The app world is redefining the way we live and the way we do business. It opens up a whole new world of limitless opportunities. Mobile apps have played a vital role in making today’s world more social, open and connected. The focus has now shifted from what’s on the web to what’s on the apps on our mobile devices.

While the app world could be extremely exciting, it could be equally confusing. The very question that is likely to bog you down in the very initial stage is which type of app development method should you go for? Well, there is no fixed answer. There are several factors that will play a key role in your decision. This article will try to provide you several pointers that will help you determine which type of app you should select.

Native Apps

Native apps are developed specifically for the platform and take complete advantage of all device features. High on performance and fast, native mobile applications can access mobile platform and features such as camera, the GPS, the accelerometer, the list of contacts for a better user experience. Native apps get complete support from their relevant app stores and users can easily find and download apps of their choice for app stores.

Native apps turn out to be feasible option for developers, who are provided the SDK and all other tools to create the app with much more ease.

Advantages of native apps

  • Fast and most responsive experience for users
  • Native apps can use device’s notification system and work offline
  • Native apps follow design guidelines and standards of each platform for an immersive experience

Disadvantages of native apps

  • Native app will not work with other devices
  • Build and maintain multiple, separate versions of your app for different platforms
  • Expensive and high on budget

Web Apps

Well, they are not apps listed in the app store, rather they are websites that look, feel and work like native applications. Web apps use JavaScript, CSS, HTML5 and the core purpose of web apps is to make content or functionality available on mobile devices and platforms.  Web app load on any mobile browser such as Safari or Chrome just like any other website. Your target audience does not have to worry about space available on their devices and can access the web app whenever the need arises. No need to install the app from the app store.

Advantages of Web Apps

  • Easy to maintain, as web apps have a common code base across multiple mobile platforms
  • No need to download app from the App Store
  • Apps can be released at any time with updates

Disadvantages of Web Apps

  • Lack of monetization in absence of app store downloads/traffic
  • Difficult to discover a Web app
  • Expensive to support web apps for multiple mobile browsers

Hybrid Apps
For all those seeking best of both worlds, you can check out the hybrid option. These apps are relatively quick to build using web technologies, such as HTML5, CSS and Javascript. In order to access core functionality of device and superior user experience some part of native coding is also used. Hybrid apps allow cross-platform development and reduce cost involved in development. The same HTML code components can be reused for several mobile operating systems and tools such as PhoneGap allow people to design and code across platforms, using HTML.

Advantages of Hybrid Apps

  • Faster to develop for different platforms
  • Reduce development costs

Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps

  • Time consuming to fix the app rather building it
  • Creating smooth and functional app for each platform can turn out to be a challenge
  • Total cost involved to get Hybrid app run on each platform often comparable to that of native apps

Which one works?
The answer depends entirely on your needs and budget. It is equally important to consider your business objectives and target audience needs. Also, think about your technical expertise or your team’s technical strength.  We couldn’t stress on the importance of hiring a great developer to realize your mobile app vision.

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