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A Guide to Mobile App Development: Web vs. Native vs. Hybrid
18 Nov 2018

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A Guide to Mobile App Development: Web vs. Native vs. Hybrid

When you are looking into developing mobile apps, so which one is better to build a web app, native app or hybrid route?

Actually, it depends on your business objectives and goals, that might make or break the success of your mobile strategy.

The purpose of this article is to give you proper information about the three approaches of webs vs. native vs. hybrid, outlining the advantages and disadvantages from the standpoint of a company looking to develop a mobile app.

WEB VS. NATIVE VS. HYBRID

Web Apps

We all may have questions in mind that how are these web apps different from a website? So the answer is, a website provides you with a lot more information than is practical to display in a mobile site and the web app concentrate those information to improve the functionality.

Web apps can easily load in browsers, for example, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox. So that it doesn't need to be downloaded from app stores. It also doesn’t take up storage on the user’s device.

It is difficult to differentiate the web apps & hybrid apps and the website which are built with a responsive design.

Sometimes it happens that, what(native app) we downloaded from the app store, but that app may just be a review (which is written in the native language) containing the URL to the web app.

The most priority of the code is to be handled outside of the native language. To some, that satisfies the requirements of a native application, and to others, it’s just another format for a web app.

Web apps are the websites which look like native apps but instead of being installed on the home screen, the user creates a bookmark to that page.  

How Do You Build A Web App?

So it is the most important question to us that how do you build a web app? Typically, web apps are built in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 and run inside a browser like Safari, Chrome, Mozilla etc. Developers cannot use any software development kit but they can work with templates related to.

If you want to develop a web app, it can be straightforward and quick to build. However, they are often oversimplified and don’t offer the same features native mobile apps provide.

Progressive Web Apps

This web apps are regular hybrid web pages and mobile apps. Progressive web apps can leverage features which are similar to native apps.

Let's see the few functionalities of progressive web apps

-Send push messages

-Use touch gestures and your phone’s accelerometer

-Use some of the device’s hardware such as vibration

Advantages

-Easy to build

-Easy to maintain

-An Inexpensive option

-Build one app for all platforms – iOS, Android, etc. as long as it can run a browser

Disadvantages

-Needs a browser to run. Users have to take another step to type in the URL of the app which amounts to a poor user experience

-Much slower than native apps

-Web apps are less interactive and intuitive than native apps

-No icon on the mobile desktop as you would if it was downloaded from the app stores

Cannot leverage device utilities.

-iOS users can not use this type of app. Because they can only run on Google Chrome.

Native Mobile Apps

The most common app is “Native mobile apps” which are built for specific platforms using the specific Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the given operating systems. Native apps are also built Both Apple and Google provide app developers with their own development tools, interface elements, and SDK.

If you notice all around, you can see that most of the companies are interested to invest in native mobile app development because of the myriad of benefits offered in comparison to other types of apps.

Now, let’s check the main reason for interested in native mobile apps.

Advantages

-Native apps are very fast and responsive because they are built for that specific platform

-They have the best performance

-They are distributed in app stores

-They are more interactive, intuitive and run much smoother in terms of user input and output

-Native allows developers to access the full feature set of their given platform with whatever performance optimizations the native system has

-Internet connection is not required, although it depends on the functionality

-Overall better user experience. To the user, the flow is more natural as they have specific UI standards for each platform

Disadvantages

-Difficult languages to learn which means you need experienced developers

-More expensive

-Not the best option for very simple apps

As web pages can’t access device features, so many of us take this as demerits. However, it is must to keep downloading updates to improve the accessibility of mobile apps, while web apps can update itself without any involvement of the user. Additionally, with native mobile app development, a user can get direct access to all native frameworks that may not be available.

A great user experience, better performance, and leveraging the device features will help you to offer users with the most personalized experience. The combination of the native mobile app advantages will result in higher conversion rates and will ultimately boost customer loyalty.

Looking for another option?

If you go for native apps, you have to build for each platform, one for iOS and one for Android. Now our all developers are likely to work with new and latest technology. So they will definitely cooperate with you to build your app properly.

