The Difference Between Native App vs Hybrid App Development
We now depend heavily on mobile apps, and businesses are vying with one another to offer the finest app experiences. Native apps vs hybrid apps is the biggest and most common choice when it comes to app creation, so what's the difference? We'll examine the distinctions between these two categories of apps in-depth in this blog post to assist you in selecting the one that will work best for your company.
What is a native app and hybrid app?
What does Native app mean?
A native app is a mobile application that is developed specifically for a particular platform, such as iOS or Android, using languages that are native to the platform. This means that a separate version of the app needs to be developed for each platform. For example, an app developed for iOS will be built using the Swift or Objective-C programming language, while an app developed for Android will be built using Java or Kotlin. Native apps have access to the full range of features and capabilities of the device, such as the camera, GPS, and accelerometer. They are also generally faster and more responsive than hybrid apps, since they are designed to work optimally on a particular platform.
What does Hybrid app mean?
Native app vs hybrid app: The Difference
When it comes to performance, native apps are generally considered to be faster and more responsive than hybrid apps, because they have direct access to the device's hardware and software capabilities. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, may have a slight delay in performance because they have to run through a web view before displaying on the device. However, advancements in technology have decreased the gap of performance between native and hybrid apps.
User Experience 👁️
Design and user experience are also an important consideration when deciding between native and hybrid app development. Native apps have a more polished and consistent look and feel, as they are built using the design guidelines and UI elements of the specific platform. Hybrid apps, while still able to create a good user experience, may not be as consistent in design across different platforms.
Development time and cost 🛠️
Development time and cost are another major consideration. Building a native app for each platform (iOS and Android) can be more time-consuming and expensive, whereas hybrid apps can be built once and then wrapped in a native container to run on multiple platforms, which makes the development process faster and more cost-effective.
Platform Compatibility 📱
Platform compatibility is also a key difference between native and hybrid apps. Native apps are built for specific platforms, so they can only run on that platform, whereas hybrid apps can run on multiple platforms with a single codebase. However, if you want to make sure that your app looks and feels like a native app in each platform, then you'll have to make sure that you have a developer that can tweak the codebase per platform.
Security is another important factor to consider. Native apps have access to the device's built-in security features and can take advantage of platform-specific security features, such as Touch ID and Face ID. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, rely on web-based security features, which may not be as robust as their native counterparts. However, with the advancements of security techniques for hybrid apps, this gap has been reduced as well.
Analytics and tracking 📈
Analytics and tracking are crucial for any app, and both native and hybrid apps have options for these features. However, native apps have more options for integrating platform-specific analytics and tracking tools, whereas hybrid apps may have to rely on third-party tools.
Finally, maintenance and upgrades are an ongoing process for any app, and it's important to consider how easy it is to maintain and upgrade a native app versus a hybrid app. Native apps require separate updates for each platform, which can be time-consuming, whereas hybrid apps can be updated once and then wrapped in a native container to run on multiple platforms.
In conclusion, deciding whether to go for native app or hybrid app development is a complex decision, and it depends on the specific requirements of your project. Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and it's important to weigh the factors that are most important for your business. If performance and design are a priority, native apps might be the way to go. But if you're looking to save on development time and cost, a hybrid app might be the better choice. Additionally, it's important to consider the specific platform compatibility and security needs of your app.
Native app vs hybrid app: A recap on the pros and cons
Pros of using native languages:
Optimal performance: A native app will generally perform better than a cross-platform app, as it is specifically designed to run on a particular platform.
Access to device-specific features: A native app can access all the features of a device.
Better UI/UX: A native app can take full advantage of the platform's interface guidelines and provide a more consistent and polished experience for users.
Cons of using native languages:
Longer development time: Developing separate native apps for iOS and Android will take longer than using a cross-platform framework.
Higher cost: With separate native apps, the cost of development will be higher as it need two different teams, one for iOS and one for android.
Harder maintenance: Each codebase will need to be maintained separately, and updates will need to be made twice.
Pros of using a hybrid framework:
Faster development time: You can write one codebase that runs on both iOS and Android, which can save a significant amount of time compared to developing separate native apps.
Cost-effective: Since the same codebase can be used for both iOS and Android, you can save on the cost of development.
Easier maintenance: With one codebase, it is easier to keep track of bugs, make updates, and release new features.
Cons of using a hybrid framework:
Performance: A cross-platform app may not perform as well as a native app, as it has to run through an additional layer of abstraction.
Limited access to device-specific features: A cross-platform app may not have access to all the features that a native app can access.
UI/UX inconsistencies: A cross-platform app can have slight differences in the user interface and user experience on different platforms, which can affect the overall look and feel of the app.
What programming languages are used for native and hybrid apps?
Here is a list of some popular programming languages for developing native and hybrid mobile apps:
Native App Languages:
Hybrid App Languages:
HTML/CSS (PhoneGap, Ionic)
Native app vs Hybrid app: The Differences Between Uber and Instagram
To further illustrate the differences between native and hybrid apps, let's take a look at some real-world examples. Uber and Instagram are two popular mobile apps that have become household names. Both apps have been instrumental in revolutionising the way we interact with technology and shaping the way we live our lives. However, there is a key difference in the way these two apps were built: Uber is a native app while Instagram is a hybrid app. Uber, for example, is a native app, which uses the device's GPS capabilities to provide accurate location tracking and mapping features. On the other hand, Instagram uses a hybrid app approach, allowing the app to run on both iOS and Android platforms with a single codebase.
Design is another key factor that sets these two apps apart. Uber's design is more polished and consistent across different platforms, as it is built using the design guidelines and UI elements of the specific platform. Instagram, as a hybrid app, can also create a good user experience, but the design may not be as consistent across different platforms.
Security is an important aspect of mobile app development, and both Uber and Instagram have robust security features. Uber's security relies on the device's built-in security features and can take advantage of platform-specific security features, such as Touch ID and Face ID, while Instagram, as a hybrid app, relies on web-based security features.
Native app vs Hybrid app: What should I choose?
In the end, it's important to consult with app development experts and weigh all the factors before deciding whether to go for native or hybrid app development. Both options have their own advantages and disadvantages, and what works for one business might not work for another. Careful consideration and thorough planning can help ensure that your business makes the best choice for its mobile app development needs. Find out how clients have built apps that are guaranteed to fail (and how you can avoid these failures).
At Fortnight, we build successful native and hybrid apps based on our clients needs. If you have an idea and want to know if you should go native of hybrid, get in touch now on our Contact page!