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Native vs. Hybrid Apps

Tips From Professional Mobile Developers

Though smartphones have only been around for about a decade, it is impossible to imagine life without them. Apps have become our newspapers, entertainment, and social lives. Mobile apps are expected to be a nearly $200 billion USD industry by 2020. The design and functionality of apps are critical for gaining popularity, which is why deciding whether to design a native or hybrid app is a crucial step in the app development process.

Casual smartphone users may be unfamiliar with the difference between the two, though the ease of use can vary depending on which type of app it is. Native applications are developed to perform a specific task for use on a specific platform. Hybrid apps are web-based; therefore,  most functionalities of a hybrid app require an internet connection. 

Benefits of Hybrid Apps

One advantage of hybrid apps is that the user experience is consistent across platforms. Hybrid apps require significantly less work pre-launch because they work universally with one set of code. App development is Much Faster with Hybrid Apps so that they can be released in a matter of weeks or months. If time is a factor, or budget is limited, hybrid apps may be the way to go.

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are hybrid apps. The user navigates through the app, and information is loaded based on the selections of the user. Applications such as social media maintain higher functionality as hybrid apps – otherwise, they would need to download more information than a smartphone can store continuously.

Sometimes, this can hinder ease of use – if the server experiences an overload from too many simultaneous requests, the app is rendered temporarily nonfunctional. Most people Abandon a Mobile App if it fails to load upon first use. 

Benefits of Native Apps

Developing a hybrid app may be more convenient for programmers and designers, but it could  result in user dissatisfaction. Because Native Apps are Designed Individually for Android, iOS, or Windows, app developers can code the style of the phone into the app, so  swiping, clicking, and other features have platform-specific integrations, making the experience feel more natural for the user.

Native apps are more secure, faster, and more reliable. The information can load instantly regardless of the internet speed available. Most of the content on a native app is downloaded before the first use of the app, allowing it to work in any condition. 

Choosing a native app could be more beneficial to startup companies because they are easily found in app stores, like Apple’s App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android – as long as startups have the development skills, time, and budget for the upfront development requirements.

There is no universally better option for Hybrid vs. Native Apps. The choice depends on your team’s availability of resources, and which functions are most important for the specific app’s use-ability and purpose.

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