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native application design and development

Native app development

So you have decided to develop a mobile app. It is a crowded market, and there seem to be infinite options available. There are more than four billion phones in the world, and more than four and a half million apps available on only Google Play and the AppStore.

One of the first and most important decisions you have to make when it comes to app development is choosing between native and hybrid mobile development.

The choice you make will decide on the long-term time and financial costs, and the functionality as well. In this article, we aim to discuss the options and compare their pros and cons.

Contents

What is native mobile app development?

Native mobile app development is the act of developing software that only runs on smartphones. Native app development, in general, can be defined as creating an app, exclusively for a device. There are native apps for smartphones, smart TVs, desktops, and any other platform and device you can imagine.

Native apps should be downloaded from dedicated app stores, like Google Play or App Store as we mentioned earlier, and then accessed by tapping on the gadget’s icon on the screen.

This means the software will be coded with languages and tools that are for a specific device. For example, a native android app can be coded with Java or Kotlin, but you would go for objective-C and Swift if you were to develop an IOS application.

The knowledge and skills required for mobile website development and native software development differ. When you are developing a native app, browser compatibility is not a concern, as you are creating software for a certain framework. Native mobile software development allows for getting the most out of the native characteristics of mobile OSs to build your application’s architecture upon.  

Native software is very often celebrated for the amazing user experience it brings. Native apps perform very well, and their visuals are top-notch, as they are especially created to match the device’s UX.

Some examples of native mobile applications are Google Maps, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

 Native app development pros and downsides  

Pros:

Limitless access to API and platform tools:

There will be no feature, tool, or API that you will not have access to on the device. Nothing is stopping the programmers from bringing the most out of the platform. They can do whatever they want with all the features they are provided with.

App stores like it better

Because of the better performance and higher speed they provide, native applications usually rank higher on app stores. They are easier to get into the market and publish, and they get better support from the store as well.

Native mobile apps match the app store’s guidelines better as well. Since 2017, apple has passed new guidelines which limit the submission of hybrid apps that are too dependent on WebViews.

As it seems like app stores are trying to fully eliminate cross-platform applications, especially since they find them less safe, building a native app feels like a more future-proof option.

Higher flexibility

Because we have more tools when we code with the platform’s native language, the final application will be more flexible, scalable, and adaptable as well. This is true, especially since there is more flexibility in resource management.

 Direct interaction with device’s API resulting in improved performance and UX

As the code is written for the platform it is run on, it has the best direct interaction possible. This makes middleware like plugins and WebViews unnecessary and helps the application run faster and more smoothly. Native applications are more independent and have fewer dependencies therefore they are more responsive than cross-platform applications.

This makes native development the way to go for the more complicated apps. If your app’s performance is very important, and/or it has heavy graphics, you probably do not want to go hybrid.

Feels like one with the native platform

The languages used to write native apps are exclusively meant for that platform. Software development kits are used to build native apps. Therefore, they do not look or feel separated from the OS. The overall feel and look are consistent, making it for a better user experience.

 No need for plugins to access new features

Another great upside to the direct access of native APIs is that if you go native, you can immediately access any new IOS or Android updates and features. This is not the case with hybrid applications, as they have to wait for middle software and plugins that support the new feature.

The downsides of going native:

More expensive

If you want your app to run on both IOS and android, you will be paying practically double the cost. Two teams will be needed to cover both platforms, which means double the money, double the management skills, and double the effort.

Takes more time

Worthy of another mention, native app development takes more time, as one single code base cannot be used for multiple platforms. You will need more than one team to get the work done.

How does a native app differ from a hybrid app?

There are two types of mobile apps: native apps, and hybrid or cross-platform apps.

What is a hybrid app?

A hybrid or cross-platform application can be used on multiple platforms without the need to change much. The code for hybrid software needs to be written only once, and then it can run on most devices.  

Hybrid software stands right in between web and mobile applications. These apps are coded through web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML. Then, open-source foundations, such as Ionic or React Native are used to make it all into a single native application.

Hybrid apps can be put up on app stores for sale just like native apps. They do not run on web browsers, but the embedded device’s browser. Through the use of tools, for example, plugins, they can use all the features a platform has to offer. Cross-platform apps can have access to a device’s hardware and features, for example, its GPS, contacts, or camera. A native interface can also be built through the UI segments which can be accessed through wrapper solutions.

