It doesn’t matter what vertical you are in, your mobile app’s success is heavily influenced by your choice of app development approach. If you were to choose a native, hybrid, or cross-platform app development approach, you would decide whether your app will stand out or vanish into oblivion like thousands of others every year.
With the advent of technology, our lives have become confined to digital assets. We make the most crucial decisions of our lives and businesses through the Internet and mobile apps. Currently, countless apps lie on the Play Store and App Store, but many lack exposure, skills, resources, and budget, so it becomes increasingly difficult for companies to resist in the competitive digital landscape.
Statista estimates that 299 billion global app downloads will occur this year, up from approximately 275 billion in 2022.
Paid downloads and in-app advertising are expected to generate more than 935 billion U.S. dollars in revenues by 2023.
As a result of such stiff competition, business owners are driven to emphasize the quality, precision, functionality, and other parameters that will convince potential clients to choose their services over others.
Normally, businesses are faced with a number of dilemmas here, such as choosing which technology to use for mobile app development, the choice between iOS and Android, or which framework to use for app development.
Native, Hybrid, and Cross-Platform App Development will be discussed in this blog post.
Native apps: what are they?
Platform-specific programming languages are used to develop native apps for a particular operating system.
Developing native apps or software is the process of developing apps or software for specific devices and platforms such as Android and iOS. In native app development, developers use the native language of the operating system to create apps that are compatible with just one platform- whether it’s a desktop computer, smart TV, smartphone, or any other advanced gadget.
Native mobile app development is ideal when you want to deliver the best user experience in terms of appearance and feel of the application when developing Android or Kotlin apps, and iOS apps when developing Objective-C or Swift apps.
Native app development gives developers more control over the capabilities and features of their apps as they can utilize features such as GPS, proximity sensors, cameras, microphones, and more.
Examples of Best Native App
- Maps from Google
Native apps have many benefits
Due to the absence of complex code in native mobile apps, they are comparatively faster than hybrid and cross-platform apps. As native apps preload well in advance, they appear rapidly. Startups prefer native apps due to their rapid development speed and cost-effectiveness.
2. Functionality when offline
Even without internet connectivity, native apps function flawlessly, which is one of the major benefits of native apps. In an offline or airplane mode, all app functionalities can be accessed by the users, which ensures more convenience for them. Native apps with offline support are essential for users with low internet connectivity, living in remote areas, or limited data availability.
3. Interactivity and intuitiveness
Emerging entrepreneurs can expect native apps to deliver a better user experience. They adhere to guidelines because native apps are built for a specific OS, ensuring an improved user experience perfectly aligned with the OS. Furthermore, native apps adhere to these guidelines, so users can interact with them using gestures and actions that are already familiar to them.
4. Bugs are minimized
Due to the fact that native apps rely on one codebase and don’t rely on cross-platform tools, they are less prone to bugs than hybrid apps.
5. Perform at your best
Developing native apps ensures high performance by optimizing them for specific platforms. Since native apps are built for a particular platform, they are comparatively fast and responsive. Native apps are also compiled with core programming languages and APIs, which makes them more efficient.
6. A more secure environment
Developing native apps has its cons
1. Reusability is not possible
When you build native apps separately for iOS and Android, you’ll need to code and develop the apps for both operating systems. Unlike hybrid mobile apps with shared backend code or cross-platform apps with reusable codebases, this would take a lot of time, effort, and resources.
2. The cost of maintenance is high
In addition to the development costs, native apps have high maintenance costs.
3. Talent and skills are needed
It can be difficult to find developers who can develop native mobile apps back-to-back since native mobile apps are language-specific. The development of native apps requires two teams, while the development of cross-platform apps requires only one team.
Develop native mobile apps with these tools
Developing Android apps with these tools:
- An Android development environment
- IntuiJ IDEA
Developing iOS apps with these tools:
- Code for Apps
Native App Development: When Should You Consider It?
- You want to impress your target audience with the best app experience possible when they use your app for the first time.
- Platform-specific coding is necessary.
- Animations and games in 3D are popular among businesses.
