The average software investor may find it challenging to tell the difference between a native and a hybrid app without a background in technology.
After all, both types of apps can be found in app stores, and they can also be installed on devices in the same manner. On the surface, native and hybrid may even look the same.
But scratch beneath the surface, and you’ll notice some significant differences. In addition, you’ll realize that both types of apps carry their sets of advantages and disadvantages.
Whether your startup, enterprise, or large organization needs a native or hybrid app depends on your goals and budget.
Fortunately, mobile app development teams like Guarana Technologies are experts in the programming languages and technologies required to develop native or hybrid apps.
In addition, they can leverage their expertise to pick the right kind of technology for your needs.
What is the Difference Between Native and Hybrid Apps?
The difference between native and hybrid apps is simple. Native apps are built for a mobile platform like Android or iOS from the ground up.
A native app can only run on its platform. For instance, if you develop an iOS native app, it can only run-on iPads and iPhones. For Android devices, you’ll need another native app for that platform.
On the other hand, hybrid apps are built and released on multiple platforms with the same user interface. They are essentially web apps in a native app shell.
A web app is any application software you access through a web browser. All you need is a browser and an Internet collection.
Inside a native app shell, a web app looks like a native app but doesn’t have the same advanced functionality. Developers create these hybrid apps with programming platforms such as Xamarin and React Native.
On the other hand, developers need to know Swift or Objective C to develop native apps for iOS. For Android, Java and Kotlin are useful programming languages.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Native Apps
- Speed: Native apps are much faster than hybrid apps because they take advantage of a platform’s development kit and hardware. They also load quicker.
- Familiarity: A native app will feel familiar to a user who uses other native apps on the platform.
- Reliability: Native apps tend to be more reliable in the long term.
- Sophistication: A native app can be significantly more complex than a hybrid app because it utilizes a device’s operating system and hardware more effectively.
- Development hurdles: Native apps are more expensive than hybrid apps because of their complexity. Additionally, you’ll need two native app projects instead of one hybrid app project to create software for Android and
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps
Hybrid apps are cheaper and faster to develop because the programming languages are easier, and one project can lead to two platforms.
However, hybrid apps can be slower, less sophisticated, less interactive, and have a limited scope as compared to native apps.
You can lose some of the cost-saving advantages of a hybrid app because it can require more frequent maintenance.
Ultimately, many companies switch from hybrid apps to native apps.
The most famous example of this is when Mark Zuckerberg told the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco that developing a hybrid Facebook app was a mistake.
Later, Facebook rolled out native apps for iOS and Android.
Whether you need a native or a hybrid app depends on your situation. Consult with an experienced app development company to reach the right decision.