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The inner and outer workings of a digital agency

Swapnil Bains

Jul 21, 2016 / In Mobile Applications

Surviving on copious amounts of coffee while occasionally rambling about digital marketing.

Why Native Apps Win Over Hybrid Apps

Before starting on your app design, ask yourself these important questions – Do you wish to create an app which provides an optimum user experience, or do you wish to create a Minimum Viable Product that you can put out on the market as quickly as possible? Based on your answer, you can opt to develop either a native app or a hybrid one.

What is a Native App?

Native applications are built in accordance to a specific mobile operating system, allowing the app to function smoothly within the existing environment of said OS. Every OS requires a separate coding language, e.g. Objective-C or Swift for iOS, Java for Android and C# for Windows. This allows your app to integrate seamlessly with the OS’s ecosystem. It also allows for the utilization of and access to the device’s in-built capabilities. Meaning, not only will your app perform quicker, it will also be easier for the user to navigate it. This is because your app will resemble the performance of the device itself and other native apps on the system.

What is a Hybrid App?

Hybrid applications are built using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. These apps are comparatively simpler to design. Hybrid apps are, at core, websites that have been bundled in a native wrapper, making them look and feel like a native app. You can use UI/UX frameworks, like Ionic, Onsen-UI, Sencha Touch and Framework 7. Thanks to platforms such as Apache Cordova, the app gets access to the controls of the device via APIs and plug-ins. The information within the apps is powered by the website, loading each page as the user navigates through the app. A native app on the other hand downloads most of the content when the user first installs the app.

Hybrid Vs. Native

Your reasons behind creating the app and the time of its launch are closely tied together. Some companies prefer having their product launched with as little delay as possible. This could be due to current market trends, consumer requirements or competition. Unfortunately, with prompt delivery in mind, certain features of the app may get overlooked or compromised upon during development.

If your project is on a tight leash in terms of time, developing a hybrid app is your best option. You would be building the app within one source code, which can easily be released across all platforms. This means putting in considerably less amount of time and effort to release your product.

On the other hand, if you have six months or more, a native app would be the better idea. It would require more of an effort compared to a hybrid approach, but its benefits would outweigh the time consumption. Developing a native application will not only give you the best user experience, it will also provide the best performance and the highest security.

At the end of the day, your users will expect a great experience, regardless of the approach you take in developing your app. They want the app to be intuitive, responsive and fast. A hybrid application may get you a speedy launch, but the chances of it falling short on user experience would be quite high. Therefore, a native application would be the optimal solution.

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