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Deciding Between Native Apps vs Hybrid Apps: A Comprehensive Guide

Written By Jenny Doe
Reviewed By Jenny Doe

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Deciding Between Native Apps vs Hybrid Apps: A Comprehensive Guide

With businesses rapidly going online, a trend of launching mobile apps is on the move. Honestly, it’s beyond just being a competitive trend; it’s an essential part of networking, marketing, and sales. Especially in the eCommerce landscape, mobile applications have proven to be the key factor of success.

Despite knowing the cruciality of mobile applications, businesses get stuck on one question: whether a native app or a hybrid one. The answer to this question lies in understanding what these two types stand for and how they are different from each other.

This is why we have explained native apps vs hybrid apps in detail in this blog along with a full-comparison chart to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding Native and Hybrid Mobile Applications

We can understand the value of these two types by understanding native apps vs hybrid apps individually.

Native Mobile Applications

Native apps are native to the operating system or device they are specifically designed for. These apps are mobile-specific platforms. It means they work only on operating systems of mobile phones such as iOS and Android.

To exemplify, most apps that you download and install via pp Store are native mobile applications. Either they do not have their desktop-specific versions or these apps have entirely separate applications designed for Windows or macOS. For example, developers use Swift for iOS apps and Java for Android apps.

The best part of a native app is that it offers better functionalities. For example, camera and GPS functionalities. Since these apps do not rely on any browser for access, they perform individually. This leads to better speed, rendering, and performance.

A downside of a native app is that its testing can be difficult if you have multiple codebases for multiple devices.

So, if you want high-end, dedicated apps with premium features and performance, and the budget is not an issue, go for native mobile applications.

Hybrid Mobile Applications

In a question of native apps vs hybrid apps, the latter takes its place as the lower-maintained.

These are originally built using web technologies and then embedded in a native container to be accessed on mobile phones. In simpler words, hybrid mobile applications are those that you can access via a browser on any mobile device.

Talking about web technologies, developers mostly use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to develop these apps.

One of the best features of these apps is they are easy to build on a single framework for different operating systems. This also means they are easy to maintain via just one codebase.

On the downside, accessing features such as a camera is difficult on hybrid apps. Besides, these applications rely on browsers. It means the speed of the app depends on how fast your browser’s loading is.

So, if you want a pocket-friendly, low-maintenance app with decent features, you can go for hybrid mobile applications.

For eCommerce businesses, having any of these two types of apps is imperative. If you want to create one for your eCommerce business, here’s our Guide To eCommerce App Development: Steps, Key Features, Trends.

Native Apps vs Hybrid Apps: A One-View Comparison

 

Aspect
 Native Apps
Hybrid Apps

Development Languages

Swift, Objective-C (iOS), Kotlin, Java (Android)

HTML, CSS, JavaScript

Performance

The performance is high

Moderate to low

User Experience

Excellent, platform-specific

Good, but it is not as consistent as native apps

Access to Device Features

Full access

Limited access, dependent on the plugins it uses

Development Cost

Higher (due to separate codebases)

Lower (single codebase)

Maintenance

It requires maintaining multiple codebases

It is easier with a single codebase

Time to Market

Longer (due to separate development)

Shorter (single development cycle)

Distribution

Platform-specific app stores

Platform-specific app stores

Offline Capability

Excellent offline performance

Good, but it relies on the framework used

Updates

It requires updating each platform individually

It requires single update for all platforms

Native Apps vs Hybrid Apps: How to Choose the Perfect Fit for Your Business

Time to Market

First, it comes to how much time you can spend on the app development process. Every project has a set deadline which heavily decides the type of technology to use. The same is the case with your native apps vs hybrid apps question. If you have tight deadlines and your app requirements are medium to decent, a hybrid app will work for you.
In case, you want a powerful, fully-featured app for specific operating systems and you can manage to wait longer, you must choose a native app.

Device Functions

As we’re talking about mobile phones, device functions have a role to play. Device functions such as cameras and GPS are quite useful these days for many types of businesses. However, it all depends on what your business requires.

If your project does not need any device functions on the app, then a hybrid app will be a good choice in a better budget option. However, choose a native app if your app needs these and more device functions.

Budget

Just like project duration, low and high budgets also decide when the question arises: native apps vs hybrid apps. When on a tight budget, go for the single-coding-backed, low-maintenance hybrid app. On the other hand, if your expenditure meter is on the higher side, you can choose a native app if you want.

Learning about these two helps businesses decide whether native mobile applications or hybrid mobile applications work for them. To conclude, it depends majorly on what your project’s goals are and what you are aiming at with your mobile app.



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