

Hybrid Apps

The number one reason that has made businesses make the switch from hybrid to native is the user experience that Hybrid apps offer. While made for all the platforms at once, using a single code language, the difference in look and feel gives an extremely unresponsive look from device to device.

Another turning off element of Hybrid mobile app development is the fact that it is so dependent on plugins to interact with device’s in built features, that an app that requires complex technicalities fails to operate well.

Progressive Web Apps

The biggest reason that has kept businesses at bay when it comes to progressive web apps or web apps in general is their dependency on the internet connectivity. They only work until the app is connected with an active network.

Also, since they are not installed on the play store or apple store, they lose out on the chance of app monetization, majorly.

Now that we have given the article a balance by weighing the pros and cons of all the three mobile app development approaches — Native vs Hybrid vs Web Apps, it is time to get down to the question that really matters (and it is not the one confusing you more on which is better) — How to Decide whether What your Business Needs is a Native App or Hybrid or a Web App.

Let’s find out, now.

When to Invest: Hybrid vs Native vs PWAs

Progressive Web Apps

If your business objective requires users to check in weekly or monthly and as an extension to your website, invest in PWA. Also, if your website is majorly functioning around one sided less interactive sessions, PWAs would be ideal for you.

Lastly, if your app’s target audience is developed geographical locations that have an active network connection, go with PWAs. If you ever wish to expand into a more mobile front, go with Native Apps in the future.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are ideal for the startups who are seeking quick traction for their idea that has not explored enough to judge whether it would be accepted or not.

Also, in case your app is not very media focussed or dependent on device’s in built features, Hybrid apps would be your best bet. Once you have established yourself in the market for the app idea, invest in Native app development. But, till then, ensure that you do all your development process using React Native platform.

Native Apps

Native apps are for those businesses that are entering the mobile industry with a gaming or media rich application or with an app that would need a very deep level interaction with the user’s devices.

Businesses like Facebook or LinkedIn that has a reputation to maintain at the back of their UI/UX are also investing in Native applications to a great extent.

If your business relies heavily on user interaction and an unparalleled user experience is mandate for your brand plus you have fundings, go with Native application development.



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Tripti Rai

Tripti Rai


Tripti Rai is presently focussing on unfolding the elements that make mobile devices interesting. Currently associated with Appinventiv as a Content Manager.