Hybrid apps must look like native apps, and perform at almost the same quality as well. Although not all programmers agree, many would argue that hybrid applications are the best choice, as they bring the same user experience, while they can function on multiple platforms.

Many companies choose hybrid apps because they can be built using a single code base and used on different platforms, making them cost less.

More than 74% of the top 50 IOS applications in the US are cross-platform. Some examples are Amazon, Etsy, Walmart, and many more eCommerce applications.  

Hybrid app development pros and downsides

It is less expensive

One team will be enough to architect a cross-platform application. Unlike the native development route, there is no need to create a separate application for each platform, meaning you will save more money.

It takes less time

The cycle of development does not need to be repeated multiple times. One codebase will be enough to make for an app that can run on multiple platforms.

The downsides to going hybrid

You will be sacrificing speed

Cross-platform apps require an additional abstraction layer, and many middle software and plugins to run. All this rendering makes them way slower than the native applications. It makes them unable to have as many features and high-quality graphics and makes them less appealing in the market overall.

It is harder to use all of the phone’s features

Again, middle software and plugins are needed for the application to be able to access smartphone functionalities like the GPS, microphone, camera, contacts book, and more.

Not as good user experience

As the hybrid application is unable to access all the features and the native user components, it is less likely to match the ultimate UX that the platform is offering. Hybrid apps feel and look different from the platform’s OS, and are less consistent overall.

The difference

When you first look at hybrid and native apps, they almost look the same. Their designs are very close, and they share some features but have different foundations. The difference starts from the functions they serve to the way they are coded. As we have already stated, cross-platform applications can be written with web technologies such as CSS, HTML, and JavaScript, but do not have to be run on an internet browser. Both native and hybrid applications can be downloaded via application stores, such as Google Play.

The main reason people usually turn to hybrid apps is the simpler development process. Hybrid apps are meant to be portable with one single code base. Cross-platform applications are developed with the crucial help of hybrid frameworks. Ionic and Apache Cordova are two of the most famous ones. On the other hand, while hybrid apps could be written in web development languages, platform-specific languages are required to develop native apps.

While plugins are needed to access the hardware and built-in features of a device, native applications have default access, as their code is embedded in the native browser. This means straight access to the camera, microphone, and more for native apps, and the essential use of plugins such as Cordova for the hybrid option.

Hybrid apps are dependent on tools and middle-software to run, Webviews for example. Webviews are in-app browsers that enable access to web content, and allow the apps to display them. One could say they are like translators.

The most important advances of native app development

The highest level of performance

When you are architecting an app for a specific platform, you are tailoring the ideal fit, and not one size fits all. The result of the app being written with native platform code is excellent performance.

Native apps are way faster than the web and hybrid alternatives, as they do not need middle software and plugins to run. Because of how they are tailored for one specific platform, native apps are more responsive and way faster.

As the application is stored on the device, it can benefit from the device’s processing speed. All of the contents and content are stored on the device, lessening the load time, and allowing for higher graphics.

Higher security levels

Web and hybrid apps are dependent on middle software and are written through the use of technologies such as JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS. Through writing the application with the platform’s core language, you are building a safer environment for your users, and guaranteeing their data protection.

Better user interaction

Users interact more easily with native apps, and that is because of multiple reasons. We have already discussed how going native guarantees higher performance and higher speed. Moreover, native apps are designed to perform like a part of the device. User input and output run way smoother on native applications.

This is the biggest benefit of choosing native applications: they are more user-friendly. The user is used to the device’s OS, and native apps follow the guidelines that match and enhance the OS. This way the application does not stand out, and the flow feels more natural.

The users can navigate more easily through a native app as it follows the platform’s specific UI standards. The application will not seem strange and unfamiliar, and there is less of a learning curve when it is used for the first time. Deleting or adding something will feel natural. After all, it is actions and signs they already know.

The ability to take full advantage of the device’s features

We cannot emphasize it near enough, because native apps are tailored for a single platform, they can get the most out of the software, and the operating system’s features. Native applications have direct access to the software, creating a faster and smoother user experience, with less probability of errors occurring.

When it comes to web applications and native apps, push notifications must be discussed as well. The app bundle ID is required for the push notifications to go through the APNS or IOS server, as well as GCM Google’s Cloud Messaging.

Fewer inconsistencies during development and maintenance

It is easier to handle two applications in two separate codebases, than two applications in the same code base. If all of the different platform versions of your app are dependent on one code, they all go down once an error occurs.

