Mobile App Development | 24-Aug-19

Native vs Hybrid Apps – Which is better for your idea?

Writen By Sumit Bedi

Founder & CEO @Appknit

Native vs Hybrid Apps

Do you have to make a difficult choice of developing a Native vs Hybrid App? Then check out our pros and cons of Native Vs Hybrid Apps so, that you can decide the best technology stack for mobile app development.

For the first time, only 79 % of the consumers retry a mobile application once or twice if it fails to work for the first time. Only 16% would give it more than two attempts. Therefore, poor user interface and experience are likely to discourage users from using an app again. Everyone will go for one attempt to get it right. But you almost certainly won’t get second.

“Everyone should understand and get it clear that when it comes to mobile, User Experience trumps everything.” 

There is the fact that native apps perform way better than hybrid apps. When you choose the hybrid app, you must make sure you are aware that your user’s experiences will suffer likely.

A Quick Overview of Native Vs Hybrid Apps

A smartphone application app that is developed specifically for a mobile operating system is known as the Native app. 

“App written in Java or Kotlin for Android, Swift or Objective-C for iOS are examples of native apps.” 

The application is developed with superior technical and user experience guidelines of the OS in a matured ecosystem such as app defined gestures, swipes, the centrally aligned header on iOS, left aligned header on Android, etcetera.

Native apps also have the advantage of faster performance that feels right, meaning- its interaction has a look and consistent with most of the other native apps on the mobile device. The user quickly learns how to use and navigate the app faster in a better way. Also, the advantage of the native applications includes easy access and utilization of the user’s device in-built capabilities such as camera, GPS, etcetera, and address book, etc. Only through native apps, users set reminders, play music using the device’s music app and take pictures using the device’s default app. Therefore, the in-built apps that came with the phone are native apps.

Thus, native apps are native to the user’s operating system in short and built as per the guidelines.


native vs hybrid apps quick comparison

What are Hybrid Apps?

The hybrid apps look like a native app in a basic frame of the application but not a native app fully. Hybrid apps are fueled by an organization or company’s website. 

“A hybrid app is a program that is built using HTML, JavaScript, and CSS and wrapped in a native container.” 

The work of a native container is to load maximum information on the page as soon as the user navigates the application. Instead, a native app downloads most of the content when the user first installs the app. Instagram, Twitter, mobile banking apps, and Facebook are the usual suspects here.


Time to Market for Native vs Hybrid Apps

A company decides to build a mobile application to promote their business or catch up with their competitors. Whatever the reason may be, the executives want the mobile app built out and released as soon as possible. When you need the application as quickly as possible, then certain compromised need to be made as well as important decisions. However, both native and Hybrid can get their work done, but certain matters should be understood right off the bat.

A native approach makes the most sense if a company can wait six months or more before the app launch. But if the desired time to market is less than six months, the Hybrid could be a better alternative choice because the development time and effort is very less as compared to native applications. Also, the app is built in one source code and releases across platforms.

Overall, the native app approach is chosen as the uncontested winner in both cases.


various stages in development of native and hybrid apps

How important is mobile app performance?

Even the developers of hybrid applications are forced to accept the truth that native apps win the war when it comes to performance. A native app is faster and more reliable by its very design. Native applications provide a seamless experience to the users as they navigate, the contents, structure, and visual elements are already inbuilt on their phone.

In contrast, a hybrid application has only a wrapper that is downloaded to the user’s phone that may or may not contain all the navigational elements and most of the data loads from the server. In this case, the number of server requests and the load balance requests is two key issues that may have an impact on the overall performance of the app.

More than experts, 84% of users consider performance to be an essential or very important factor for a device.


Is Performance important in Mobile Apps?


Who wouldn’t want to use a hybrid app?

Here are two tech giants that moved from Hybrid to the native app. Read on.

Do you know that Facebook went from an HTML 5 Hybrid web app to native and esteemed users rejoiced! Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that the biggest mistake period was the focus on HTML5. Also, he says that things are looking for the new iOS native app. according to him, the users are consuming twice as many feed stories since the update to the new iOS native app.

Similarly, Airbnb decided to move from Native to Hybrid app in June 2016 to have a single code base for both Android and iOS applications. In June 2018, the decision-makers evaluated the situation again; they had three codebases. Out of the 1100 mobile app screens, 800 were in Native iOS, 800 were in Native Android, and 300 were in hybrid React Native stack. The Airbnb team ended up with more engineers and multiple codebases. So, Airbnb finally decided to move away from Hybrid and make the 300 Hybrid screens again in Native tech stack. 

The Bottom Line

From the above article, there are distinct and clear pros and cons for both native and hybrid approaches. With the benefits such as one source code, speed to market, cross-compatibility, and low budget make hybrid apps very appealing. In the longer run, the company will likely spend more time tweaking and fixing the app because of user complaints about performance-driven issues and UI elements which is the biggest detraction of hybrid apps.

However, native apps have added advantages and benefits than hybrid apps. They are specific to the operating system on which the app is built. As discussed earlier GPS, camera, and address book are native apps. In today’s hacking world, security should be a topmost priority. Native apps provide a best in class security for mobile application, access to all native APIs, and a highly responsive user interface. But you should always remember:

“Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish”

Building native apps may cost higher than the hybrid apps, but you will save money and time in the long run. You will also get industry-standard app performance and best user experience. Choosing the right path is never easy. It’s a decision we make with only our hearts to guide us. In the end, if you want to bet your life on a mobile app business, you must choose native.


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