Mobile App Development in a Modern World Native vs. Hybrid

Before getting into the finer details of native versus hybrid mobile apps, we should take note of a specific element of mobile. Cell phones are incredibly personal devices. Think for a moment, did you ever lose your mobile phone and thought, “Ah well, I’ll just go out and get another one.” Definitely not.

Should the unthinkable happen and you lose your mobile, your first reaction is to get another one so you can lock out all your apps and protect your data. Consumers’ phones are with them every second of their day, and even throughout the night. Because of this, it has to be dependable. It should be able to respond quickly to provide the answers users demand of them. No one has time for a bad user experience.


Why Native Apps Are Native

Native apps are developed inside of the mature ecosystem of the technical guidelines and user experience of its operating system. Think left-aligned header, swipes and app defined gestures and for Android, and the iOS’s centrally aligned header, etc. Native apps therefore not only perform faster, but feels “right” to the user.

The user’s in-app experience also has a look and feel similar to that of the device’s other native apps. End users are also likelier to learn to use and navigate the app quicker. Ultimately, native apps have the great benefit of easily utilising and accessing the device’s built-in capabilities. Let’s take a look at a summary of features of native apps:

  • – Developed in platform specific languages i.e. Objective-C or Swift for iOS, Java for Android etc.
  • – Developed individually for each platform
  • – Fastest and most responsive experience to users
  • – Higher investment of time, talent and resources
  • – Higher costs and development time


Hybrid Apps Offer More Complex User Experience

Hybrid apps might have the look and feel of a native app, but they’re developed beyond the application’s basic frame. This means these apps are usually restricted to controls and navigational elements.

Put simply, hybrid apps are web apps developed using JavaScript and HTML5, and then packaged in a native vessel, loading the majority of the info on the page while you navigate to the application. This is in contrast to native apps, which downloads the bulk of the content when the app is initially installed. Think Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, etc.

Let’s take a closer look at elements of a hybrid app:

  • – Developed using HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • – Developed once and deployed on multiple platforms
  • – Medium performance compared to native applications
  • – Save time and money
  • – Faster development cycle

These contrasts clearly distinguish the different elements that go into native and hybrid apps. It also makes clear how each app impacts the user experience.