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Native vs. Hybrid: What You Should Understand Before Building Mobile Apps

by Editorial Team

August 16, 2018



The workings of commerce in this digital age has proven that mobile apps are vital to businesses. Nearly half of the world’s population, especially youths, access the internet through their mobiles. Therefore, to better connect with and be accessible to target audience and potential customers, virtual business owners have to make their businesses mobile-friendly.

Suggested Read: Optimising your business to become mobile-friendly and how it can boost your business’ success

Doing so is considered one of the top business success strategies today. A huge way to  tap into this strategy is to have mobile apps built for your business. For this, you have to hire talented software developers that will produce the best app for you.

However, in building the  Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of your mobile app, keep in mind there are different factors to consider and a variety of approach to go about it. A skilled developer should be able to select the method that best suits the needs of the client.

In this article, we’ll consider the two primary methods of developing mobile apps — the Native method and the Hybrid approach, along with how each suits what the client needs.

Native Mobile Apps

Building mobile apps the native way is the most popularly used method. Native mobile apps are developed for specific platforms and devices. They are usually written in programming languages the platforms accept. “Swift” and “Objective-C” platforms are popularly used for iOS apps while native Android apps are predominantly built on Java.

Other types of platforms for native mobile apps include “Xamarin” and “React Native.” Xamarin was created by Microsoft to enable developers to build apps that run on several C# platforms, while React Native was built by Facebook to allow programmers build native iOS and Android apps on one codebase.

Although some mega tech companies provide their app developers with custom development tools amongst other related tools, most companies appear to prefer the native mobile app development approach. The reasons behind this include:

High performance and user-interaction

Native mobile apps are usually very responsive and fast. They barely require internet connection depending on app functionality. They are widely distributed and very end user-interactive. Native mobile apps can swiftly access the inbuilt capabilities of a user’s device. So far they have the most optimal performance and are popularly accepted among users.

Direct access to full features of native frameworks

With native mobile apps, developers can access full features of their given platforms at a high-performance optimisation level. They also get direct access to all native frameworks.

On the flip side: Only experienced skilled developers can build native mobile apps due to the difficult coding languages required. They are also expensive to set up and are not the best option for simple, uncomplicated apps.

For business owners, the high cost of building a native app may be discouraging at first, but it will be to your benefit in the long run. Its offerings such as superb user-personalised experience, fantastic performance, amongst others ensure you get to save a lot of time and money. Its advantages will undoubtedly result in huge conversion rates and increase user loyalty.

Hybrid Mobile Apps

A hybrid mobile app is a combination of a web app (using HTML5) and a native app. This means it combines two parts — back-end codes and a native shell. While the back-end is built with programming languages like JavaScript and CSS, the native shell loads the code via system like Cordova or Webview. Hybrid mobile apps work across different platforms and behave similarly to native apps. Although end users can download hybrid mobile apps on their devices, the apps are practically web apps. The pros of building hybrid mobile apps include:

  • They are cheaper and easier to build than native mobile apps.
  • They are also faster to develop and upgrade since they are run on a single code base.
  • Internet browsers are rarely needed to operate hybrid mobile apps.

On the flip side:

  • Hybrid mobile apps run slower than native apps and are dependent on third-party platforms.
  • They are less user interactive, harder and very costly to customize.
  • Bugs are more difficult to fix on hybrid apps since developers have to deal with issues that arise from the two kinds of systems that were combined to build the app.

Selecting what app-building method suits an app development project should be done based on determinants such as the project objectives, budget, the complexity of the app and quality of user experience you want customers to enjoy.

Here at Charisol, we understand that the quality of mobile apps built, whether native or hybrid, is mainly dependent on the developer’s skills with coding tools available.

Our developers are seasoned and highly committed to creating topnotch products even from basic coding tools. We are a software development company that specialises in platform-specific software designs and development. Our programmers understand each approach comes with a different experience. Therefore we consult with our clients to understand their ideas and to choose the most fitting method.

Above all, we acknowledge that no matter the type of mobile app or development project we build, what matters is the finished product is responsive, fast and reliable. In doing this, we strive to keep up with the changing demands of end users. To this end, we study tech market demands to gain an understanding of users’ expectations and behaviour to adapt accordingly — all to ensure our deliverables guarantee customer loyalty and increase ROI for our clients. 

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