Two platforms of Native App Development is Xamarin and React Native. The originate of Xamarin is Microsoft and its most priority advantage is that it lets developers build one app that can run on many platforms in C#. With a C#-shared codebase, developers can use Xamarin tools to write native Android, iOS, and Windows apps with native user interfaces and share code across multiple platforms.

If developers want to build real, native iOS and Android apps with one codebase, then they should go for React Native which is built by Facebook. So that if you build a mobile app using Objective-C or Java, it is the same as an app built

In the mobile development process, the term “native” is defined as an ecosystem that Apple or Google chooses for developing apps only for their operating systems.

Xamarin or React Native technology is very complex and classified as either native or hybrid. Xamarin or React Native technology is very complex and could be classified as either native or hybrid. Xamarin can be considered both as a native and hybrid app development platform. Because it builds native Android, iOS, and Windows development in C# with either Visual Studio or Xamarin Studio. And it can also create hybrid apps for multiple operating systems sharing C# codebase, IDE, language, and APIs.

What is Hybrid Mobile App?

So a hybrid app is essentially a combination of a native app and a web app. It works across platforms but behaves like native apps. These types of apps are built with Javascript, HTML, and CSS and run in Webview.

What HTML5 can do, hybrid app development can do everything of it. But the most important fact is that it incorporates native app features. Possibility comes when you do deploy a wrapper to act as a bridge between platforms for accessing the native features.

Consisting of two parts in the hybrid app, back-end code built is the first part which uses HTML, CSS, and Javascript. And the second one is a native shell that is downloadable and loads the code using Webview.

Advantages

-Built on web technology HTML/ CSS/ Javascript so it’s much easier to build

-Cheaper than a native app

-One app for all platforms using technology like Cordova

-No browser needed as opposed to a web app

-Have access to the device’s internal APIs, can access storage, camera, etc.

-Faster to develop than native apps because you have a single code base

Disadvantages

-Slower than native apps

-More expensive than standard web apps because you have to work with the wrapper. 

-Less interactive than native apps

-Customization will take you away from the hybrid model in which you may as well go native

Competing with more issues with the hybrid app, it is difficult to fix the bug. The performance is also a disadvantage because hybrid apps load in webview. The user experience is often sacrificed with a hybrid app as you cannot customize the app based on the platform.

With a native app, you can customize your app but here in the hybrid app, you can’t have the options to do that. The more customization you do, the more you’re steering toward a native solution so you might as well go native. Additionally, the more customization you want within your hybrid app, the more expensive, and therefore a native solution will end up being more cost-effective.

If you do choose to customize your hybrid app, you’ll end up spending a lot more money and time.

 

Web vs. Native vs. Hybrid- Which Approach Is Best?

The decision you want to take should be based on your business objectives. Firstly confirm your business goals and then go for selecting the best app of all.

Of course, you have to check some factors before going for development.

The facts are the following:  

-How fast you need the app

-The quality of the user experience you want your app to have

-The complexity of the features you need for your app to work

-Your Budget

Obviously, you should choose a quick, responsive, and reliable approach to develop your desired app. As users are demanding more from mobile experiences, it’s important to keep up with their changing demands. Whichever app you decide to build, remember the following:

-Your API infrastructure should have reliable and easy access to your content and services

-A mobile app is not a replication of your website but an extension of your brand

-Always get an understanding of your users’ expectations and behaviors and adapt as the market demands change

So the conclusion is that

Native apps outperform other apps because they are developed against both technical and user experience guidelines. Native apps can also easily access the inbuilt capabilities of the user’s device (contacts, GPS, camera). Whenever an organization plans to build a mobile app, we usually recommend native app development.  

 

Royex Technologies is a prominent Mobile App Development Company in Dubai. The company operates globally in the international market. Since we establish a bridge between international and local technology, we provide solutions that are fully interactive and cost-effective. Our up-to-date service extends to numerous clients from UK, USA, Middle East and several countries too numerous to mention.

It's always a wise choice on the part of the developer to build their app on the native platform. So we always do our apps in native platform. 95% of our developments are in a native app. We incorporate a professional, seasoned and highly experienced team of 25+ best app developers that combine excellent skills and expertise to produce native mobile application development without compromise.

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