With cross-platform applications, errors and bugs are more likely to occur as you are depending on tools like Xamarin or Cordova.  The need for a bridge slows the development process down and lowers the user experience quality.

Every time a new update comes around, hybrid application developers are dependent on the third-party developer of the hybrid tool essential to their application, to be able to align with and use the new features that come around. 

When you are using a hybrid app tool like Xamarin or Cordova, there is no access to the newly released UI kit tools, unless these tools update too.

You have no control over what happens with these third-party applications. With a more futuristic vision, they might not even be an option at all. There is no telling what might become of the hybrid tool that you are using, and what problems it might face. Bugs happen all the time when you are working with hybrid applications, especially when your app is not in sync with the new updates.

Have you ever seen all those unhappy comments in the app stores saying how the app does not function since the new OS update? This might be the reason why; a huge threat when it comes to the loyalty of your users.

SDKs or software development kits, allow the native app developers to build their apps with the newest features. Once native app users update their OS, they gain access to all the new platform features on your application as well.   

How to choose between native and hybrid development

We have gone over the pros and cons of both hybrid and native apps and the advantages native apps have over the other. We now aim to discuss how these pros and cons might affect the success or the failure of your project.

The hybrid-native debate has been going on for some time among programmers now. There are hundreds of well-written articles available on the matter. Many believe that the war has been over for some time now, and most applications are already hybrid. Some articles believe that it is a heavily circumstantial choice. I even came across this article once, which claimed this was such a simple decision one could make in less than five minutes.

Before making any decision, you must first be aware of the results and tradeoffs you would be making. We will be reviewing the determining factors, and how they will be affected by each approach to aid you in making an insightful choice.

It is a market and the user experience decides your failure and success

Our smartphones are the most important devices and gadgets we own. If there is a problem with them, all our other issues are out of the window. Our priority would be getting our smartphones fixed. We expect our smartphones to be responsive and fast and perform smoothly too. It is the same when it comes to mobile applications. There are millions of options out there, and the one with the best user experience wins. User experience is the most important thing when it comes to mobile apps.

We have discussed in detail how hybrid apps do not bring the same quality user experience native apps do. You should know that when you are going hybrid, your user experience will most likely suffer.

Of course, there are many advantages to choosing the hybrid app development route, but the user experience is something that should be seriously considered.

It is a question of whether or not you are willing to sacrifice the user experience for the other hybrid development benefits.  

You should ask yourself if you want to win the customers by creating a smooth user experience that becomes one with the platform, or more interested in saving money and time. The decision heavily depends on the ideal that you have in mind. A smooth user experience is crucial in some apps, and less important in some others such as eCommerce applications.

Quality vs. getting out in the market ASAP

The main reason companies decide to build an app is that they are either trying to keep up with the market or because they have discovered an opportunity unexplored by others.

In both of the cases, the company wants the app created and published to the market ASAP. But ASAP means a lot of rush and a lot of decisions made on the run. A hybrid app can get the job done as well, but certain things must be considered right from the start.

 You must ask yourself: how much time do we have before the application is published?

If the answer is more than six months, a native development approach would be the most sensible. You would be guaranteeing higher security, fewer errors and bugs, and the best performance and user experience.

But, if the app has to be launched before six months, going hybrid takes way less time. Your application can be made with one base code and run on multiple platforms with less development time and effort.

Keep in mind that the users will not care about how much time you had on hand before you launched your application. All they see is the UI. Being quick in terms of application release might keep you present and up to speed with the market, but it does not mean success.

The importance of performance

No one ever doubts that native apps perform better than their hybrid counterparts. This is even admitted by the biggest fans of the hybrid development route. Native apps have better performance.

The design of native apps guarantees a smooth user experience. Everything has been already stored and is there once a user opens the app. All the content, data structure, and visuals are already there, and loading them does not take long.

This process is similar to downloading most of a website’s static content to a device. The content can be instantly loaded later on, no matter how their internet speed is.

When it comes to hybrid apps, only the wrapper is stored in the smartphone. This wrapper might not even include all of the navigational elements. The bigger part of the data is loaded from the server.

The hybrid app performance is affected by two main problems: first of all, there is the number of server requests. The amount of people that are requesting the server at the same time, affects the server’s speed. Second, there is a problem with load balance requests. This is all about the act of correctly distributing the server’s traffic.