- VC investors will fund your product, and your app will be simple-to-learn but intuitive.
- GPS, cameras, and other device-specific functionality are needed.
Can you explain hybrid app development to me?
For displaying the functions and the backend of the hybrid platform, a native viewer is downloaded.
Hybrid App Examples
- Airbus Helicopters
Hybrid App Benefits
1. Market Access in a Short Time
Usually, startups want to ship MVP as soon as possible, so a hybrid app development framework is a great choice because it enables rapid development and early market launch of an app.
In comparison to cross-platform and native apps that have complex coding, hybrid apps are easy to maintain since they are based exclusively on web technology.
3. Ease of development and minimal cost
With the hybrid app development lifecycle accompanied by unified development, startups with limited resources can breathe a sigh of relief. Developers can use hybrid app development frameworks to build a single version of applications that can be used across multiple platforms instead of having to invest separately in different versions of apps.
4. User interface and user experience improvements
App development with a hybrid app enables super-fast loading of graphics and content throughout Android and iOS platforms. Hybrid apps have a lightweight hybrid app UI that enables seamless interaction across Android and iOS platforms.
Developing hybrid applications has its advantages and disadvantages
1. Support is not available offline
The functionality of hybrid apps cannot be accessed offline, as it requires an Internet connection.
2. Consistencies between operating systems
A hybrid app uses a single code, so some functions are specific to a particular system that might not work on another. For example, some Android functionality might not work on an iOS device.
Development Frameworks for Hybrid Apps
- Cordova Framework
Hybrid App Development: When Should You Consider It?
- A cross-platform solution isn’t feasible due to lack of time. You want to run the app seamlessly across multiple platforms.
- The web app will be distributed through app stores.
- The app will be used on the web and on mobile devices, so you are targeting a broader audience.
- Testing the project idea with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
- GPS and camera are native features of the device that you wish to utilize.
Cross-platform apps: what are they?
In order to resolve this dilemma, let’s begin by clarifying what cross-platform app development and hybrid app development are not.
Hybrid app development and cross-platform app development have completely different meanings and play completely different roles. Cross-platform frameworks are designed to help developers build apps that can be shared and reusable across multiple operating systems. When app development costs and efforts are minimized, it is easier to write code once and reuse it on multiple platforms.
The advantage of cross-platform apps is that they are easy to implement, provide robust functionality, and are affordable to produce. However, do not expect high performance or customizability from them.
It is all thanks to React Native, Xamarin, and Flutter frameworks that cross-platform applications are prevalent in today’s world.
Apps that cross multiple platforms: examples
- An insightful report
- A chat application
Apps that run across multiple platforms have many benefits
1. Rapid development & hassle-free
A cross-platform app development framework excels at gaining a competitive advantage over other alternatives because it provides reusable code backed by improvement in productivity and efficiency.
2. Maintenance that is great for products
The ease of testing and deploying fixes and upgrades associated with cross-platform app development can result in higher accuracy and higher quality mobile applications since there is only one codebase to deal with.
3. Cost reductions
Cross-platform app development frameworks are capable of supporting a wide range of platforms. They allow startups seeking rapid traction in the market to expand their market reach on a global scale with increased brand recognition. They also reduce upfront costs.
4. Keeping codes reusable
Developers can use a common codebase to transfer code across platforms, so they don’t have to write unique code every time.
Apps that run on multiple platforms have some cons
1. Developing a product can be a complex process
If you intend to develop apps that can be adapted to a few platforms, it would be best if you had a team of skilled developers on your team. Whenever you implement complex functionalities and interfaces, you must carefully consider the minor differences between operating systems and the hardware they run on.
2. Integration challenges
HTML5 cross-platform apps are complex because of their callback-style programming, and developers often find it difficult to integrate them into local settings.
App development frameworks that are popular across platforms
- It’s responsive
Cross-platform Apps: When Should You Consider Them?
- Your budget, time, and resources are limited, and you want your mobile application to be available across different platforms.
- Targeting iOS and Android app users would be the best strategy.
