Hybrid vs Native Mobile Application – Decide in 60 Seconds.

native vs hybrid app development

Native vs Hybrid App Development 

As the tech world rush from one milestone to the other, keeping up with the latest trends is an impeccable trait for anyone interested in technology and the world around it.  All of us strive hard to keep up with what’s hot in the tech world and now it’s the era of mobile apps. We all belong to the bunch of people who bog their mobile devices down with apps that help you do many things that make your life easier. And if you are a person who digs deeper than the surface of the mobile application news, you might have bumped into hybrid mobile applications. If that term ever got you wondering about what hybrid applications don’t worry, we have got you covered. Here we give you a clear idea about native vs hybrid app development.

Why do we need Hybrid Mobile Applications?

Native vs hybrid app development, shall we have some discussions on this? Hybrid apps are mobile applications that are written using web app development technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript instead of the native languages of each mobile platform that the app is intended for.
For example, for iOS, the native language is Objective-C or Swift; for Android, it’s Java; and for Windows Phone, it’s C#. Unlike the case of a native app, an app developer does not make use of any of these languages for a hybrid mobile app development even if the app is developed for those specific platforms.

Hybrid mobile applications are basically web applications wrapped in a native cover. The usability of these apps spans across platforms as it does not require the developer to tailor-make it for each platform he intends to run it on. This type of applications makes use of the Web View facility of a mobile platform. The Web View is essentially a mobile browser with less or no interface and it is programmed to run full screen all the time. So when a hybrid mobile application is launched, it opens up an interface window redesigned and developed to run like a native application.

To an untrained eye, it is no different from the normal native applications that we download from the Play Store, App Store or the Windows Store. A well-written hybrid app will feel and function just like a native application. Hybrid mobile applications are available in the respective stores of each mobile platform which makes it easier for us to download them. They will also leave an icon in our app list which makes accessing the app an easy affair as opposed to using the address bar of a mobile browser to type in the address to a web application.

As the hybrid apps target the WebView instead of the Web Browser, they will have access to all the system APIs like Camera, Audio, GPS, Network etc. This enables the application to put all the hardware capabilities of the mobile device to effective use for a fluidic experience.

Why you Prefer Hybrid Mobile Applications?

In order to answer this question, we require a certain degree of contrast. Why you prefer hybrid development in native vs hybrid app development. In order to attain the same, let us see what the positive characteristics of a hybrid mobile application are when compared to native or web mobile applications.

Difference between Native vs Hybrid App Development

1. Hybrid applications use a single source code based on web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript which gives it the flexibility to operate across various mobile device platforms like iOS, Android, Windows Phone or BlackBerry OS. On the other hand, native applications are supposed to be made specifically for a certain OS because of the fact that it uses the native development language as the base for its development. This reduces their flexibility and restricts their usage to the specific operating systems that they are made for.

2. Hybrid applications take less time to deploy as the developers are not required to fiddle with various operating systems and their native languages while the native applications take a lot of time to launch on all platforms there are.

3. As a corresponding trait to the time savings, hybrid mobile applications also are cheaper to develop due to the same reasons. As they use a single basic framework instead of separate tailor-made structures, the process can be highly cost-effective.

4. Updates to the hybrid apps can be done swiftly as it is required to roll out an update for the whole base of the applications with some minor adjustments for each OS instead of updating each version of the application.

Hybrid vs Web Applications

1. Hybrid applications are able to access all the system APIs which include a camera, storage, network etc all of which are out of reach for most web applications. This is due to the fact that a hybrid mobile application utilizes the WebView built into a mobile OS while the web application utilizes the web browser.

2. Hybrid apps can be easily downloaded from the app store while the user is required to type in the address to a web app in the address bar of the web browser every time he/she wants to access it. This enhances the ability of a hybrid mobile app to stay in the reach of a user more effectively.

3. Hybrid mobile apps will have an app icon that will remain the app list so it is easier to access the app as and when we need it.

