Since the inclusion of the concept of cross-platform app development, a debate has continually emerged about which one is optimal for mobile app development: hybrid app development or native app development.
Well, if we look at the research, then there has been massive growth in the mobile app market since its inception until now.
Allied Market Research says that the global mobile app market was $208.5 billion in 2022, and it will grow with a CAGR of 14.4% from 2023 to 2032.
Further, some other recent reports state that Android and iOS are the two most frequently used operating systems for smartphones. Android holds a market share of 70%, and iOS has a market share of 30%. At present, there are over 7 million apps available across iOS and Android platforms on a global level.
So, with which one you will go for your mobile app development idea, Native app development or will kill two birds with one stone by opting Hybrid mobile app development. We will help you make the difference.
Let’s start with some information on native or hybrid app development, with some advantages and disadvantages of both platforms.
Understanding Native App Development
Native app development is the development of the application for specific platforms, either iOS app development or Android app development.
Developers have to apply platform-specific languages to develop the native app. Building Android apps includes Java, Kotlin, and Python. For the iOS mobile OS, the languages include Objective-C and Swift.
Pros of Native App Development
Let us have an exhaustive view of the pros of native app development to help you understand it more clearly.
Since native apps are platform-specific, codes for native apps cherish direct access to the host’s operating system and functionalities.
Simple and direct interaction with the native features of the app helps enhance the app’s performance, mainly when offering graphics and multimedia content.
This will reduce the risk of downtime from crashes or freezes, thus enhancing the mobile app performance.
Enhanced User Interface
By seamlessly integrating with the mobile OS, native apps provide a smooth interface to the users, so that they find ease in navigating a familiar interface without bluffs and bugs.
Better Positioning on App Stores
Due to their high performance and easy-to-use features, native apps hold a better position on the App Store. It is especially visible in the gaming section, where native is still the preferred choice.
Some apps want full hardware support without any hurdles. If your app idea falls under this category and you will require the phone’s hardware elements, then you have to choose native app development.
Cons of Native App Development
Although native app development comes with ample advantages, there are a few disadvantages associated with it. Here are some of the key ones.
Time-Consuming and Costly
It’s understood that creating apps for different platforms (iOS or Android app development) can be a long or time-consuming process. The same code for an app cannot be deployed on another platform.
It takes more time to rewrite the code, as well as making more money.
Developing an app for a single platform could be like missing opportunities to play with different platforms and lacking the ability to grab asserted revenue for your efforts.
Understanding Hybrid or Cross-Platform App Development
As the name implies, the app, which can run on various operating systems, is known as a cross-platform app, and the method of development is known as cross-platform app development or Hybrid app development. It can be one approach for all destinations.
Let us have some pros and cons of cross-platform apps to better understand the section.
Pros of Hybrid App Development
Like native app development, hybrid app development too has some solid pros that pack a number of benefits to entrepreneurs, the development team, and users.
Cost-Effective and Time-saving
The “Write once, run everywhere” approach allows mobile app developers to reuse the same code on multiple platforms, which will result in less cost and also save a lot of time.
Quick and Easy Deployment
It does not take too much knowledge of different programming languages to build the cross-platform mobile app, but it requires a few masterstrokes to hit the goal.
Since it takes few alterations to develop code for another platform, it saves time as well as cost.
Wider Audience Reach
Building cross-platform apps provides access to a broader range of target audience, which could lead you to the path of revenue generation.
Cons of Hybrid App Development
With the strong benefits to businesses, hybrid app development too has some disadvantages. Here are some of them.
As compared to native apps, cross-platform apps do not integrate smoothly with their targeted platforms. It is because the ultimate aim is to run the application on two platforms using a single codebase. And it might affect performance in certain situations.
Due to the reusability of codes on various platforms, apps may fail to offer a robust user experience. Native apps are specifically designed to build with the platform, right from the user experience to everything. Hybrid, on the other hand, might have a reduced level of user experience. Although the difference is not so huge in modern times, it is what it is.
What Is the Difference Between Native and Hybrid App Development?
When studying the difference between native and hybrid app development, we have to consider some pointers. We will compare the two on the basis of those points. So, let us start:
Development time is the overall timeframe that an app development process takes. In native app development, the time frame is separated for Android and iOS platforms. If you are building an app by hiring dedicated mobile app developers for both platforms, then both teams will have their own time frame, resources, and budget. Whereas, cross-platform app development time will be less since developers can use a single code base line for both platforms.
Let us make it easy to understand Hybrid vs native app performance. Which will perform better—Android head phones with iOS or AirPods? Of course, the answer will be the later one. It is because AirPods are native to Apple devices. They are built specifically for them, which is why they will perform better with iOS devices. Similarly, if an app is built specifically for Android, then it will work better on Android.
This pointer is gradually decreasing as cross-platform app development technologies become better. In the near future, businesses will have no real difference in the user experience. However, when apps are natively built, they perform faster, leading to a better user experience.
Both native and hybrid app development demand their own technology stack expertise. For example, for native app development, Swift and Kotlin languages are specific to iOS and Android, respectively. Whereas for hybrid app development, the tech stack will be Flutter and React Native.
After understanding the technology stack, it will be easy for you to understand this pointer. For native app development, a business has to hire experts who are experts in native app development technologies. There is a wider availability of native app developers as compared to hybrid developers. But the gap is getting narrower as developers update themselves with new modern tech stacks.
Updating the application remains another key difference between native and hybrid app development. It is less complex to update cross-platform apps since the codebase line remains the same. However, to update a native app, one has to release an update separately for Android and iOS.
Without a doubt, native apps are known for keeping up with the offline concept. For example, games are offline. Or if they are online, they have full potential to run in offline mode because they are built with native concepts. However, cross-platform apps are more attached to the internet.
Who does not want to stay cost-efficient? Cross-platform app development is more feasible for startups since the overall cost incurred is lower. Hiring native developers for two platforms costs more. It is crucial for you to perform a feasible analysis of your app idea.
How do you decide between hybrid and native app development?
Now comes the main conclusion. With the above information, we are sure that you have gathered enough information associated with hybrid and native app development.
When should you choose native app development?
If app performance is your main concern and you want to take full advantage of mobile phone’s hardware, then native app development is for you. Native is always best for gaming apps if your aim is to build a game that can run offline and is optimized efficiently.
When should you choose hybrid app development?
Hybrid app development is a more cost-effective choice, as we have discussed in the above section. Also, if you are short on time, i.e., do not have enough time frame to build apps both for iOS and Android, then hybrid is the best fit for your business.
It is difficult to choose between Native & hybrid app development. Ultimately, you should choose the platform that will fulfill your specific requirements.
Native or Hybrid? We have dedicated experts for both
Want native app developers? Or do you want hybrid developers? We have an in-house team of both developers who have together built and deployed more than 600 applications. No matter what you want to target, our dedicated developers will ensure all your needs are met and deliver a flawless application.