- A faster app development process would be ideal.
- There aren’t many differences between the platforms and the app isn’t complex.
Which is Better: Native or Hybrid?
Having learned about all three mobile application development frameworks, business owners often ask themselves which approach is the best. The choice of native, hybrid, or cross-platform depend on a number of factors, including the project requirements, budget, business model, target audience, demographics, and numerous others.
With native vs. hybrid vs. cross-platform apps, it is difficult to choose the winner. However, if you look at a few parameters and the merits of each element, you can quickly determine which is the best option.
Through the dropdown below, startup businesses can discover which app development framework is right for their business in the long run by understanding native vs. cross-platform vs. hybrid.
It is wise to choose native mobile app development if you want to deliver the utmost performance to your users and compare cross-platform app performance with hybrid and native app performance. By developing native Android apps, you can discover the next-generation features of smartphones in a hassle-free manner, such as memory management, networking, wireless access points, and so on, and optimize service delivery and app performance.
Airbnb, which adopted the React Native app framework early on, is an example of how a tech giant complements native app development. Airbnb initially chose cross-platform apps over hybrid mobile apps vs. native apps since it was faster to develop and wrote product code once. Then, as their priorities and demands evolved, they switched to native app development and saw profitable results.
2. Market entry time
The Apple App Store releases approximately 29.5K mobile apps every month. Businesses are working hard to launch their app on both the App Store and Play Store as soon as possible because of the stiff competition in the market. Compared with cross-platform vs. hybrid platforms, native apps consume sufficient time for their development lifecycle. In addition, hybrid and cross-platform apps provide an increased time to market than cross-platform apps.
3. Developing a product
It is the budget that is the most important concern of every startup business. They expect to develop a high-quality yet modern mobile app within their allocated budget. When a startup has a limited budget, it cannot afford a native app. The ideal way to develop a cross-platform app is to write a single source code, which you can then translate into the desired OS-based app with. Moreover, cross-platform app development requires comparatively fewer resources and efforts.
4. Security of mobile applications
Business owners are increasingly concerned about the security of their apps in order to protect their customers’ data and sensitive information. As of the first half of 2022, 817 incidents of data breaches were recorded, impacting 53.35 million individuals. These numbers are not insignificant.
You must be concerned about app security if you are in the eCommerce industry or any other vertical that deals with customer data. It is essential for business owners to deliver glitch-free apps to their customers since compromising user security or sensitive data can ruin a company’s reputation overnight.
As a matter of security, native apps have multiple built-in security features in comparison to hybrid apps and cross-platform apps. By using these features, developers are able to easily integrate file encryption and fraud detection into core OS libraries and ensure the utmost security in their apps.
Startups, however, emphasize development costs and time to market as their primary concerns; hybrid and cross-platform app development frameworks gain a higher degree of popularity. To ensure security throughout their apps, they can eventually transition from native apps to native apps once their apps stabilize and become popular on the market.
5. User experience and customization
90% of smartphone users say they’re more likely to keep shopping if they have a great user experience than a bad one. 70% of customers have abandoned their shopping carts because of a bad user experience. In the modern world, customers have higher expectations from brands, and getting an amazing user experience throughout their app journey is their first priority. User retention is solely influenced by the user experience of a mobile application, according to the study.
In order to improve usability, customization, and personalization are crucial for businesses. When it comes to developing native mobile apps vs. hybrid apps vs. cross-platform apps, native apps offer better UI capabilities because they have preset libraries and interface components. Accordingly, native app development offers the most customization and user experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Choose a partner that cares about its clients.
- Never compromise on technology experience and domain expertise.
- Check out your development partners’ portfolios, customer testimonials, and references.
- Observe how they approach communication and how much they pay attention to your vision.
- Ask the right questions to help you choose easily.
- The average outsourcing charges in India are $18 – $40, which is way more affordable than in developed countries like the USA, $38 – $63.
- India has a large pool of native-English speakers who’re highly proficient in their work.
- With an Indian outsourcing partner, you can access 24×7 support and specialized IT talent.