Native Vs Hybrid Apps – Which approach is best for me?

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“Should I start with a native app or a hybrid app?”

It was Dorothy’s first question to our app consultant when she approached us.

Dorothy, a 35 years old entrepreneur wanted to take a plunge into lucrative space of mobile apps by turning her app idea into a real app.

But, since she was new to mobile app ecosystem, she found herself in a fix – ‘Should it be a Native app or a Hybrid app?’

Not just Dorothy but every first-time appreneur have this question!

There has always been (intense) debate about Native Vs Hybrid Apps.  In fact, there are several articles saying a native app is best. On the other hand, there are articles where some people think a hybrid app is the next best thing since sliced bread!

 

InnerResult? More confusion, especially if you are relatively new to the area.

More confusion = ill-informed decision.

And we all know what an ill-inform decision leads to?

This blog is an attempt to make things clear, so you can make a well-informed decision.

Let’s begin!

Choosing the right approach – Does it really matter?

Yes, Absolutely,

It matters a lot!

Picking up the right approach for your app development has the potential to make or break your success.

Taking a wrong approach means your app does not align with your business goals. Result – Less or No revenues!

And that is the last thing you want, right?

And this brings us to the question: How to know which one is best suited for you?

Okay, before getting an answer to this, it is important to know the difference between a native app and a hybrid app. 

Yes, most appreneurs are clueless about it. And this makes it difficult to get a clarity.

What is a Native App?

Native apps are developed for specific mobile operating systems such as iOS or Android. Platform-specific language is used to build these apps.  For example, (native) Android app uses Java, while iOS apps use Objective – C or Swift.

The best thing about native apps is: it leverages inbuilt features of a device such as Camera, GPS, gestures and so on.

Yes, you guessed it right. Native apps are usually high on UX!

Examples of Native App:

The most popular messaging app – WhatsApp is a native app.  WhatsApp has different interfaces for its iOS and Android users.  Apart from WhatsApp, the following are also native applications:

  • Facebook
  • Gmail
  • Twitter

What is a Hybrid App? 

Hybrid apps are an extension of regular web apps. They just come wrapped up in the native app’s shell.

A hybrid app uses HTML5, JavaScript and CSS languages. This means it works like a regular website but feels and looks like a mobile app.

Examples of Hybrid apps

Some of the popular hybrid apps are:

  • Instagram
  • Yelp
  • Uber
  • Amazon Store

How will you know which is the best approach?

There is no definite answer.

Yes, you heard that right!

And do you why?

Because, each approach – native and hybrid – has its own distinct advantages and a purpose to serve.  To decide which approach to take, you need to weigh these advantages, along with factors like:

  • UX
  • Budget
  • Speed to Market

Should you go Native or Go Hybrid?

Before, you pick up an approach take the following factors into consideration:

  • (Great) UX

Any app sells on its UX.

Good UX = More Downloads and more $$$.

If you value UX more than anything else, a native app is for you!

(As we mentioned earlier) Most native apps leverage inbuilt functions like Camera, GPS and so on. This means most of these apps tend to provide an intuitive and seamless UX. In fact, the learning curve is less steep for native apps.  Native users are already familiar with the device functionality. And that experience goes on without any frustration for the (native) apps.

We don’t mean to say that UX is bad for hybrid apps. There are some amazing hybrid apps like Instagram where UX is sky-high. But, it requires a lot of technical expertise.

If you aim to create an MVP and gauge the market’s response to the app, where UX comes secondary going for hybrid app makes more sense.  When you get the feedbacks and good response for your MVP, you can always take the native app road.

  • Budget

‘How much can I spend?’

This is the most important question you need to ask before you make a move towards any of the approach.

Okay, let’s have quick facts here:

A native app requires two different set of developers – iOS and Android. This means you need to allocate separate budget to hire them.

The bottom line: A native app can cost you a bomb!

A hybrid app, on the other hand, has a single source code. So, you can use the same code for all the platforms. There is no need to hire different resources for the same app.

In short, a hybrid app is a sensible choice when you are working on a tight budget. Plus, you can take the app on both platforms, and reach a wider audience. This means, there are multiple revenue channels for your app.

  • Speed to the market

Want to take the app quickly on the store ASAP?

Yes!

A hybrid app is a best-suited option.

Native apps typically take more than 6-8 months to get developed. (Again, it depends on the technical complexities and advanced features)

So, if you are ready to wait for 6-8 months, go for a native app.

If desired time to market is less than six months, a hybrid is a better alternative. These apps are built with a single source code, it can be released across all major platforms, simultaneously. Moreover, development time and effort is comparatively less. This means you can release the app ASAP, may be within 4 -6 weeks.

In the end, before you decide which way to go, determine your business goals and see which approach aligns with your requirements.

Remember, don’t jump into mobile app development by making a random choice. Think carefully.

Hope this blog has helped you to have a clear perceptive!

Still, have any questions or want some consultation for your app idea, get it touch with our consultants. Write to us on contact@spaceodigicom.com