So these are what we have laid out and now let’s figure out what’s what. So hybrid mobile applications are better than native apps when we think over native vs hybrid app development in some ways and better than web apps in some others. But there are some flies in the ointment. We’ll discuss that in a later section. Let us now concentrate on the building of these apps.

Hybrid Mobile App Development

The flexibility and cost-effective nature of the hybrid apps might entice developers with less capital or time to create hybrid apps as it is possible to reach every mobile platform there is with just one single application. Get more idea on hybrid mobile app development out of native vs hybrid app development. So how does hybrid mobile app development work?

If we compare it to the development procedure of a native application, hybrid mobile app development is faster and cost-effective. It uses pre-established software like Apache Cordova and Appcelerator Titanium which have built-in plug-ins that interact with the native APIs that control several hardware attributes of the mobile device the app is intended to work on. This enables the app to transcend beyond the capabilities of a normal web application.

Even though hybrid mobile application development makes use of  HTML, CSS, and JavaScript just like web application development, the usage of middleware like Cordova makes it more at home in the operating system it works on. Apache Cordova also offers an Apache Cordova Plugins Registry that we can utilize to find the plugins that it requires to connect to a specific API.

The framework of the development procedure is provided by software like an Ionic framework which is a software development kit built on top of Cordova and Angular JS. Angular JS is an open-source javascript- based software development framework that complements the cross-platform properties of Apache Cordova. These are some examples of the frameworks that we can utilize to aid a hybrid mobile application development procedure to dish out an app that works well on any mobile platform. Ionic enables developers to capitalize Cordova to develop cross-platform hybrid mobile applications.

Why Hybrid Mobile Application Development the best choice?

With all the pros of hybrid apps lined up and glorified, it might look like the best choice to go forward with, but wait! As I mentioned earlier, there are some chinks in its armor that need a second look. Here is a list of them all.

  • Hybrid mobile applications are slower than native applications due to the usage of WebView.
  • Web connectivity is required at all times to access a hybrid mobile application as the application loads all data from the server every time the application is opened. In contrast, a native application downloads this data to the mobile device for accessing in a later point of time regardless of the device’s internet speed or connectivity.
  • As it depends on a middleware, updates to the same are required to fix some bugs.
  • A hybrid mobile application is more prone to have bugs in it.
  • If the performance of the application is your top priority, the hybrid application route may seem a bit limiting. Generally, for applications like games for which fluidic performance is of prime importance, the native application route is the one to take as the responsiveness of a hybrid application can be comparatively a bit slower.
  • There are other methods like the Javascript-based NativeScript that can be utilized to produce better performing apps with the qualities of a hybrid application. But these require a deeper understanding of native platforms as it does not rely on HTML to build UIs.

All these are the shortcomings of hybrid mobile application development that restrict its usage in certain scenarios. A hybrid mobile app makes sense when

  • There is limited budget or time for the development of the application. Remember, it took Instagram 2 years to develop an Android application.
  • If the application is not a performance oriented one then the hybrid method is not the one to go for.
  • If the intention is to test the viability of the app, a hybrid mobile application makes a lot of sense. After publishing the hybrid app and if it receives some positive feedback, a native app can be developed based on that for enhanced performance.

Finally, with all the pros and cons listed, there are certain decisions to make. Is the hybrid mobile app development a viable way of creating an app for your business? Or should we stick with native app development? It is still an unanswerable question that can only be cracked by putting personal preferences into the equation. As discussed earlier, if performance is of prime importance, native apps trump the hybrid apps big time. But if low development time and cost-effectiveness are what you want, then which you will choose from hybrid vs native mobile app development? Of course, hybrid mobile applications are the best choice. Now, if there comes a question in front of you native vs hybrid app development you can opt the correct one.

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Hybrid vs Native Mobile Application - Decide in 60 Seconds.
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Hybrid vs Native Mobile Application - Decide in 60 Seconds.
Have a quick overview on hybrid vs native mobile application development
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Dotz Web Technologies
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  1. […] feel and cross-platform usability to co-exist in hybrid apps. But the sluggish response of Ionic hybrid apps was a setback. NativeScript claims to get rid of that while keeping the favorable traits. Has the […]

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