Do terms like Native, Hybrid, and Web apps seem Alien to you? Then read on

The mobile app ecosystem has expanded at a rate of knots in recent times. Mobile apps are proving to be a game-changing technology in many areas of life. We cannot imagine our lives without smartphones, but these smartphones will be limited to a useless piece of metal and plastic, without a mobile app.

Many entrepreneurs are looking at the prospect of building a mobile app seriously to improve their business through mobile apps.

Whether you want to gain more data about your customers or want to spread the word about your brand or get into the exciting world of e-commerce, a mobile app can open up Pandora’s Box of possibilities for your business.

We have been providing end-to-end mobile app services to different industrial sectors. Hence we understand that one needs to answer any questions before you can proceed on your journey of building a quality mobile app.

One of the fundamental questions that businesses need to answer is whether they want to build a Native, a Hybrid, or a Web application. Now, this is something that many businesses are confused about or rather lack a clear precise understanding.

Native App, Web App, or Hybrid App: How does it matter?

Native, Hybrid, or Web all the apps have their strength and weaknesses, so based on what you opt for your business, there are many things that need to be taken care of or checked in detail.

Don’t be scared of the jargon; we will help you in the process of selecting the best methodology for building your mobile app by providing apt knowledge about them.

What exactly are Native Apps, Hybrid Apps, and Web Apps?

Native App

An application or software, that is built in such a manner that it can run only on specific platforms or devices, is known as a Native app.

We all know that there are various operating systems on which mobile apps run. Android and iOS are two of the most famous operating systems currently dominating the entire world. A Native mobile app is an app designed to run on either Android or iOS specifically. Such a mobile app cannot run on the other OS. For Example, if you build a Native mobile app for Android, then it will not run on iOS devices.

Hybrid App

A Hybrid App or a cross-platform app is an app that can run on any platform and it is built using web technologies like HTML5, CSS, and Javascript.

A Hybrid mobile app can run on multiple platforms and devices. Hence the cross-platform app developers can build a single app and run it on various operating systems without changing the code much. Hybrid apps are easy to build and easy to maintain as the developers need not write separate codes for building apps that can run on multiple platforms. With the advent of technologies like React Native and Flutter, the developers can build near-Native quality Hybrid Apps with ease. If you want to develop a Hybrid App, you will need to consider the different factors before going for Hybrid app development.

Web App

Web Apps are essentially websites that are built in such a manner that the user gets a feel of using a Native mobile app.

Web apps run on a web browser, and languages like JavaScript, HTML5, or CSS are used to develop Web apps. Web apps are best suited for building an app that does not require complex functionalities or device access. The Web apps are best suited for a startup that is on a budget and wants to test its idea.

What’s the Difference between Native vs. Web vs. Hybrid Apps?

Platform Independence

Before you proceed with your Custom App Development project, you first need to decide whether you need a platform-independent app or not.

Native apps are designed and developed, keeping a particular platform in mind. Thus, if you build an app for Android, it won’t be able to run on iOS or web.

Hybrid apps are platform-independent and can run on multiple platforms like Windows, Web, IOS, and Android simultaneously.

Web apps run on browsers and hence are platform-independent like Hybrid apps.

Which one should you use?

If you are targeting multiple users and can let go of a few features then Hybrid apps or Web apps are the best. If you are targeting users on a particular platform like iOS first, then building a Native app would be the right choice.

Speed

Native mobile apps are much faster than Hybrid and Web apps. It is because the contents, visual elements, and structures of an app usually are downloaded on the user’s phone. It makes all these elements available for instant loading, hence providing a seamless experience to the user.

In Hybrid apps, there is only an external wrapper that the user’s phone can download. This feature of Hybrid apps makes them slower than Native apps as all the navigational elements need to be loaded from the server every time the user accesses the app.

Web apps in some cases might be slower than their Native counterparts. The performance of Web apps often depends on various factors since the number of elements and the complexity of the functionality are among the aspects that matter here.

Which one should you use?

