Application development is becoming a high paying job. As the world enters the mobile-first era, brands are adopting mobile apps as a new point of interaction. Also, the growth of smartphone and mobile commerce is forcing businesses and organizations with a dream of remaining competitive to develop mobile apps for their brands.

The target audience can install this app on their devices and access business services with ease. Due to this, mobile application development is in high demand.  

As an entrepreneur planning to build a mobile app for your business, you need to understand its purpose, the processes, and ways to make its development effective. A poor app development leads to bad user experience resulting in loss of sales. The opposite is also true. A well-designed app – which prioritizes user experience and satisfaction – lead to more sales. 

However, choosing the type of mobile app to build is a dilemma many people encounter in this journey. The question is whether to go for a native app or a hybrid app.

This article offers detailed information about the two types of apps and their differences to help you make the right decisions.

As the word suggests, a native app is a program/app designed for a particular operating system. The developers code them using a specific language only compatible with that operating system. For instance, Java is the language of Native Android apps, while iOS apps use Objective-C. As such, these apps have a real interaction with other features in the operating system such as the camera, microphone, contact list, and so on.

Hybrid App

Unlike native apps, a hybrid app is a program built using web development languages such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript and then wrapped in a native app. In simple words, it is an app that web and native applications. It is a transformation of the web application into the native application. This means that a web application can run on a mobile device and use its natural features such as camera and GPS. Hence, it is not designed for a specific operating system.

Distinctive differences between Native apps and Hybrid apps

Apart from their development process, the two types of apps have several variations. Here are some of them:

  • User experience

When selecting the type of application to build, one of the aspects you need to consider is the user experience. How the users feel when using your app will define its success or failure. 

The native app leads to offering the best user experience. These apps are made for a specific platform. Each device has compatible apps that fit with other features in it, such as screen size, RAM, processors, and different hardware capabilities. 

For hybrid apps, it is hard to create a superb user experience for all operating systems. No single language is compatible with all platforms. Hence, native apps are the best option when customer experience is a priority.

  • The speed of development and cost

Development of a mobile app takes time. When considering this aspect, hybrid apps are more accessible to develop than native ones. This app uses a single code, which means it is easy to write them. 

On the contrary, native apps require you to develop an app for each platform. The developer uses a separate code for each platform or device.  So, you need to invest more time and cost to build them.  Hence, a hybrid app is a good idea when cost minimization and development speed are your decision shapers.

  • Application loading time

The loading time of your mobile app is a crucial element. Like in the website world, the loading speed is a determiner of your user experience. It defines the length of the user on your app. Do to their specification and compatibility with the device operating system. Native apps load faster compared with hybrid ones. For the hybrid apps, their speed relies on your (user) browser speed. Hence, no time they can run at a better or same speed with the native.

  • Adding new features on the app

Application development is not static. From time to time, you may need to add new features on your mobile app. Due to the use of a single base coding format, it is easy for you to add new features to your hybrid app for multiple versions or operating system. 

However, for the native app, it is challenging as you must reproduce the feature’s version for each platform. So, if you want to add billing feature on your native app, you must code a version for iPhone and another for Android phones. 

  • Performance

The mobile app performance is another essential element to consider. How the user interacts and feels when using an app determines their actions on your request. A native app has a better performance than the hybrid. Since the app design complies with the software and hardware features of the device, the users have ease of navigation. 

Also, they feel they are using the right thing. For a hybrid app, its performance relies on the original web application and browser. Hence, it cannot offer a similar feeling or performance with the native ones. 

  • Wrapping up

In a word, native and hybrid apps differ in several aspects. The two types have their good and bad sides. Hence, you can develop an app based on your priorities and purpose. Some of the elements to consider in the process are cost, speed, user experience, and performance.

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