The Ultimate Guide to Comparing Hybrid Mobile Apps with Native Mobile Apps

Posted by ongraph · January 4, 2018 · 11 Min read

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There is nothing to be surprised about the fact that dominance of the mobile apps has changed the way businesses perform their daily operations. However, companies struggle a lot when they need to decide about mobile apps for their businesses. They have to make a decision between Hybrid and Native app primarily. If you go back just two years, Native App Development was in its advanced stage, at the same time, hybrid development had just laid its foundation as well. You are mistaken if you think the debate between Hybrid vs Native is new as it began with the release of iPhone.

Of course, this later led to the mobile app explosion. As with any other technologies, mobile apps started off fairly simple, but over time, they grew in number as well as complexity – and this is when businesses started to lure users and maintained lead among competitors through providing them better user experience in business apps.

Now people hold on to their mobile devices every minute of the day. And if the device is with you constantly, it needs to be responsive and reliable. It should respond quickly and give you the answers you need as soon as possible. These are the expectations of all mobile users. Hence, businesses and developers must understand customer experience over mobile.

No one has time to spend on bad user experience, including customers and employees. As it’s proved over and over again that user experience trumps everything else when it comes to mobile. Then it’s obvious to question the statement i.e. “By 2018, approximately 50% of the apps uploaded to the app store would be hybrid” –  Gartner.

Hybrid apps do not perform equally well as native apps. Still, there are numerous advantages to using a hybrid app development, and that might lead to significant increase of hybrid apps in the Apple and Play Stores in coming times.  No matter how groundbreaking the intent behind your mobile app, it will never succeed if people do not enjoy using it. Thus customer experience on Android App Development Services should be a primary consideration.


User Experience Can Make Or Break The Success Of The App

Your app will never acquire success if users cannot accomplish a goal within your app. Today, mobile is everything for people. There are apps for everything: dating, ride sharing, finance, gaming, insurance claims, music, email, etc. You just name it and it’s probably already available for download. People interact with businesses through their mobile apps. Eight years after the release of the first iPhone we simply cannot imagine a world without Android or Apple devices and their companion mobile applications.

Perhaps the most critical choice an organization must make before entering the world of Mobile App Development is regarding the approach they wish to take when building a mobile app. Would you like to amaze and tempt your users by building an entirely native application that integrates into the platform of their choice (Android or iOS Apps Development)? Or would you say you are keener on adopting a Minimum Viable Product approach and rapidly building up a hybrid application which can be released across platforms? Though potentially easier to build and maintain, this second strategy is likely to result in a less than ideal user experience with sub-par performance.


Before entering the world of mobile apps development you should decide the approach to take: Hybrid or Native?

A lot has been discussed about Native vs Hybrid topic. Even some believe the war between them is already over and that most apps are already hybrid. But in this article, we will discuss such factors that are impacted by each of the two approaches such as speed to market, performance, user experience, release cycles, and other points that shouldn’t be ignored. By looking at the key differences between the two development approaches, we will try to decide which framework will make sense in certain situations.

Native and Hybrid apps – A quick overview



What is Native App?

When you send text messages, set reminders, or take pictures using device’s default apps or use device’s music app, you interact with native apps. A native app is an application developed particularly for a mobile operating system. Native apps are developed within a mature ecosystem keeping in view all the technical and user experience guidelines of the OS. In that way, native apps utilize the built-in capabilities of the devices, thus offering better and consistent look, feel and in-app interaction along with faster performance.



What is Hybrid App?

Hybrid apps are rendered as web apps and packaged into a native wrapper.  They look and feel like native applications, but ultimately outside of the basic frame of the application they are web apps, thus causing performance issues. Such issues occur due to device hardware, fragmented systems, and different device speeds.

In comparison to native apps, hybrid apps were relatively slower and Apple Store has rejected upload of a number of hybrid applications.

Here it is important and interesting to discuss that after such numerous rejections why and how Hybrid Apps has maintained its presence in the market? Let’s look into the reasons…

Time To Market?

When you decide to build a mobile app, either you want to catch up with competitors or identified a business opportunity that previously was untapped. The outcome cannot be certain, but you wish to launch your app ASAP. When it comes to picking Mobile Application Development Services, you must approach considering certain factors. Both, Hybrid as well as native approaches can get the job done for your business, but you must be particular about your specific requirements and aims.  There can be many cases where you may find going native makes sense whilst there are several cases where hybrid proves its worth. Let’s embrace widely common but significant scenarios mostly businesses are stuck with while making a decision between native or hybrid:

Needs that lean toward a native solution:

  • Budget plans aren’t extremely tight, or if it is you’re glad to target, such as camera, microphone, compass, accelerometer and swipe gestures.
  • You value user experience and performance over all else. Taking advantage of native features offers a considerably more seamless, intuitive experience for the end client.
  • Budget plans aren’t much tight, or if it is, it still doesn’t bother you to target a smaller audience however with an all the more captivating product.
  • You anticipate developing a product with complex functionality.
  • You anticipate growing the products breadth of functionality in later releases.

