hybrid vs native app development pros cons banner
Mobile apps can be broadly categorized into native, hybrid and web apps. It goes without saying that native application fully capitalizes all the features of a mobile device and its operating system. However, a web app lets you reach out to your target audience across platforms, reducing development time and cost. Hybrid application development offers a combination of both the native and HTML 5.

Native vs Hybrid Apps

There are several articles already on the net discussing the pros and cons of each development approach. A native app is typically developed for a specific operating system such as Objective-C or Swift for iOS vs. Java for Android. It goes without saying that the app is developed to leverage the features of operating system, follows guidelines of OS and best practices for optimum performance.

The user interaction with app is consistent with other native apps on the device which helps user navigate the app faster. Native apps leverage built-in capabilities of the user’s device such as GPS, address book, camera and so on.

Hybrid applications are quintessentially websites packed into a native wrapper. Hybrid apps are primarily built using HTML5 and Javascript that is wrapped inside a native container that provides access to native platform features. To put it in simple words, hybrid applications use a common code base to deploy native-like apps to a wide range of platforms.

Quick Overview of Pros and Cons

Advantages

  • Developer can use existing web knowledge
  • One code base for multiple platforms
  • Less development time and cost
  • Effectively design for various screen types such as tablets using responsive web design
  • Access to device and operating system features
  • Advanced offline capabilities

Drawbacks

  • Performance issues for apps  requiring complex native functionality
  • Does not support all operating system features
  • Risk of rejection at app store for lack of native feel

Well, one of the biggest advantages of selecting hybrid approach is that your web skills can be used. Therefore if you have experience in web development it won’t need extraordinary efforts for your developers to create a hybrid app.

If you are pressed for time hybrid could turn out to be a feasible option because the app can be developed in one source code and released across different platforms, and development time is reasonably less as compared to that of native applications.

Hybrid App: Tradeoff

While the hybrid apps are easy to build; take less time to market, and maintain one code base, the flipside of hybrid application development is the user experience. A lot is at stake when it comes to user experience. The two most popular platforms Android and iOS are vastly different and there is simply no way to build a mobile app that can cater to users of both operating systems.

After all, their styles and design guidelines are entirely different, making it difficult to create a hybrid app with superior user experience.

Is Hybrid for you?

Ultimately everything boils down to your business objectives and goals. It is important to analyze your target audience and their preferences. Based on your analysis, you need to decide whether your app needs to be on both Android and iOS. There are advantages to be present on both platforms, but do you really want your apps on both platforms immediately?

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written by for Mobile section(s).