5 Things You Need To Know Before Choosing Native versus Hybrid Mobile App Development

Many customers ask me why not develop a hybrid/HTML5 app that is coded once and automatically runs on all the platforms. This should reduce the cost and time to develop mobile apps, after all, shouldn’t it? In what follows I have tried to systematically go through each factor that you should consider before choosing native versus hybrid approach to mobile app development, not only as a customer but also as a developer.

Factor Native App Hybrid/HTML5 App Practical implications and observations
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Cost of development

The cost is usually considered higher as app needs to be built for each mobile platform that needs to be supported They claim you can reuse the same code across all platforms so the cost is supposed to be much lower In practice, cost is only slightly lower because the hybrid technology doesn’t scale across platforms as advertised. You still end up writing partial code different for each platform. There is very little code that is practically reused
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Ease of development

Harder to develop because advanced skills are required for native development Anyone can write HTML and Javascript so it is easy to develop and developers with low-end skills can be utilized If the skills of the developer are limited to HTML/Javascript they are not the best developers to work with. For a skilled and talented developer learning native development is quite easy. If you are working with HTML/JS developers you are essentially working with developers having lower skill sets for whom native development is a challenge
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User experience

Native apps directly access the hardware like GPS, display, CPU etc so they are faster in execution. This results in a better user experience. Ex: a screen with list of items will scroll faster and smoothly without jerks. Hybrid apps access hardware through a bridge which slows things down and the result is a frustrated user trying to get the screen to scroll down. Basic animations like screen transition is very slow, jerky and unsightly in these apps. These apps are harder to use. Arguably you might say that hybrid apps are good for enterprise users but not for consumer apps, but practically speaking both enterprise and consumer app users are human beings. Everyone in the world deserves a great user experience.
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User interface

Native apps have interface that is in-line with the standard UI for that platform as laid down by the company like Apple, Google Hybrid apps have one UI fits all approach which again can lead to frustrated users. Hybrid apps look more like slow websites embedded inside an app.
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General

All the great apps are built with native technology due to reasons cited above Only in enterprise settings where you have a couple of forms to fill do companies use hybrid apps Think why facebook, twitter and many other apps are not built using hybrid technology when it is considered to be cost-effective? In practice, the answer is it is not cost-effective considering the user experience and lost customer. (FB/LinkedIn actually started with hybrid and moved to native)

I strongly believe that native app development is the way to go. In the long run it will save you not only money but also the most valued customers. Choice is yours.

 

 

 
Jayesh Kitukale

Jayesh Kitukale

Jayesh Kitukale is the CEO of Axonator.com. Axonator is a web based tool for non-programmers like you to build your own business process automation mobile apps for iOS and Android without writing a single line of code.

 
  • Good points Jayesh. I also believe that native app development is the way to go. In the longer run hybrids just are not able to keep up with their counterparts. 🙂 If you would like to, I invite you to read my company’s article on this subject too – http://howwedostartups.com/articles/Native-vs-Hybrid . Cheers!

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