Hybrid vs Native Apps

It is indeed impossible to imagine a firm nowadays that does not communicate with its customers via a mobile application. Smartphones have become an essential component of our everyday life, even replacing PCs for a lot of individuals. As a result, app development has become one of the main challenges of businesses in the modern world.
As we shift into a technologically advanced society, a lot of businesses adopting mobile apps face a similar dilemma: which one to choose? Should they build a native app or a hybrid app? Keeping in view, which one depending on its features, would be ideal for the specific organization. There are several factors that determine which one would be the perfect option for the company including the goal of developing the software, the budget assigned to the app’s development, the speed at which the app is being developed, and so forth.
So if you wonder what is the main difference between Hybrid vs Native apps, this article will be extremely beneficial for you. To help you determine which is more appropriate for your organization, let’s look at the distinctions between native, and hybrid applications, and also the benefits and drawbacks of each of them. So let’s get started in order to find out more.

The Major Differences between Hybrid and Native Apps

When your company wants to develop an app you will definitely have to choose between application software you will be going to use: Hybrid or a Native one. To make the best decision, you must first comprehend the distinctions between each alternative and ensure that you are on the correct track. Native, mobile web, and hybrid apps each have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and your ultimate choice will be almost completely determined by the objectives of your firm.
While explaining What is Native it should definitely be mentioned that Native apps are mobile apps that are particularly created for a certain operating system, such as iOS or Android. This is the first thing that comes to mind whenever we think about smartphone apps. They are installed on a phone from Google Play or Apple’s App Store. Native applications differ from mobile, web, or hybrid apps in that they have been designed for individual devices. Android apps, for example, are built-in Java, whereas iPhone applications are developed in Objective-C or Swift.
A hybrid app, on the other hand, is software that includes elements of both native and web apps, with the application written in web technology languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and then condensed into a native app. As a consequence, it behaves similarly to a web app and is downloaded on a phone in the same way that a native app is.
Besides, while talking about what is Hybrid app, another noticeable thing is that the developers work with a single piece of basic code that supports both systems. As a result, the primary distinction between these two types of apps is the development process itself. And the best part is that in case the apps are properly designed, customers are unlikely to notice the differences between them.

Pros and Cons of Hybrid vs Native Apps

As we have already mentioned earlier, both the hybrid and native approaches to mobile application development offer advantages as well as disadvantages that businesses need to consider when determining how to join the mobile industry. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of Hybrid and Native apps down below.

Pros of Native Apps

User Experience

The majority of people are indifferent to the technology that drives the different programs they use every day. All they are concerned about is the user experience and how flexible and comfortable the specific app is for them. On the other hand, having a functional app is no longer sufficient in today’s world. The software should look and act consistently with the platform, as well as support some of the basic platform functionality.
Although hybrid applications might appear and act like native apps, the user experience they provide is not as sophisticated as that native apps have. This is why User experience is considered to be one of the major advantages of Native Apps these days. However, hybrid technologies, such as React Native, Xamarin, Ionic, NativeScript, or PhoneGap, are continually improving, making it easier to create a native-like experience for their users.

Software Performance

Native apps outperform web applications, particularly when heavy visuals or complex calculations are involved. Native apps are created employing platform-specific programming languages, which enable programmers to properly optimize them for performance. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, put an extra layer between the target operating system and the source code, leading sometimes to a reduction in performance.

Cons of Native Apps

Cost

A larger budget is necessary if you wish to construct your app for several platforms (for example, iPhones or Android), which also includes any ongoing upgrades necessary to keep the native application updated every single time. This means that the total price of developing and maintaining a native app is significantly greater than in case of the hybrid apps. This is because of the fact that different variations of the same program should exist. Even a significant amount of money is required in order to keep the software running and for the application to operate properly in general. Besides, Every platform would necessitate more programmers to construct a codebase and keep code maintenance. However, it should also be noted that native apps are more cost-efficient in the long term period.

