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Native App Vs. Hybrid Apps: Which Is Better and Why?

As mobile apps are becoming an integral part of our lives, it is essential to have a clear understanding of what is a native app, what do hybrid apps mean, and how they differ from each other. Whether native or hybrid apps, these need to be optimized for businesses to perform better. For that, companies should seek expert SEO consultancy for result-driven app optimization. We will also try to help you determine which platform works better for your application and why. Both native and hybrid apps have different advantages and disadvantages, so that we will be analyzing them based on specific criteria, such as performance and responsiveness.

Hybrid App (Cross-Platform)
A hybrid mobile application is an app that uses a combination of technologies to create an app and imitates the look and feel of native apps. Hybrid apps have the best of both worlds. They use web technologies for their development to be easy to build and deploy. Still, they can access native device capabilities such as GPS, camera, or contacts through locally installed plugins. So, in theory, a hybrid app has all the pros of a native app and only a few cons. But the reality is not as simple, and we’d like to shed some light on the subject.

Hybrid Apps Pros
First, we have the most significant advantage: if you need to quickly create a new mobile application that works on multiple platforms, then the hybrid approach is correct. In addition, if you need to reuse existing code, then this solution can be perfect as well.
The only downside is that your app will run inside a WebView instead of using device-specific APIs. Thankfully, many different plugins (i.e., Cordova ) are available to make it possible for us to utilize native functionality from our HTML5 app and develop truly native-like experiences for iOS and Android devices.

Another significant benefit of hybrid apps is their ability to offer users unified login across different apps; this also saves us lots of development time. Finally, sometimes the HTML5 code can be deployed directly to production without an App Store or Google Play approval.

Hybrid Apps Cons
Performance JavaScript was never intended to be used on mobile devices. Still, developers found a way around this limitation by compiling their code into bytecode and running it within a virtual machine. Even though the apps written this way are faster than their counterparts on Flash, they still need to perform many rations on the UI level, who, ch is very resource-intensive compared to not compared to development.

Hybrid apps also tend to consume more memory and battery power than native ones do. We must use WebView features for accessing device functionality or features like camera or geolocation, leading to poor performance on some platforms (e.g., iOS 6 and below). In addition, these web views don’t always support hardware acceleration.

Native App (Distribution Through Mobile Store)
A native app is a software application that uses the platform’s programming language (which varies from platform to medium), and it can access all the native device functionalities. Developing a native mobile application is a more complex approach, but the pros significantly outweigh the cons.

Native App Pros
The benefits of native app development include the following:

  • New features are added to each platform’s WebView engine with time, so you’ll be able to use them in your apps as well; for example, iOS 7 brought full 64-bit support, faster JavaScript. performance, and even a Touch ID sensor.

    In iOS, we have access to many tools like CocoaPods for dependency management, PhoneGap Build for continuous integration, and many other handy utilities.

 

  • Native apps look better and perform better than hybrid ones because they use native technologies on each platform (i.e., Cocoa UIKit on iOS, Material Design on Android, XAML on Windows Phone).
Native app cons:
Development complexity. A native mobile application requires a lot of coding; this means that, for example, to write code for the iOS platform, you can only use Objective-C, while Android apps are created with Java. Both options don’t have a fantastic learning curve nor a friendly syntax and can be challenging to master.


To make things even worse, you have to deal with many different mobile device manufacturers, different hardware configurations, and OS versions. After you resolve these issues, the only thing left is to make sure that your app works well on all the different devices that support your chosen platform.

  • Longer development process. If you compare the hybrid approach with native app development on a per-platform basis, then native apps will be the clear winners.
In Conclusion
If we want to sum up things, you can build native apps for the most popular mobile platforms (iOS and Android); however, this approach might not be worth it if your company is new to the industry. If possible, you may want to go with a hybrid app even though it means giving up access to some native functionality.
 
The article was written by: Ryan Wilson