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

Tarun Nagar
Tarun Nagar, Founder & CEO at Dev Technosys
Published on Apr 02, 2018 in Cross Platform Developers Resources
A Guide to Mobile App Development: Web vs. Native vs. Hybrid

Web and Mobile Application have become an inseparable part of the business life. Almost every business has turned towards web and mobile application development for leveraging business results like lead generation of higher brand value, increased reach, increase in business profits, greater business value and much more. Mobile and web apps have not just confined themselves to be a medium of distribution, but they emerged as an important part of the communication cycle between an enterprise and its customers. They help you shape your business strategies and learn consumer behavior while keeping a close eye on your competition. They give you the space you need to evolve as a leader and allow you to attend your customer needs while meeting your business objectives.

However, there is a larger debate brewing in the market right now: choosing between mobile apps and websites. But is it fair to compare two completely different entities? Certainly, the mobile app development market has grown tenfold. According to statistics, as of March 2017, there were 2.8 million apps available on Google Play Store alone. The mobile app revenue is said to blow up to 188.9 billion US dollars by the year 2020 via in-app adverts and app stores. But still, websites are an important and integral part of a larger strategy which is inevitable for businesses wanting to build a potent brand value. Websites have many benefits to offer, as they strengthen your brand’s customer experience. Moreover, websites are still a very important part of the eCommerce industry.

Similarly, web and mobile app development is no longer avant-garde, rather it is very much generic and common. Moving onto choosing between the different variants of app development and how to decide between web, native or Hybrid Mobile App Development. Depending on your business type and overall goals, here are three different approaches that outline the advantages and fallouts for all three.

Web apps

There is a very basic difference between websites and web apps, where websites are typically generated to provide end-to-end information, wherewas web apps cut short all that to give away a practical solution that can seamlessly run on mobile sites.

The greater advantage of web apps is that it doesn't require any platform specification and they run seamlessly on Android, iOS, Windows, etc. Web apps are not downloaded but loaded in browsers such as Firefox, Safari, Chrome etc. They don’t take up a user’s device space. They are one of the best examples that bridge the gap between native and hybrid mobile app development. Web apps are websites with native app design, they are bookmarked by a user in a browser rather than being installed on a users’ device home screen.

Web Apps are built in JavaScript, CSS, HTML 5 to run on browsers, there are templates available for mobile app development companies to work with. They are quick to build and simple to learn. They are not built to replace mobile apps, they are simply added to sweat native-app like functionality.

Another breakthrough in web apps is progressive web applications, as they are a hybrid of mobile apps and web applications. Rendering the functionalities of mobile apps to web apps, progressive web applications can now send push messages, use phone hardware such as vibration and touch gestures, etc. This technology is still limited to iOS and Windows users as it is available on Google Chrome.

Native Mobile Apps

Native apps are really popular. Apps that are built for certain platforms and use the development syntax are known as native mobile apps. Mobile Development Companies also build native mobile apps with Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for various operating systems. The most commonly used syntaxes for native app development are Swift and Objective-C for iOS and Java for Android.

Native apps are fast and responsive as they are built with platform specifications, however, they can be a costly option if someone has a limited budget. Also, you might have to go under a process of learning to build native apps, as difficult and complex languages must be aced before jumping into the development process. They are more interactive and give users a natural flow of functions due to their already set platform standards.

What most of the mobile development companies consider a fallback of native apps is that of a large monetary involved, but in the end, people end up saving a lot of time and money while getting improved results.

Moreover, the advent of modern technologies such as Xamarin and React Native have totally changed the scenario. These two technologies allow mobile app developers to create native apps for various platform (react native for Android and iOS) with a single codebase. Being both native and hybrid mobile app development technologies, they are built to serve native Android, iOS and Windows development ecosystem.

Hybrid Mobile App

Hybrid mobile app development or Cross-Platform app development is something in-between web apps and native apps. They are built on JavaScript, HTML5, CSS and run on WebView. As for mobile app development companies, they are much easier to build. Plus, it is a much cheaper development process and has access to a device internal API that allows it to access storage, camera etc.

On a further note, they are not as fast as native apps and a bit costlier than generalized web apps. Also, they are not able to cater a personalized experience to the users.

Wrapping Up

The best way to decide between native, web and Hybrid Mobile App development is through scrutinizing your business objectives. Consider the important factors such as app speed, UX, complex features and budget before jumping off to a particular mobile app development technology. Moreover, the prime objective behind building an application should be building a quicker, rapid, reliable and responsive way to communicate with your users.

Consumer behavior and a close study of modern business needs should be done, also API infrastructure should be considered. To make your app development task easy, you can also work with mobile development companies.

Furthermore, the line of differentiation between the three is becoming blurry with the advent of new technologies. Most of the brands are turning towards a hybridization of development tools and leveraging better business benefits at a lower cost. Also, approach to technology is not the right way to cut it through, in fact, you will end up defeated if you do so. Despite all, you should check for the kind of app functionality you want to do. Thus, it will help you answer the biggest question for any business: What is the right choice between Web Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Mobile App development?

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About the author
Tarun NagarFounder & CEO at Dev Technosys

Tarun Nagar is the Founder & CEO of Dev Technosys, a global ranking Mobile, and Web Development Company. With 10+ years of experience of enabling then Startups which are now global leaders with creative solutions, he is differentiated by out-of-t...

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