Mobile applications play a key role in helping businesses thrive in today’s technologically advanced modern age. However, mobile app development has to consider several important factors including the target audience and market, audience culture and preferences etc. for maximum effectiveness.
Over the years, technology advanced bringing forth different kinds of mobile apps into the app industry. Two such kinds of apps that present a tough choice for businesses today are native and hybrid mobile applications.
They are the most common apps developed for a specific platform in languages that the platform is compatible with. The development utilizes specific IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) for a particular software framework, OS or hardware platform. Native apps offer a lot of benefits due to which companies prefer investing in them more.
Complete device integration – Native apps offer rich experience to users by using the mobile device’s features to provide immersive functionalities.
- Works offline – Native apps do not require internet connectivity, and is able to provide many functionalities offline depending on the app’s nature.
- High performance – Compared to its counterparts, native apps offer superior performance and speed due to the fact that they are specifically built for a platform.
- Great UX – Native apps follow a specific UI/UX standard across mobile platforms, providing users with an appealing interface and easier navigation.
- Safe and reliable – Native apps are accessible through their respective app stores, which means they are tested and approved by the app store’s approval team. This is reassuring for users.
- Costly – Because native apps would have different codebases for different platforms, it can be quite costly to develop and maintain the apps.
The development is comparatively faster, and hybrid apps can run in native browsers. However, it also comes with a few notable cons.
- Combined development – Once a hybrid app is developed, it can be tweaked a bit to make it run on other platforms, essentially saving a lot of time and money in the process.
- Single codebase – Even though it runs on multiple platforms, a hybrid app essentially has a single codebase which can be modified. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to develop this codebase, unlike native apps.
- Works offline – Similar to native apps, hybrid apps can also function without internet connection. The tasks done while offline will be synchronized and updated once internet connection is enabled.
- Cost-effective – They are developed using web technologies with just a handful of developers. So it will have considerable flexibility though the development effort is much less than when compared to building native apps. This makes hybrid apps cost-effective if anything.
- Performance drops – Because hybrid apps are based on web technologies and mobile platforms like Cordova, Kendo etc. the platforms employing more time than the app would result in frequent performance drops, which can in turn affect user experience.
- Not so great UX – The UX granted by hybrid apps aren’t impressive or appealing. They are just sub-standard but the app can get the job done. Hybrid app UX is not appealing as that of native app’s. However, as technology is advancing constantly, it is safe to assume that hybrid app will evolve over its limitations very soon.
Choosing between the two
Now that you have a basic idea of what the two types of app are, it’d be easier to come to a decision. Modern businesses realize that user experience makes all the difference when it comes to an app’s success or failure. People expect a good experience when using mobile apps.
If the business can deliver a great user experience in its mobile app, the gesture would establish the brand’s identity, earn the trust of the audience, improve conversion rates, and potentially give the business a competitive edge. When the question is about UX, the obvious choice would be native apps. However, not all businesses can afford to spend time and resources on developing a great native app.
For instance, some enterprises may see a small window of opportunity to capitalize after getting a quick entry into the market with an app. Going for a native app in such a scenario is not a great approach, unless they are willing to rely on the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). Native apps can only offer their full functionalities once they are completely developed.
In such scenarios, hybrid apps are the best option. Hybrid apps can be developed faster, giving the brand a quicker entry into the market. In addition, the investment on hybrid apps is also lower compared to native apps.
Technological advancements also presented a different alternative for businesses who find it challenging to choose between native and hybrid apps – PWAs.
PWAs or Progressive Web Applications are expected to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of app industry owing to its advanced platform features. Like the name suggests, PWAs are essentially web apps that leverage modern web technologies to deliver an app-like experience to users. They don’t have to be downloaded on to the mobile device, and the functions are typically accessible even when offline.
Apps for multiple platforms
Businesses that require apps for multiple platforms can choose to go with cross-platform app development that comes in two types – Native cross-platform app and Hybrid HTML5 app.
Managing apps for multiple platforms can be challenging for SMBs. Hybrid apps can give them that reach but compromises UX and performance. Native app development, on the other hand, can take a lot of time and money. So ultimately, the choice comes down to the business’ priorities – Time? Budget? UX? Reach?
Regardless of what your priorities are, AoT technologies can develop apps that benefit your business while meeting your requirements. Our growth over the years attributes to our success in mobile app development – be it native, hybrid or cross-platform apps. Tell us your vision, and we will make it a reality.