The world of software can be divided into three large families, each with its own characteristics and peculiarities. There are native apps, hybrid apps, and web apps and it is important that you know how to distinguish them in the most accurate way. Applications have completely revolutionized the way we interact with the web. Many consider them to be the natural evolution of the World Wide Web. In reality, they are a totally different tool, which gives a different approach to navigation.

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The mobile, on the other hand, has become an integral part of our everyday life and the applications are the basis of the operation of navigation from smartphones and tablets, but not only. Whatever you want or need to do, today you have an application available. Do you want to order a pizza at home? There is the app. Would you like to book a flight? You have the application. Need to call a taxi? There is the dedicated application. The list could be endless and the sector is in the midst of its expansion, thanks also to new technologies and methods for the realization.

Which app to develop? An important choice

  • Developing an application is certainly not easy behind each there is a great job, which requires important knowledge. Furthermore, it’s easy to say app maybe you don’t know that this wonderful macro-world inside it has several facets that determine the functionality of each application. In fact, there are native apps, web apps and hybrid apps and you probably don’t know the differences. It is essential to understand which are the elements that characterize one and the other to make a wise choice on what could be the best application for your business.
  • The massive diffusion of the mobile has made necessary the birth of the mobile marketing, that follows completely different logics and strategies in comparison to those to which you were used when the navigation was limited only to the World Wide Web. Precisely to fulfill the new needs of mobile marketing, when you need to develop the new application for your company it is necessary that you ask yourself some simple but fundamental questions to avoid making mistakes in the approach.

Define Goals And Priorities

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  • First you need to visualize the goal of your digital strategy, not based only on your own ambitions but looking objectively at reality. First consider the availability of your resources, both economic and human, and project the result into the context of reference in relation to new media. Only then can you assess whether it is better to develop a native, hybrid or web app.
  • Your choice is crucial to get the results you have set for yourself. There is absolutely no better choice than the others. Surely native applications would be preferred for various reasons that you will read later and should be the priority when starting a strategy of this type, but sometimes there may be conditions that prevent, in the startup, the development of a native application and then it is necessary to fall back on the other solutions.

Native apps: what are they and why are they preferred?

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  • As you can easily guess from the name, the native apps, are applications that are born and are developed in the language of the device to which they are dedicated. In relation to the mobile user experience, today we can distinguish two large families of native apps: those for the Android environment and for those for the iOS environment. Each of these has its own specific programming language, which includes specific guidelines. To develop native Android apps, for example, one must use the Java or Kotlin language, while for iOS today we mainly use Swift. The ad hoc development for the operating system to which they are dedicated allows the execution of the entire code on the mobile device, which allows the maximum exploitation of the potential of the device.
  • The complete communication between device and application is fundamental to guarantee the best user experience. Interaction with all (or almost all) device features (GPS, phonebook, camera, photo album, etc.) is a notable advantage in a native application, because it allows you to implement the functionality of your application almost universally.

Also Read: Flutter vs. React Native vs. Ionic Which is better your App?

  • If you consider the user side, instead, mobile customers tend to get used to certain settings and certain layouts easily. If the application is in line with the system in which it is inserted, the user has greater ease of understanding of its operation, which translates into reduced management times and positive feelings. All this leads the user to stay longer within the application, even in the absence of an internet connection, because they can also work offline. Furthermore, because of the ad hoc structure for each operating system, the native apps consume less battery, because they are better integrated with the system and its features.

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  • You don’t have to underestimate the aspect of push notifications, another extremely important function in the perspective of mobile marketing to establish a direct connection with users. They are an immediate communication tool, which greatly facilitates the use of the system. Who wants to have in your device the native application of your company can easily find it from the store (App Store on iOS or Google Play on Android), which gives your application the maximum diffusion.

Web app: low-cost solution with many (too many) limits

  • Web apps are applications that simulate the interface of a native app but in fact are normal web-based apps, whose functionality is extremely limited. They cannot interact with the hardware and with most of the device’s native software, which is a big flaw in terms of usability and user experience.

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  • However, the biggest limitation of web apps is that they base their content entirely on the one on the web. This makes the web-based application totally uncontrollable, if we consider the dynamic content of a web page. Not being in any way controllable and manageable in its contents, Android and iOS do not allow its presence on their stores, therefore they have extremely low visibility.
  • Not everything is negative in a web-based application development, there are some positive aspects such as the market approval by-pass or writing with HTML Markup, which reduces development time and costs. However, can these positive aspects effectively counteract the downsides of web-based apps? The answer is negative, especially if you intend to start an effective and professional long-term mobile marketing project, for which you need to have the best tools at your disposal.

Hybrid app: can compromise be a good solution?

  • When it comes to compromising solutions, we must always carefully evaluate which elements are mixed together to achieve the result, especially when it comes to the web. If you are looking for a definition for a hybrid app, to better understand what it is, it could be described as “a website in a native envelope” as it is defined on the web. This means that the developers worked with the guidelines of the target environment to structure a basic framework to make the application work, exactly how it works for the development of native apps, but in reality, the contents come directly from the web.

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  • The web application is created with JavaScript or HTML5 language, it moves in a native shell but takes all the information from a web page from time to time. It is the basic principle of the functioning of social network applications, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on all, but in general of all those that need to draw on continuously updated information (home banking, social networks and online shopping, to give some examples). Although they are based on a purely web-based logic, the native envelope makes them suitable for marketing in the operating environment market.
  • Moreover, thanks to the standard HTML interface, you can replicate them and make them easily multi-platform. Precisely this aspect, which at first sight could make you think of hybrid apps as the ideal solution, is actually the most discriminating element. If you stop to think about the fact that they are neutral applications, which can work on any platform, then it is clear that the developer cannot satisfy Android and iOS users in the same way and with the same effectiveness. If you are looking for an excellent product to start a mobile marketing strategy, this is not the ideal solution to achieve your goal.

Native app or hybrid app? User Experience first!

  • From a performance standpoint, native apps are obviously at the top of all preferences. The Android and iOS guidelines are almost the opposite, too different to create an application that can excel in both platforms. The native applications have the reactivity in their DNA, it is as if they were tailored suits. Everything is designed to work best in a given environment, without adaptations. Everything is already present on the phone and ready to use, unlike hybrid apps that need to find information from online servers. This leads to the inevitable slowdown, due to the potential overload of requests, which affects the performance of the application.

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  • Also in this case, if you are in a hurry to propose your application, the hybrid solution saves you time (and budget) but at the expense of the user experience, so you may not achieve the results you are aiming for and, in addition, in the long run you may paradoxically spend more time on its development. In fact, you may find yourself dealing with user complaints, having to intervene gradually to solve the problems arising from agnostic design, which will take away more budget and time than expected.

Also Read: A complete guide to estimating the cost to build an app in Singapore

  • In conclusion, surely if you choose to start with the development of a native application you have to face a higher initial investment and lengthen the time of appearance on the market. This, however, gives you the certainty of a precise, functional and efficient tool, able to fully satisfy the expectations of the user.

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