Getting a mobile app developed is easy. If you have an idea, all you need to do is get in touch with the right app development agency and they will recommend a solution for you. But most of the times, decision-makers find themselves engulfed in the question: What is the right choice, native or hybrid app?
The answer comes down to your priorities and factors such as:
- Time allocated for app development
- If you can develop any part of the app through your in-house team
- Your expectations with the app
- Your budget
- The features you need
Before we explore the depth of this question, we must understand that mobile phones are driven by personalization. Your customer will have the device handy and your app, a few clicks away. Such a personal device must respond quickly and handle queries as soon as possible. It should be reliable and fast – this basic expectation drives the growth and fall of most mobile apps.
Native apps are simply the first thing that crosses our mind when we think of apps downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Native apps are developed for specific platforms – for example, Android apps are developed via Java, while iPhone apps are usually written via Objective-C.
The primary advantage of using native apps is their intuitive user experience. Native apps leverage device’s hardware features like microphone, GPS, camera, contact lists, etc. However, the budget expectations are usually larger and there are ongoing costs to keep your native app up to date.
Benefits of Native Apps:
- Fast & responsive – compiled using platform-specific language and APIs.
- More secure – With platform-specific apps, security is a limited concern
- Interactive & intuitive – inherit OS interface to give an appearance of an integrated part of the device
- Hardware specific features – push notifications and intuitive user experience
At first glance, hybrid apps might appear to be the right choice. For example, the development cost reduces by over 30% when compared to native app development. Your app stays platform-independent and the development time is reduced considerably. Plus, you don’t have to update individual apps or run behind approvals on multiple app stores.
A hybrid app brings the best of both native and web applications under one solution. These apps can be distributed across app stores, like native apps, and they can have cross-platform compatibility like web solutions.
Hybrid apps, in general, cost less, are easier and faster to develop than native apps. The maintenance costs are minimal, but the speed of your hybrid app will be limited by the speed of the user’s browser. Put simply, hybrid apps will never run as fast as native apps.
Ionic or React Native?
Hybrid apps are usually segmented on the basis of frameworks. While Ionic is all about native browser apps, React Native delivers a near-native experience with some platform-level optimization.
Ionic Framework: Scalable Performance and Intuitive Design
React Native Framework: Near Native Experiences
If we set aside technical and functionality shortcomings, hybrid apps cannot compete with native apps in terms of responsiveness or user experience. If a business plan on leveraging its app as the centerpiece of online strategy, the user experience must not be compromised wherein dissatisfaction, at the most elementary level, can lead to poor retention rates and high uninstalls.
Put simply, choose the right approach not on the basis of “Technology”, but on the basis of “Functionality”.
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