Native App or Hybrid App: Which is Better?

by | Jan 5, 2016 | Apps, Mobile

One of the most fundamental decisions you will make in the process of creating your company’s unique mobile app is whether it will be a native app or hybrid app. How do you and your developer decide whether native app development or hybrid app development is superior? Which is better for your business, and ultimately, your app users?

Before we get into the specific pros and cons of Native App Development and Hybrid App Development for both developers and their clients, we’ll explain the fundamental difference between the two:

Option #1 – Native App Development: Native app development means using the native programming languages of the devices used to build the app. For instance, iPhone apps use the Swift and Objective-C programming languages. For Android, the native programming language is Java.

Option #2 – Hybrid App Development: Hybrid apps are designed using web-based languages, like CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript, then packed up into a native “container” like Adobe PhoneGap.

Both of the above app development options can create apps that are downloadable for iPhone or Android, either on the App Store or Google Play. Your run of the mill developer would probably say, for them, that there are advantages and disadvantages to both native app and hybrid app development. So, which one is better for you?

5 Considerations – Which method is better for my app?

#1 – Design: In terms of interface design, most mobile interfaces can be implemented using either native or hybrid app development options. However, there is generally more flexibility in design when working with hybrid. HTML5 and CSS3 have far superior capabilities than their native mobile counterparts when it comes to creating highly dynamic content.

#2 – User Experience: When it comes to the most important consideration, the user experience, the native app development environment provides tools and design widgets for creating certain standard interfaces with native user interaction experience which are not currently available using hybrid app development tools.

Basically, it is easier to create a nice, clean, native app user experience using the native development environment, which provides a more seamless experience for your user. However, it’s more cost effective in the long run to build hybrid apps using the Android and PhoneGap technologies.

The tools within the hybrid technologies allow for faster development over the course of an entire project. If you don’t have to build the app for each native language you plan to work on, you’re saving time and money, even with a more sophisticated app built overall. With hybrid app development, you can build the app once and submit it on all platforms using PhoneGap.

#3 – Performance: Native apps provide better performance. A native app is going to be more responsive and fluid. The user will be able to easily navigate without delays. With a hybrid app, because of its complexity, a user may have to click a couple of times to get an app’s response. Scrolling may also feel a bit tougher on hybrid apps. Large animations may not behave seamlessly on hybrid apps.

#4 – Maintenance: Maintenance is generally easier on hybrid apps as long as the developer chooses a good framework. This is important, because it’s easier to maintain HTML, CSS, and JavaScript than the native app programming languages like Swift and Java. No matter what, if the code is not maintained properly, especially on a hybrid app, your app will go awry in terms of maintenance quickly. Invest in the foundation and choose a good developer for the long term.

#5 – Security: Generally speaking, native apps provide a more secure environment; however, most security issues tend to arise from other reasons. If your app requires strong security features, because of sensitive user experience or proprietary ideas, ensure that this can all be maintained in a hybrid environment without any loss of security function.

The Two Sides of the Coin – Complexity against Ease of Use

The tug of war, for both clients and their development professionals, is complexity vs. ease of use. With more complicated, cross-platform designs come some takeaways in seamlessness. This is largely the case across the development board. Maintenance and maintainability is usually easier on hybrid apps, but native apps will provide a more secure, user-friendly environment. You can discuss the perfect marriage between the two, depending on your brand’s specific needs, in order to decide whether a native or hybrid app is better for you.

 

 

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92101 CA, San Diego