Native vs Hybrid Mobile Apps- Pros & Cons | What to Choose in 2019?
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Android and iOS mobile apps have come to dominate every sphere of our lives. No doubt then, all businesses, big or small, have developed their dedicated mobile apps. When it comes to developing a mobile app, the debate comes down to this – Native vs Hybrid Mobile Apps. Which of the two – native or hybrid app is appropriate for your store depends on a lot of factors. Besides, both the native app and hybrid app has its pros & cons.
Before we begin with the debate – Native vs Hybrid mobile apps, let us first understand what are Native mobile apps and Hybrid mobile apps.
Also read: Native App Versus Hybrid App Versus Web App
What is Native Mobile App?
A Native Android and iOS mobile app is an application built especially for a particular operating system. It uses a different application for different operating systems using the native language of that particular mobile device. All the android and iOS mobile apps are either a native mobile app or a hybrid app.
In Native Android or iOS app development, the application is developed using the respective company’s SDK (Software Development Kit).
Android and iOS are two widely used operating systems. Android is the market leader in mobile operating systems with a whopping 86% share, while iOS has a market share of 12%.
Image Credit: IDC
If you are developing an Android mobile app, you need to write your app in Java (or Kotlin). And for iOS, apps are written in Objective-C or Swift. Here, Xcode provides an integrated development environment, used by developers for developing native apps.
What is Hybrid Mobile App?
Hybrid app development or Hybrid approach means using a 3rd party hybrid platform. Examples of 3rd party include React Native, PhoneGap, Ionic, Cordova, or Xamarin.
When it comes to Native vs Hybrid mobile apps the hybrid apps can run on any platform – (Android and iOS) – with the same code. This may sound like an advantage over the native apps because writing one app is cheaper than two but don’t get excited so quickly as I will highlight why not to choose the hybrid apps as we go down.
While 79 percent of consumers would retry a mobile app only once or twice. If it failed to work the first time, only 16 percent would give it more than two attempts. The poor mobile app experience is likely to discourage users from using an app again. Source
Native vs Hybrid Mobile Apps: Pros & Cons
We shall study the pros & cons of native and hybrid mobile apps against the following features:
- Built-In Features: A native app has better and faster access to a device’s native features and inbuilt utilities such as camera, GPS, calendar whereas hybrid application struggles a bit. A hybrid application is designed to conform to all the requirements of different operating systems. It is not optimized to requirements of a particular platform.
- Speed: Hybrid applications are web applications (or web pages) in the native browser, such as UIWebView in iOS and WebView in Android (not Safari or Chrome). But, the native app runs as a standalone application (no web browser needed). Due to this dependency on a web browser, a hybrid application lag behind a native app.
- Responsiveness: Native apps are more responsive compared to hybrid apps since they follow the design pattern for unique platforms but hybrid apps are the same for all the platforms.
- Offline usage: Since Hybrid apps are dependent on a native browser they are unusable without internet connection in contrast native apps like media players, games, navigation works well offline.
- Security: Native apps are stored in an application store and the approval process stops bugging or harmful from being published. Whereas no such store exists for hybrid application.
App Stores also provides good accessibility if a user wants to search for any particular app. Besides, before publishing the app you have the possibility to encrypt everything with standard tools, hide the implementation and so on.
6. Better UX standards: As I mentioned earlier the problem with a hybrid application is that even the most brilliant user experience architect cannot truly build an Android and iOS mobile apps that caters to the two dominant user types: iPhone users and Android users whereas Native app follows the specific UX/UI standards for creating Android or iOS apps, which allow users to easily understand the interface and navigation of the apps. Few examples of a native app by MageNative:
What Customers Prefer?
Users experience tops all the other features when it comes to mobile apps. A bad UX causes a significant loss of the company’s prestige. Customers delete your app and never download it again.
Talking android and iOS mobile apps, the number of downloads surely helps in analyzing the pros & cons of hybrid and native app. But, the key factor is user retention. And It’s a known secret in the mobile development community that mobile app retention is pretty low. According to TechCrunch, one in four mobile users only use an app once.
Native apps are far more superior when it comes to Speed and Responsiveness. And, therefore scores more in the user retention segment. Native applications have the best performance, highest security, and best user experience.
Talking about native Android and iOS apps a simple yet top-performing solution for your online store is MageNative App
Cost of Developing Native and Hybrid Application
While cost is a secondary factor in developing a mobile app, yet it is an important one in analyzing the pros & cons of the two.
When it comes to cost, hybrid app development seems to have a slight advantage over native applications. But, beware a hybrid app only have a lower upfront cost. You see, hybrid applications are more vulnerable to bugs. It means you may eventually end up paying more money than a native application.
Not only increased costs, but you may also lose brand credibility. With subpar user experience, more customers start uninstalling your android and iOS mobile apps. Add to this, the negative reviews that will further downgrade your public image.
Therefore, native application development seems to be a far better option. Although you pay more with native apps, you get the assurance of a flawless app and the best user experience. It comes down to this- with native apps, you are able to enhance not only cost efficiency but also customer satisfaction.
Bottom-Line: Native vs Hybrid Mobile Apps
It’s time to finish the Native vs Hybrid mobile apps battle. Each of them has their pros & cons. Ultimately the user and his needs decide which framework will work best. For me, Native Android and iOS mobile apps are better than hybrid apps in almost all the major aspects.
The choice depends on you. If you are looking for a simple app with some basic functions and can handle daily simple tasks go for a hybrid app. But, if you want a more complex app that can make full use of the device’s inbuilt features and handle complex tasks then the native app is the best choice for you.