If you have an app that does not require much speed then you can go for Web apps or Hybrid apps but if you require a lightning-fast app then go for Native apps. Understand that low speed is not a deal-breaker for many apps and you should do a thorough analysis to know how important is the speed for your users to ascertain whether you should go for Hybrid or Native apps.

Performance

Native apps have access to device-level features. This is because they have access to various sensors like GPS, camera, accelerometer, and multiple other sensors. Native apps have shorter response times and are smoother as compared to their Hybrid computer parts.

In Hybrid apps, the app acts as a medium to download data from the server; hence the performance is compromised as compared to a Native app. Hybrid apps typically have longer launch times and are more prone to crashes as compared to their Native counterparts. The user also feels that the interface is a bit sluggish once the app is subjected to vast amounts of data manipulations. However, many of these performance issues have been ironed out in new Hybrid app development platforms like Flutter and React Native.

Web apps have minimal access to these device-level features, and hence they cannot do things that the Native apps can do.

Which one should you use?

If the app depends heavily on using the device-level features, then you should go for a Native app otherwise Hybrid apps and Web apps can do the job.

Cost

To build a Native app, you have to invest a considerable amount of time and effort as you have to develop two separate apps if you want to launch your app on both iOS and Android operating systems.

A Native app developer must be proficient in handling multiple technologies. As more time is required to master Native app development, it usually is costlier to hire Native app developers as compared to a Hybrid or Web app developer.

It is relatively easier to learn to build a Hybrid app. This also means that you can find Hybrid app developers at a much cheaper rate as compared to a Native app developer.

Web apps are most comfortable to build but understand that if you plan to support a massive number of browsers, then the development process becomes very hard. This is especially true for very old browsers because these browsers do not support the features inculcated in the latest ones.

It is significantly faster to build a Hybrid or a Web app as compared to a Native app. This factor also has an overbearing effect on the cost of the app, as more developer hours are invested in building a Native app as compared to a Hybrid app or a Web app.

Which one should you use?

Native apps are the most costly and Hybrid apps and Web apps are ranked at the second and third places respectively. But if you are building an app that is full of bells and whistles then you should go for a Native app, while if you are ready to let go of a few features then Hybrid apps are a better option and for building an MVP a Web app provides the best ratio based on fastest time-to-market.

Security

Be it Google Play Store or App Store, both have advanced measures to ensure that inappropriate apps do not make it to the app market. Hence, if an app does not clearly follow the terms of security then the app will not go live on these app stores. Similarly, if your app has vulnerabilities, then these app stores will let you know of it and won’t allow you to publish your app on their app store.

The level of a security risk or vulnerabilities are hard to define and when it comes to native apps, hybrid apps and web apps things work differently for different systems but still, every aspect needs to be checked thoroughly since your users would not want to be a user of your app if your app has any security issues.

With a Web app, you have to take care of all the security measures yourself as you need not publish Web apps in an app store, and utmost care must be taken to identify the security vulnerabilities.

Which one should you use?

The vulnerabilities of an app depend a lot on the behavior of the user as well. With a basic review Native apps are most secure while Hybrid apps are less secure and Web apps are the least secure of the three. But if you are building an application which deals with sensitive data like a mobile banking app, then all the three types are equally susceptible. Thus, it is of utmost importance to have a defined process of development that involves proper testing in every phase of development.

Wrapping up

Native App, Hybrid App, and Web App all have their pros and cons. You need to analyze your requirements first and then decide which one is better suited for your app. Before you make a decision to hire mobile app developers it would be prudent to discuss with your developers regarding the best option to choose from Native, Hybrid, and Web app for your project. An experienced mobile app development company would be able to guide you in selecting the most viable option based on your requirements and your market approach strategy.

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Prismetric is an ISO 9001:2015 certified Mobile App Development company based in India and USA. https://www.prismetric.com

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Prismetric

Prismetric is an ISO 9001:2015 certified Mobile App Development company based in India and USA. https://www.prismetric.com