Needs that lean toward a hybrid solution:

  • You’re endeavoring to collect as much user feedback as possible by focusing on a large audience.
  • You have a smaller budget.
  • You don’t care too much about releasing a ‘not so refined’ product.
  • You have demanding ‘time to market’ requirements and need to launch as soon as possible.
  • Your application isn’t excessively unpredictable (now and future states).
  • Your app doesn’t depend on offline capabilities

Essentially, native apps offer better experience for the end user, but hybrid apps are a good alternative if you’re worried about budget and timing regardless of anything else.

How Important Is The Performance Of An App For Your Company?

App performance is a key driver of app success. Today, it is harder than ever to get user’s attention – especially on mobile. An application has thousands of competitors on Apple or Play Store. A user downloads an app to make their lives easier. And the top reason they abandoned apps is that they “lose interest”.
For instance: within m-commerce app, a user looks for the seamless shopping experience and hence moves ahead with the length of interaction across six stages from launching an app, searching for an item, getting the product details, adding to the wish list, checking the product review and then make payment. Throughout the process, a user expects ease of navigation, speed, and reliability.

If a business failed in delivering such smooth digital experience, a user will delete or uninstall an app because of performance issues. They not only lose interest in interaction with a mobile app but also with brick-mortar shops around, all because of poor app performance. Thus your endgame of app development strategy shouldn’t be just app downloads, but to make sure those downloads result in sustained app usage.

It’s difficult enough to get app downloads, but it’s even harder to keep users around

84% of the users consider performance to be very important and this is the biggest pick out for the debate between native vs Hybrid App Development. Performance is the first-ever criteria where native apps win hands down. Even having all the positives associated with hybrid app development, it was not able to beat native apps in terms of speed, reliability, and security.

Why Native?

A native application can easily load the contents, structure and other visual elements and provide a seamless experience in all. If you are looking for some high-speed application like m-commerce or iPhone Game Development, then a native app is the way to choose. Native apps get designed or developed for some specific operating systems and they provide great performance. Additionally, now it renders trendy look and feels all due to improved development ecosystem. That way it enables users to connect easily and quickly to the icons and button.

Why Hybrid?

Though the hybrid apps are a bit slower than Native Apps, these are best if you aim to develop business professional services apps. Business professional services apps do not likely require a more graphical and platform specific needs like games or animated apps. Hence, it wouldn’t bother user while their interaction with content over the apps and ensure seamless digital interaction.

User Experience – A Critical Differentiator In The Native Vs. Hybrid Debate


A poor user experience turns into quick switching. Users are likely to move towards the next best in the list in less than a minute. Users are not interested in learning features that are application specific. Indeed they switch to apps having features that are easy and familiar from interactivity, usability and responsiveness aspects.



Whether you go with native or hybrid app, your aim should be keeping the user experience seamless and address all aspects of the app.


More Reason Why Native?

When it comes to developing gaming app, iPhone App Developer needs to detail out the color, animation, typography as well as interactivity for the app. It is quite difficult to do these things in a hybrid. There are several different style guidelines for native and hybrid apps. That makes it tough to give the user experience needed for gaming apps with hybrid technologies. For an app that is native to the platform, accessing the native features and hardware becomes easy. Though native apps can quickly access native features like contacts, camera, maps, etc it is slightly difficult for the hybrid app that in general hinder the user experience in turn.


More Reasons Why Hybrid?

On the other hand, a hybrid application is platform agnostic and that makes it appealing over native apps. With hybrid apps, developers need to build an app once and can release it across multiple platforms. One UI – nice and simple. In addition to this, you do not have to maintain two different code bases of iPhone app that is written in Swift or Objective-C while Android apps are written in Java. That means hybrid apps are, one, easier to build; two, take less time to market, and three, maintain one code base.

5 Questions To Ask Before You Decide:

  • Does your app require access to native features? For example Camera, Phone contacts, SMS, Hardware device buttons, Map, Push notifications, etc
  • How fast do you need to get this out to market?
  • What budget do you have to play with?
  • How frequent is your update cycle? What levels of functionality do you want to add in these updates?
  • How important is user experience to you? If you’re in a competitive marketplace, we would definitely recommend prioritizing the user experience.

Do You Really Need To Build An App To Work On Both Platforms Right Away?

Companies misunderstood the concept of being available on mobile. They think that their company’s app should be available for both Android and iOS platforms. Though companies have benefits of being present on both platforms, they need to understand do they really need to be on both platforms Right Away? Both native and hybrid are there to fulfill the needs and preferences of end users, developers, and businesses.

While there are distinct and convincing advantages of each, the choice to go native or hybrid ought to be a strategic one, contemplating your product roadmap, overall business objectives and end-user experience.

What have been your experiences with native vs hybrid applications?

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