Mobile Apps

Which One to Choose Between Native, Hybrid, and Web App?

Mobile applications are no longer an option good to have, they’re absolute must. According to Statista, by the year 2017, the total estimated app revenues are expected to be 76.54 billion U.S. dollars. This is a serious business.

There is still a tug-of-war between Native and Hybrid applications. The former provides performance, while the latter is a quicker way to make an app available on various platforms. And what about Web apps? Well, as they are accessible through traditional web-browsers and their URL, they do not necessarily qualify for a mobile application. They just give an app-like experience in the mobile browser.

Native Vs. Hybrid Apps

Native Apps: They are platform-specific and are built by using development tools and language that a platform supports. They are specifically written in the platform’s language, such as an iOS app is written in Objective-C and an Android app is written in Java. Native apps provides advanced UI interaction and a better performance. A native app once developed for a platform cannot be used on another platform and the code needs to be largely rewritten.

Hybrid Apps: They also reside in app stores but uses built-in browser to show the pages. One can write code by using web development language such as CSS, HTML, or Javascript, and then wrap it in native container to make a platform specific hybrid app. These containers are Cordona, PhoneGap etc. As web language is cross-platform, the code is reusable for other OS mobile.

By now you must have understood what basic things do separate these types of applications.

So it is all about providing better performance vs. ease of development. The reason companies go the Hybrid way is to thinly veil their website layout and structure in the app format, and hence hybrid apps look very similar across the platforms, be it web, or Android, or iPhone.

And what about Web Apps?

These are simply the websites that have the easy-navigation capabilities of an app. These apps don’t reside in app-store but use advanced HTML 5 and CSS to have app-like features.

Facebook was a hybrid app until 2012. Later, Facebook chose to go the native way for each platform such as iPhone, Android, Windows and BB 10.

Now-a-days as users are more demanding than ever, developers increasingly prefer native apps to hybrid ones. When the apposphere was relatively new, developers were reaping benefits by having an easy to maintain hybrid apps on every platform. More availability meant more users as the number of apps were not even 1/10th of what it is today. As the platforms are maturing and the hardware is more competent to handle tasks, native apps are better positioned to utilize the phone’s features.

Answering a few concerns

I am really short on budget, what to do? Develop a native application for the platform where your audience lies.

I am not sure about my app’s idea. – You may try to come up with web app first. This will allow you to circumvent the development fee that you need to pay to the platform you’re developing an app for.

Try to market your idea and build a traffic to your web app. If the feedback is positive, track the OS your visitors more likely to have. If more traffic is coming from iOS, you can develop a native iOS application. However, if your traffic is distributed fairly uniformly, you can develop a hybrid app. But here’s the thing, not every application can be modeled around web development language.

I can outsource the development part. – Great! Wisely choose a professional mobile application development company, discuss your budget, and the company will tell you an optimum path forward.
I am building a basic application- For an application that doesn’t use advanced UI features, hybrid app will suit the need just as well.

I have the resources to develop a native app for each platform. – I won’t advise you to go all-in until you have a team to handle update and maintenance tasks. Native applications are resource-intensive as they demand a separate project for each platform.

Native, Hybrid, and Web apps, each has its own pros and cons. The native applications win the race of performance, and it matters. Web or hybrid apps can be effective if it is limited to news portal or simple content navigation.

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Hybrid Apps Development | Native Application Development | Web Application Development