Mobile App Development: Which Is The Right Type Of App For You?

If you want your app to succeed you have to know that the mobile application development landscape is filled with different ways to build an app.

All mobile apps live inside smartphone’s operating system (OS), a software that allows smartphones, tablet PCs and other devices to run applications and programs.

That’s why when developing an app it’s important to choose which type of app is going to be developed. The more common are Native and Hybrid. Which is the right for you? Here you’ll find the answer.

The Mobile app development world is very complex from start to finish. But, hey, we’re here to help you through this battle. Having a website isn’t enough anymore, users are turning away from the desktop browsers and relying on mobile applications.

If you are still hesitating, an article from Statista says in 2020, mobile apps are projected to generate $188.9 billion U.S. dollars in revenues via app stores and in-app advertising.

A good reason to start developing your app, right?

Let’s have a look at another important aspect of app development; the type of app. When we say “the type of app” we are not talking about if it’s entertainment apps like Netflix, a productivity app like Google Docs or one for social networking like Instagram.

When we say the “type of app” we are referring to the way the app is developed.

Types of apps

Let’s explain how it works; mobile apps are basically little, self-contained programs, used to improve existing functionality in a simple more user-friendly way. Each app provides limited and isolated functionality such as games, calculators or mobile web browsing.

All mobile apps live inside the smartphone’s operating system (OS), a software that allows smartphones, tablet PCs and other devices to run applications and programs. There are 2 dominant operating systems: android and IOS. For example, an app developed for IPhone IOS can’t usually run in a phone with Android OS.

That’s why, when developing an app it’s important to choose which type of app is going to be developed, here are two main types of apps:

Native: Native apps can take advantage of every operative system’s feature, Native apps are the ones coded and developed from zero for a specific programming language such as Objective C (the language for iOS) and Java (the language for Android) They are developed specifically for one platform and if you want to run the app in a different platform you just have to start coding from zero.

Hybrid: As the word says; hybrid apps are the ones built in a language (HTML5 or JavaScript), that is then translated to be understood (run) in other operative systems. They are faster to develop because you build it just once and then you translate it into the language you want the app to run. They look and feel like a native app, BUT Hybrid apps don’t have the same access to the mobile OS.

Let’s compare what each one offers:

Native

  • Can run on one mobile platform.
  • More device specific features.
  • No code portability (what we explained about the language and translation).
  • High development cost.
  • Native code has direct access to platform functionality.
  • Better performance.
  • Access to device hardware.
  • No restriction on what can be done. Only limit is OS.

Hybrid

  • Several popular mobile platforms.
  • Less device specific features.
  • High code portability (one code base, multiple platforms).
  • Moderate development cost.
  • For complex apps, the abstraction layers often prevent native-like performance.
  • Average performance.
  • Moderate access to device hardware.
  • Mostly dependent on availability of plugins. If there is no plugin available for some task, it cannot be done.

So, what’s best?

That depends entirely on you. There is no one-size-fits-all, perfect answer.

Native apps offer the best end user experience and are the most expensive to develop because it requires the most specific skills.

Hybrid apps are the cheapest to develop, and target the biggest market, but they don’t necessarily capture the correct look and feel of what users might be expecting. Usually, hybrid apps won’t perform as well or be as feature-rich.

Hybrid apps still offer a compelling (if not quite as good) experience. Ultimately, the answer will come to the company, developer, and the end users as to which solution is most appropriate.

So now you can choose which is the most convenient for you.