Native apps vs. Hybrid apps

Native apps vs. Hybrid apps

In our last article, we spoke about the benefits of a mobile app for your business.

Mobile apps can provide that much needed interaction to bring awareness and growth to your business. There are two types of apps to choose from, namely Native and Hybrid apps.

Both apps have their plusses and it is up to the business to determine with which app their business model lies.

What is a Native app?

A Native app is a smartphone application that is specifically designed for a mobile operating system (OS). When you send a text message, take a picture, set a reminder or use your device’s music app, you are using a native app.

Native apps are exactly that, native to the user’s OS and hence built along the same guidelines. Apple uses Objective-C or Swift for iOS while Android using Java as their OS.

Native apps are developed to have a mature ecosystem which means swiping to navigate, app defined gestures and a left (Android) or centrally (iOS) aligned header for easy viewing.

The user is more likely to learn how to navigate through a native app faster. The in-app interaction has a look and feel that is consistent with most native apps already present on the device.

  • Due to its popularity, native app development has increased dramatically.
  • Native apps are found exclusively in app stores which increases your app discovery rate by as much as 50%.

  • You will need a knowledge of multiple code language, syntax and a certain platforms’ nuances.
  • The cost of app maintenance and app updating is higher, especially if the app supports more than one platform.

What is a Hybrid app?

A Hybrid app is essentially a website packaged into a native wrapper. It has the same look and feel as a native app but is ultimately built outside the basic framework and fuelled by the company’s website.

The hybrid web app is built using HTML5 and Java Script but wrapped in a native container. This loads most of the information on the page as the user navigates the app.

Developers have the option to package the app locally or through a server, which provides both online and offline access.

  • Hybrid mobile apps don’t have a “mobile web” browser look and can include native hardware features.
  • Software like Ionic provides frameworks to make a webpage act like a native application, which means they can be distributed in the App Store.

  • Newer features are often not supported on Hybrid frameworks until the company releases support for the newest operating systems.
  • Many developers make the mistake of simply copying their web applications to mobile without redesign. This can result in a slowdown in page load time and certain components not being optimised for mobile.

Ionic is a complete open-source software kit (SDK) for hybrid app development. Open source refers to that fact that the software can be bought with a licence which allows the copyright holder to study, change and distribute the software to the public and for any purpose.

Which app is right for your business?

In order to decide if you want to develop a Native or Hybrid app, ask yourself the following:

    1. Would you like your app to include any device-specific features?
    2. Will your app be Internet-enabled?
    3. Do you want your app to support multiple mobile platforms and devices? If yes, how many?
    4. Would you like to monetize your app in the future?

About Fluidity

Fluidity is a Cape Town based software development company that has built their reputation on their ability to meet the needs of customers with the innovative power of tech.

Fluidity believes that companies who adapt will ultimately survive and thrive, and that innovation and technology is key to those ends. They partner with their clients as they help them innovate and compete with software solutions that create results.

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