Hybrid App & Native App - Differentiated

Vipin Jain
Vipin Jain, Co-Founder & CEO at Konstant Infosolutions
Published on Jul 04, 2018 in App Development
Hybrid App & Native App - Differentiated

Companies undergo lots of misconceptions about the prevalent best practices and an ever-growing number of mobile applications. In such a case venturing into mobile app development without truly understanding the difference between each approach can be very expensive.

What factor attracts you most when you make use of your smartphone? Is it the speed with which search results get displayed, the clarity of graphics or implementation of latest technologies? There is lot more that intrigues the users when it comes to smartphone applications. Native and Hybrid applications seem like buzzwords for naïve users who just want their mobiles to work at jet fast speed, play games, shop or work and experience a great UI/UX. Some of the key features, trends, and innovations that drive mobile application development in current scenario are:

  • Simplicity in design
  • Security matters
  • Compliance with GDPR standards
  • Ongoing evolution
  • Applied data science and machine learning
  • Integration of augmented reality
  • Cross-platform coverage
  • Performance is the key
  • Interoperability with modern connectivity standards
  • Integration with bigger ecosystems
  • Focus on business-driven solutions

Almost every company needs to have their independent mobile application. Popular choices that they consider are:

  • Hybrid Mobile Apps – Hybrid mobile applications are a combination of Native and HTML5. They essentially make it possible to embed HTML5 inside a thin Native container and combine the functionality of both platforms.

    Ionic, React Native, Apache Cordova, PhoneGap, Xamarin, and Angular JS, Sencha, Monocross, Native Script, Rho Mobile Suite, CodeName One, Appcelerator Titanium etc. are used across the industry to develop cross-platform compatible mobile applications that are capable of accessing a phone's hardware.

  • Dedicated Web Apps – A website that can operate as a mobile application on a mobile device. These are tailored to a specific platform and are not capable of working on other smartphones or featured phones.
  • Generic Mobile Apps - A mobile website that is capable of working on all mobile phones.

Here is a ready to hand comparison chart of the two approaches:

What are Native Mobile Applications?

A mobile application that is coded in a specific programming language like Objective C, Swift for iOS and Java for Android Operating Systems is called as a native mobile app. These are highly performant, reliable and are capable of accessing device features like camera, phone book, messages, accelerometer, GPS, Maps etc. some apps can even be used offline or in low battery mode. These apps are often very expensive to develop as they are tied to one operating system and thus the company has to create duplicate versions of apps for other operating systems. Video games are the best example of native mobile applications.

What are Hybrid Mobile Applications?

Hybrid app development includes optimizing JavaScript, pushing CSS to create beautiful layouts, and writing compliant HTML code that works on any platform – all this and more when done on more than one platform, or when a single mobile application is capable of running on different platforms then it is known as Hybrid Mobile App. Here the devil is in details, instead of writing plugins for tasks like image processing.

How Native and Hybrid Mobile Applications are Stored?

Native mobile applications are stored on the device while HTML5 applications are stored on the server. Then where exactly are the Hybrid applications stored? These can be implemented in two ways:

On Local: HTML and JavaScript code can be packaged inside the binary mobile application in the same way as a native mobile application is stored. REST API’s are used to move data back and forth between cloud and devices.

On Server: The full application can be implemented from server making use of the container as a thin shell over the UIWebview.

Deciding what you want is easy but what path should be taken to achieve that turns out to be extremely difficult. Which platform to choose for next mobile app – Native or hybrid, turns out to be a nightmare in case of inaccurate and incomplete information?

Every situation and level of difficulty is different; therefore there is no single correct answer that applies to every situation. There are a number of factors that are considered by Indian App Developers in order to decide the type of mobile application:

  • What is the objective of the application?
  • What is the deadline for submission?
  • When is the app required?
  • What skills do in-house developers have?
  • What is the budget for the app?
  • What features are required in the mobile app?

Like, what if you want to check your weight suddenly while you are on road? Or what if you want to track how much cardio and weight training is required in one day according to BMI? Or if you are trying to check if a diet is correct for that particular month of pregnancy? Or if you want to check balance in your bank account Or you need an app that lets salespeople access data while on road? Or if you just need dashboards available on your executive’s tablets?

All these are different scenarios which need us to decide which platform must be used to create the mobile app. Here is the comparison chart that illustrates the difference between Native and Hybrid Mobile Applications in short:

Hybrid App & Native App - Differentiated

The Verdict

When we have a new mobile operating system version every six months, mobile app development is a moving target. There are many different scenarios that can be thought off while creating mobile applications, with pros and cons of each approach. While developing native apps is very expensive, they provide the extraordinary user experience. Mobile web applications, created in HTML5 are also capable of accessing all features on the device. On the other hand, a business application is developed in hybrid platform most of the time, e.g. – E-commerce applications and banking applications. When a high performance is required then developers prefer to make use of native mobile app development platform e.g. – game. Maintenance costs for native mobile applications are very high.

With an increasing number of people getting access to a smartphone, there are equal chances that your app can be the next to be featured in the app store. Grab the opportunity.

Find more top mobile app development companies worldwide on AppFutura.

About the author
Vipin JainCo-Founder & CEO at Konstant Infosolutions

Vipin Jain is the Co-Founder and the CEO of Konstant Infosolutions, a mobile app development company based out in India and the USA. His vision and decisions have molded the operations, plans, human resources, marketing, public relations and finances...

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