Hybrid vs. Native in 2017 — (And Why We Based Our Business On Cross-Platform)
Back when we were first working on Aquro as our mobile development platform, we deliberated (at length) on what the best approach would be for mobile developers going forward.
A large part of this process involved taking a long, hard look at the current castate of the app development world, and its projected future, and deciding whether hybrid or native app development was going to be the most optimal path for us to usher developers along.
For a quick clarification, hybrid apps are also usually cross-platform apps, which is to say that they can be created or written in one programming language, and then easily packaged for and launched across multiple platforms.
Native apps, on the other hand, are written specifically in a programming language for a specific operating system (and therefore a native app must be written twice if it’s to be launched on multiple platforms (like iOS and Android).
We ultimately opted for the hybrid, cross-platform route, but weren’t ignorant of some objections that might pose…
In the end, we decided that the hybrid approach would best serve most app developers and their clients, and that if recent past trends continued, we could expect improvements in hybrid performance to eventually validate our decision.
What’s one of the best ways to overcome objections? To address them head-on. So that’s what we’re doing today:
Now, however, modern day smartphones have processors and accompanying hardware that rival even computers of the recent past, all but eliminating these performance bottlenecks and removing what was has been the biggest strike against hybrid in the past.
By using modern devices and writing clean, efficient code, users today would be hard-pressed to differentiate between hybrid and native-coded apps.
In the early days of hybrid, access to device hardware was a sticking point, and support for new hardware features in hybrid libraries often lagged behind the release of the hardware itself.
Hybrid app development saves time:
There’s no way around it: Developing an app for Android and iOS at the same time will represent major time savings both in your workflow as a developer or, from a client perspective, in the amount of time you’ll have to wait around for an app to be finished.
Even if an app is only needed for one platform, hybrid app development platforms are able to cut down development cycles by having built-in components and functions already written in HTML and JS, which lets your development benefit from essentially ‘drag-n-drop’ functionality that can be customized with code after the fact.
Hybrid development is just more efficient.
Hybrid costs less (and is more accessible):
Because these languages make up the most critical proficiencies in developing apps using the hybrid method, this also means that a much larger pool of developers can start to make great mobile apps with this method. This helps to drive down overall app development costs associated both with the time it takes to create an app and with the exclusivity of the skills needed to do so.
It’s a win-win.
Those working with native development will likely find their niche (right now animation-heavy games are a good example) shrinking with each new generation of more powerful devices.
To be clear, we understand that, just like as in any industry that evolves, this sentiment isn’t popular and might spark strong reactions from those who have invested their time in developing a skillset that will eventually age. Our aim isn’t to offend, but just to offer up the future as we see it.
Whether you’re a developer thinking of starting to create apps, or someone with an app idea wondering the best way to proceed, hybrid is likely your most efficient way forward, and that’s a statement that has fewer and fewer exceptions by the day.
But that’s just our opinion.
We believe in the cross-platform hybrid approach enough to build our business on top of it, but we’re not ignorant to the fact that we might still be swimming upstream when it comes to popular sentiment on the native vs. hybrid debate.
Got a different take on the future of mobile apps? Leave a response — we’d love to chat it out!