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Building a mobile app for your business must be one of the top priorities for your business. From building a brand identity among your customers to retaining customers in the long run, a robust and stable mobile app does it all for you. 

Not only this, the mobile app is probably the only source of revenue for a number of companies and brands. Whether you are looking to raise funds or trying to capture a bigger market share from your competition, having an app will go a long way. 

The rampant rise in the number of smartphone users across the world is another reason why you must have a mobile app built as soon as possible. According to Statista, there are more than 1.66 billion users across the world. If the data is to be believed, this number will go past the 3 billion mark by the year 2022. This opens up a unique opportunity for businesses and startups to cement their place in the lives of their respective users. 

At Cumulations, we help businesses and startups build the perfect mobile app that meets their business requirements. Because of this experience, we know each and every factor that plays into the whole product lifecycle of building an app. One of the major points of decision making goes into deciding whether one should build a hybrid or native app. While it can seem a bit trivial at times, it is not. Choosing between hybrid and native app development is an important decision. In this post, we are going to make this very decision making simpler for all our readers. Let’s get started: 

What’s Hybrid and What’s Native. Is there a difference?

To understand the difference between hybrid and native apps, and then deciding which one suits your requirements better, let’s first understand what hybrid and native apps are. 

Native Apps - These are apps that are built in the specific framework for the operating system it is being used at. It means that the native development language and tools for the particular operating system are used to create the app. For instance, a native iOS app will be written in Swift or Objective-C and compiled in Xcode. Similarly, a native android app would be built using Java or Kotlin and compile in Android Studio. 

Most of the leading apps that you normally use such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Telegram, and PokemonGo are native apps. The fact that these apps are written in the native programming languages is one of the biggest reasons as to why these apps are so stable and highly intuitive in nature. 

The reason why these apps perform well is that the developers have better access to all the devices’ and OS’ capabilities to make the execution of functionalities as streamlined as possible.  Moving on, let’s look at the meaning of web apps before we dwell into the meaning of hybrid apps. 

Web Apps - There are various factors that motivate business owners and web developers to steer clear of the app stores and their gatekeepers, especially in the beginning. Because of this, a number of companies prefer to have a web-only app for them. In this, they are able to keep the freedom of hosting their apps over the web without any regulation of the app stores. This is an important pointer to know before you start the hybrid vs native mobile app development comparison. 

These are similar to traditional websites that are built upon HTML, CSS, and JS. However, the limitations present in the web applications can be daunting as the apps get higher traction and the traffic piles on. The biggest issue with having a web-only application is that you tend to miss out on one of the most lucrative user bases for your company, i.e. the smartphone users. To overcome this, there is the concept of hybrid apps. Now, let us take a look at what hybrid apps mean. Following that, we will discuss the various pros and cons of building a hybrid and native app for your business. 

Hybrid Apps: By the very definition, hybrid apps are a blend of native as well as web applications. In hybrid app development, the core of the applications are written using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, the build is then encapsulated into the native technologies of respective operating systems. To make your mind on hybrid vs native mobile app development, you must understand these basic pointers that we have discussed so far. 

Now, the app is still written in the technologies that are used for web applications, i.e HTML, CSS, and JS. The only difference here is that the hybrid applications, unlike web apps, are not required to be opened in the web browsers. These hybrid applications are running within the native operating system into its own embedded browser. For an hybrid app to be shown in iOS, WKWebView is used while Webview is used to show the hybrid apps in the android smartphones. 

Now that we’ve explained the basics of native and hybrid mobile apps, we will discuss the nitty-gritty of their comparison. This will help you to make an informed decision about hybrid vs native mobile app development

Getting into the details

Before we start unraveling the detailed comparison of these different types of apps, have a look at this diagram that you can refer to. 

Reasons to go for Native App Development.

While it is true that building a hybrid app for your business is advised by most of the people in the industry, there are, as a matter of fact, numerous benefits of creating a native app. It is important to know the benefits of native apps before finalizing the decision on hybrid vs native app development. Here goes: 

1. Better performance of the apps - Native apps are built using platform-specific programming languages and compiled in a customized environment as well. This helps the developers to achieve the optimum performance in these apps. Founders across the world have long come to realize the higher performance that is offered by native apps. But if you are yet to figure out the perfect product-market fit for your company, you do not need to invest in a full-fledged native app. This is a balance that you have to keep when you weigh all the factors in the comparison of hybrid vs native app development

2. Better User Experience - The majority of users do not really think about the technologies being used to build an app. The most important factor for them is how well the app works. This is the primary reason why we always emphasize the importance of UX. With native apps, you can offer a much more polished and fine-tuned user experience to the users. 

3. Better access to functionalities - If you are looking to build an app packed with premium functionalities and a lot of high-end features, native might be the right thing to pick when you are doing the hybrid vs native app development comparison. 

Reasons to go for Hybrid App Development. 

A majority of people in the industry will advise you to go for hybrid app development. And not without good reason, there are a number of factors that make hybrid app development a great option for you. Let’s look at some of them:

1. Low cost: Because web technologies are used for building these apps, developers do not need to have specializations. This means that the development cost is significantly lower than that of a native app. The money you save here can then be used to acquire more users and add up to your marketing dollars at the end of the day. 

2. Less time to build: For companies that are just starting up, time is of utmost essence. You cannot wait for months to get your hands on an MVP. To win this race against time, hybrid app development can be a great tool on your side. The low effort nature of hybrid app development will save you a lot of time. You can then use this time to build a better product and reach out to the consumers. 

Related read: Why Flutter is the Best Platform to Make Hybrid Apps

Conclusion

All said and done, it is important for you to understand the needs of your business. If time and money are what you are looking to save, hybrid app development is the way. But if you happen to be an established brand with numerous users across the world, you must go for better performance and better functionalities. This means building a native app. 

With this, we would conclude this post on hybrid vs native app development comparison. Have any questions? Feel free to get in touch with us.