This question has been brought up quite a bit lately across the board on a variety of forums/sites, and although it isn’t a very new debate, it is still a very reasonable question to ask yourself when you are starting a new business with an app. In this article, we will breakdown the key differences between the two, look at some of the established pros and cons that have circled this ongoing debate, and finally, make the claim as to why hybrid apps are the way to go in your future endeavors as a developer.

 

Native Apps 

A native app is a mobile application that has been created for a specific platform or device (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.). Native apps are developed using programs such as Objective-C or Swift. Native apps typically have a faster response time and superior functionality due to its uniqueness to a single platform.

 

Hybrid Apps

A hybrid app is also a mobile app that is developed (much like a customary website) using HTML5, CSS, or JavaScript and is hosted within a native app. Hybrid Apps correspond between the native platform and the web view by the use of third party programs like Apache, Android Studio, and QT Creator.

To the everyday user, a hybrid app functions much like any other app that they can download to their phone. You can take and organize notes, edit photos, play games, and anything else that you could expect (Examples: Instagram, Evernote, Yelp).

 

The Pros and Cons 

So now that we have went over the basics between the two, what are the actual pros and cons of both avenues?

As I have stated above, native apps typically have a faster response time compared to hybrid apps however, the response time is almost negligible to the average user nowadays. Whereas before, JavaScript coding would sometimes require additional computing and instructions to be executed properly, there have been vast improvements in optimization and performance. And a hybrid app’s compatibility between different platforms and devices lends it many advantages such as less labor (writing different platform specific code), less skill/knowledge, and lower cost. To develop a native app with a team that is skilled in HTML5, JavaScript, and Objective-C for example requires much more time and money. The ability to write one source-code for a hybrid app that can be used on a variety of different platforms gives the developer more control of the life cycle of the application. For a native app, to release updates for tweaks and improvements requires much more work and scrutiny by the device it’s running on. You can check an interesting update about IOS8 improved performances.

 

To Sum it All Up…

While native apps held the advantage in functionality and performance in the past, hybrid apps from a developer’s point of view is far more logical and cost effective. Hybrid apps are able to do essentially everything a native app could do without all the extra grunt work and time that’s required. In the end, it’s all about the user. They don’t care how the app is built or why – as long as the app performs the way it is supposed to, what else matters?

 

 

 

 

 

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