Developing Process

Because of the fact that different programmers are required for every platform, creating a native app is considered to be a tough process. Furthermore, building the native apps includes challenging things in the process of creating the app. On top of that, in each feature update, a significant amount of work is spent on several fabrications for various platforms. When compared to its rivals, including the hybrid apps, native applications may take a substantial amount of time to be built. Native application developers must devote a great deal of effort in order to write code for individual operating systems. This is why the general development process of creating native apps is so complicated.

Pros of Hybrid Apps

The Development and Maintenance

Hybrid applications have the benefit of being cheaper and convenient to create compared to native apps. They also need less effort when it comes to app maintenance. On the other hand, the performance of the hybrid software application will be directly proportional to the speed of the customer’s browser. Furthermore, considering the fact that applications have a single code base, they are less expensive to be built because they take less time and also do not need as many developers’ availability as in the case of native applications.

High Speed

There is no doubt about speed in terms of development of the hybrid applications. In practice, hybrid applications are far quicker than mobile web apps when compared to other mobile development alternatives. Because they do not have to depend on the network connectivity as much as the native apps, hybrid apps are intended to run rapidly on device screens even though there might be a large number of users. 

Time-efficient

High speed also means that Hybrid apps can speed up the development process since the majority of the feature can be constructed using existing languages such as HTML. This means it is easy to develop and test on numerous platforms. For example, An iOS software that requires three months to be built may be prepared in just a couple of weeks if you use a hybrid app instead of the native app, allowing you to launch the product more quickly.

Cons of Hybrid Apps

Limited Features

If your app development requires extensive functionalities and performance, building a hybrid app is not the appropriate alternative for you. Certain hybrid frameworks, such as PhoneGap, will not support all native functionalities. If your application contains a large number of complicated feature sets, hybrid app development is not the best option.

Less Quality in 3D and Graphics

3D and HD games, apps with high-quality visuals, as well as other performance-based applications might not function effectively when it comes to creating a hybrid app. If you want a 3D aspect or perfect graphic elements for your app, a native app is probably the best option in this case since hybrid apps lack eye-catching visuals and 3D capabilities. If you want 3D functionality for a hybrid app, programmers will have to make a great deal of effort in order to close this gap in terms of design quality.

Which one Would be More Appropriate For Your Business?

As we have already mentioned, both technologies have their own unique benefits as well as downsides. While you decide to pick a native app to construct the greatest user experience and efficiency inside the application, along with cutting-edge features, the cost might be prohibitively expensive. On the other hand, with the Hybrid technologies, you will be able to start with minimal investment and still construct a decent app; however, consider the fact that the expenses may rise as the app becomes more and more complicated gradually.
Finally, in case you have only about a few months in order to build the application, it is advised that you employ a native app. This is due to the fact that you’d better devote all of your attention and resources to producing a single, high-quality experience for a single user. If you don’t succeed, you’ll have to iterate rapidly. If you want to test the usability of your software in a small private market, it might be worth building it as a native version.
Overall, there is no ideal solution for every type of company. It will all rely on the particular project’s needs and your expectations from the application. So, you are recommended to be very honest and specific about your app’s objectives since they may work towards developing a far more appropriate method.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which one is better hybrid or native app?

Both technologies have distinct advantages and disadvantages. There is no perfect answer for every business. It all depends on the demands of the project and your expectations from the app. However, if you choose a native app, you will be able to build the best user experience and effectiveness inside the program, as well as cutting-edge features, but the cost may be incredibly expensive.

What is the difference between hybrid and native apps?

Native applications are mobile apps that are designed specifically for a certain operating system, such as iOS or Android. Native applications are separate from mobile, web, or hybrid apps in that they are intended for specific devices. A hybrid app, on the other hand, is software that combines components of both native and web apps, with the program created in web technology languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What are the Native and hybrid apps with examples?

A native app is one that is created particularly for one system. It is available for download from an application store. Whatsapp and Facebook are the most common examples. On the other hand, Hybrid applications are developed to be utilized on numerous platforms, reducing your time and money on generating several versions. The most popular examples of Hybrid apps are Gmail and Instagram.

Written by Keti Getiashvili

Based on an interview with Nika Jorjoliani

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