The next step after planning is execution. Before starting on this phase, most of the Mobile App Development companies are faced with having to answer this question more than once – Do I build a Hybrid Mobile App or Native Mobile App?
Native applications are downloaded through application stores (App Store, Google Play or its affiliates, Windows phone store etc.) and installed in the smartphone software. An essential difference is that native applications are developed solely for a certain platform (for example, iOS, Android or Windows Phone) and require from a mobile software developer particular skills and abilities to work in a certain environment (xCode for iPhone, eclipse for Android). In addition, only “native” programming languages can be applied for creating such applications. The process is, of course, more labour-consuming.
Thus, native applications are fitted to a particular OS and look very attractive on smartphones. Such applications can easily utilise all software functionality of a smartphone (camera, microphone, Geo location, address book, player etc.) and, meanwhile, consume the phone resources more efficiently (energy saving, memory). Due to its purpose an application can be used either with, or without internet connection.
Web applications or html 5
A web application is reasonably called HTML 5-application, for it is actually a website adapted for smartphones. User interface is created by means of standard web technologies, and you don’t need to download them from application stores, but they can be located in special web app stores that some up-to-date browsers (like Chrome) may have. Web applications employ the phone’s browser and their basic particular qualities include a cross-platform feature. That means capability to work on all devices without additional customisation.
Regardless of the installed software such applications can’t use the software of smartphones. To update the application you will need to have an internet connection and the performance is limited by traffic speed of the internet provider.
In fact, the difference between a website adapted for a mobile device (or with an adaptive design ensuring an appropriate display on any device) and a web application is very slight.
The point is that web technologies are developing very swiftly and the difference is getting more diffused, for websites are getting more similar to web applications. To explain briefly, a website represents rather static information (it’s in fact a digital booklet or leaflet). And if a user can interact with that information (alter texts and design, create own sites etc.), we call it web application.
Hybrid applications combine the features of native and web applications. Such applications can be downloaded through app stores and are able to update independently. Hybrid applications require internet connection, for the web part is updated via internet.
The development of a hybrid application proceeds faster and cheaper than of native one. Although the shell is coded in the native programming language, the contents can be coded using HTML 5. It is to be mentioned that a user can scarcely notice the difference between a native and hybrid application.
Thus, all technologies have their pros and cons. You can scarcely decide for sure which one to choose. It is vital to determine the purpose of the developed product, who is going to use it, how often, which priority is higher – performance, functionality or versatility. In any case, before starting a mobile software development it is highly recommended to conduct a detailed analysis.
If you are looking to build your app you need to take the time to think through a few considerations before getting started. You need to look at from both a technical and non-technical perspective and factor in several other points before making that decision.
1. User experience:
If user experience is key to your app Native is the way to go. While the required tools and widgets for creating standard interfaces are easily available in the native app development environment. To create the same interface in hybrid app development can be tedious and time consuming.
Native apps are fluid, highly responsive and perform better as compared to their hybrid counterparts which may seem sluggish in comparison. You might have noticed that a click is not as responsive in a hybrid app and it takes more than one click for the app to respond. If the workarounds for these problems are not implemented at start user experience can be affected.
While native apps provide better security the implementation lies with the developer, hence if your app requires high security it is best to bring this up at the start be it Native or Hybrid
Once developed hybrid apps can work on all phones – iphones, windows and android phones, so you save on cost of having to build it on individual platforms. Hybrid apps are platform independent and hence if budget is a constraint or if you need to test your target segment hybrid can be your choice.
5. Support and Maintenance:
Availability of resources for building Native apps is on the higher end of the scale and hence finding resources for maintaining the app is easier as compared to Hybrid.