Beyond Native Vs. Hybrid - Which one is the best?

Published on:
May 23, 2024

We cannot imagine a modern digital world sans mobile apps. They have become an intrinsic part of our mobile phone usage. Sophisticated smartphones are now capable of much more than mere calls and text messages. 

We cannot escape mobile apps in our everyday lives - whether for banking, communication, e-commerce, or payments. They have a massive reach & businesses can harness them to improve customer loyalty, build a brand image & gain a competitive edge. 

As per Daniel Bæk -“Technology will transform that we actively incorporate to a seamlessly integrated expertise that keeps you on toes all the time.” In this MarsDevs article, we will examine the best option to create mobile apps. So, let’s get started!

The Popularity Of Apps

Apps serve varied requirements - whether specific tasks or information interchange with users. While web apps work on Internet browsers, native apps are developed for a particular device or platform. Hybrid apps are native apps that can also work as web apps.

App development is synonymous with computers. Early apps served as data storage and processing vehicles. They were developed as per the OS platform like Windows or Linux. MacOS applications were created for Mac users. 

Developing Apps

Over the past decade, mobile applications have gained in popularity. The ubiquitous smartphone is now used widely to handle a range of tasks. It has led to apps being developed for specific mobile OS like Android or iOS. App developers deploy the same software for several platforms with different codes. 

Mobile apps differ from web apps in design, deployment, testing, and maintenance. Native apps can be downloaded and installed on your device like a smartphone & are used to create native mobile apps.

Developing Apps

Web apps tend to be clunky as they depend heavily on browsers. Their features are browser-dependent. Native apps offer users complete control over the device through their interactions. Native apps are quicker & have interactive features. The user must regularly download and install software to keep the app updated.

On the other hand, web apps are slower and not as responsive. Their reach is limited as an Internet connection is required. They are cheaper, quicker, and simpler to develop. They are easy to market and simple to maintain. 

Web applications do not offer access to device features. They sport rich design features. Native mobile apps offer more user interaction with the device operating system. These features are used in apps that help in tracking & locating the device, use gestures, carry face recognition and fingerprint scan features, and facilitate the use of cameras and microphones. 

In the words of Marissa Meyer, “The mobile phone acts as a cursor to connect the digital and physical world." 

App development has to focus on platform-specific design and guidelines to leverage performance and scaling. Native app development is more complicated and expensive. A special DevOps team has to work on building a cross-platform app. Also, Native apps can work offline.

Benefits Of Using Mobile Apps

Benefits Of Using Mobile Apps
  • Build customer loyalty.
  • Online shopping.
  • Boost brand recognition and enhance brand awareness.
  • Disseminate information.
  • Games.
  • Social media interactions.
  • Direct marketing.
  • Enhance productivity.
  • Better operational efficiency.
  • Gain an edge over competition.
  • Improved user experience.
  • Enhanced user engagement.
  • Higher revenues.

App Development Process

App Development Process

Companies use different types of apps to address their specific requirements and to reach a massive audience. Apps must be scalable and high-performing. The choice of app development process hinges on several factors:

  • Customer requirements often dictate the app development process. While native apps are often preferred for large audiences, hybrid, and web apps are also deployed.
  • The complexity of the app functionality also plays a vital role in deciding the app development process. Native apps are developed when there is a fingerprint authorization requirement. 
  • When time is of the essence to market the app, web apps are selected as they involve minimal development effort compared to native and hybrid apps.
  • The marketing strategy that will be deployed to determine app development.

Native Apps

WhatsApp is an example of a native app as it began as a platform-specific solution. Specific cloud platforms are used for native app development. There is considerable real-time information interchange and the use of voice messaging and camera features. 

This app needs end-to-end encryption. Native apps use standardized development kits like IDE for Android or iOS development tools. They include specific elements and interface components. 

Creating native apps involves using a native programming language like Objective-C, Java, Swift, or Kotlin. These apps are high-performing as they use device-specific components. Native apps are typically downloaded on the device and tend to get approval faster for publishing.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are much like native apps in that they can be downloaded and installed. However, they function like web apps. Hybrid apps combine the features of web and native apps. They are wrapped in a native container and often run on app stores as native apps. Placing the app code within a native container lends a look and feel that mimics native apps. 

CSS, HTML, and JavaScript are among the web technologies that are deployed for developing hybrid apps. Hybrid apps harness web technology features and also some of the advantages of native device functionalities. 

However, hybrid apps follow a multi-platform development approach. Separate coding is not required. The apps are viewed in the web browser. The cost of development and maintenance of hybrid apps is relatively lower. 

Instagram and Evernote are examples of hybrid apps. It stores the app API with the data thereby having the ability to access data sans Internet connectivity. Hybrid apps do not need separate codes for Android and iOS devices. 

They are placed in a native container to be accessible through web browsers. Hybrid apps are more cost-efficient as they facilitate web-based access and have a single codebase. The costs of development, maintenance, and infrastructure are lesser. Native plugins are harnessed for software and hardware management.

Native Apps Vs Hybrid Apps

Native Apps Vs Hybrid Apps
  • Native apps involve separate development for every platform. Hybrid apps involve developing a codebase that works on several operating systems.
  • Native apps apply development and design guidelines for individual platforms and are performing. On the other hand, hybrid apps might have speed lags as they are enclosed in native containers. They are dependable. 
  • Native app development involves significant expenditure. Creating native apps for individual platforms encompasses separate infrastructure for each application. Hybrid apps use a single framework as one codebase works across several platforms.
  • Native apps use Android Kotlin, Java, Objective C, and iOS Swift. Hybrid apps use PhoneGap and Ionic frameworks and deploy scripts in CSS, HTML, and JavaScript.

Final Words

According to Matt Galligan -“In my opinion, the future of mobile is the future of everything.”E-commerce apps are widely used. They became popular during the pandemic due to lockdowns and social distancing. Mobile e-commerce apps provide customers the ease of shopping through their mobile phones - be it for groceries, clothes, or services. Online shopping is here to stay! Develop niche mobile apps that can set your business apart. We offer technical expertise in developing mobile apps to suit your business requirements. Do you have more questions? MarsDevs can answer! Reach out to us & we are happy to help you out.FAQ 

  1. How are mobile apps different from web apps?

Web apps work off a browser & native mobile apps are designed for a particular device, usually a smartphone.

  1. What are the popularly used mobile apps?

Some of the oft-used mobile apps include payment apps, social media apps, gaming apps, entertainment apps, travel booking apps, and food takeaway apps. 

  1. What are the advantages of apps for businesses?

Businesses can harness mobile apps to expand their customer base, build brand loyalty, offer better user experience, and gain an edge over competitors

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