No matter how heated the advocates of cross-platform applications might be, they always lose when it comes to the performance debate.

The users do not want to learn how to use your application

This is the most important factor when it comes to any application’s success: the user experience.

The importance of UX is emphasized more than ever. And the reason for that is, the importance has increased. While some programmers would not see user experience as their number one priority back in the 90s and early 2000s, we are not living in the same world anymore. 20 years ago, most websites did not have that great of a user experience. The internet had a different meaning too. It was not meant to be the fast and easy answer, but more like a library, a place of research. Just think of how big websites such as Amazon, Yahoo, and Microsoft looked and functioned back then.

But nowadays, the user experience has become the key determining factor in app development. It is what the market is based on. People do not have the patience of waiting and learning a new task. What they want are quick and easy answers.

The way a smartphone application developer’s mind works is: “How can I make this application so similar and as one with the OS, that the user does not even think they are in a new app?”

They have done the hard part of learning to navigate through their device’s OS, and they do not want to go through apps with new learning curves, unfamiliar from what they have learned so far. What they want is harmony and unity in between the application, in a way that they do not have to learn anything new. They do not want the application to stand out from the rest of the time they spend on their phone. The app’s controls, interactions, visual cues, and gestures must follow the platform’s style guide.

The user experience decides on whether or not the user will return to your app, switch to your competitor’s alternative, or give you low ratings.

The UX is dependent on the integrity of the OS

This was all shadowing to display the importance of user experience and its price when you have to decide between the hybrid and native development routes.

An app’s UX needs to match the OS. A high-quality user experience is impossible without designing for a specific operating system.

Hybrid applications are not designed to perfectly fit one application’s specific style, but they are more of a one-size-fits-all. One codebase and that is it. Of course, it means less time, less effort, and lower costs. But it comes with the cost of a user experience that is not in perfect harmony with the rest of the OS.

Hybrid app developers will not ever be able to create an application that brings on the perfect user experience, as they speak in a different language. The other thing is that the biggest dominant platforms, IOS and Android, are simply too different. Any choice made from a design perspective would be a compromise.  

What is your updating approach?

 To know the answer to this question, you must take a moment to imagine your app’s development in the long run. Is your program going to be updated frequently and rapidly? Or are you going for more of a waterfall approach, which means a big update in the course of several months?

The frequency of productions and changes that you plan on making, and the way they are done, heavily affects the user interaction. Here is how hybrid and native applications differ when it comes to this matter: when the app is native, the user as to update it through the app store. But with hybrid applications, the update and changes are naturally loaded from the server.

This is not that much of a problem with users who have set up auto-updates, but that is not always the case. The user does not want to have to update the app every single month to keep it functioning smoothly. It is a frustrating thing, which attracts negative attention to the software, making them even want to get rid of it completely and uninstall the app.

A circumstantial choice

Hybrid app development has grown in popularity through the past years. There are a few reasons for this:

  • The growth and accessibility of the internet.
  • Single codebase, multiple platforms.
  • Updates are loaded naturally and do not require approval from the app store.
  • You will not have to recruit new developers. The web developers you already have can get the job done.

No API development is needed, it is all done through the web.

Many more reasons for this are:

  • Time and money are saved, and the app is published more quickly.
  • Less trouble in developing new features and publishing them.
  • Bug fixes can be released as easily as updates.

A hybrid app does not stand out at the first glance. It looks like any other app to the users. It is distributed on the app stores just like a native app and marketed the same way as well.

A hybrid might truly be the way to go if your strategy is to experiment fast and furiously and learn from the user analytics of 90% of all users (meaning IOS and Android combined).

But some limitations and their effects must be considered as well.

The limitations to going hybrid:  

  • Again, and again, the performance of a native app is in no way comparable to a hybrid one. Native applications deliver way higher user experiences than their cross-platform counterparts.
  • You cannot use hybrid apps without the internet. Where there is a bad connection or no connection at all, hybrid apps do not have the option of running offline. Native apps do not need server access to load data, therefore can be used offline and in areas with poor reception, such as airplanes.
  • Your application might need access to the device features such as the microphone, camera, contact list, and more. This access will not be direct, but dependent on third-party tools and plugins, adding on to your costs. The same goes for native APIs.

Although hybrid development is more costly in the long run, it might still be a better choice for startups that need to get out there as soon as possible, and do not have the resources to develop a native application.

Is it necessary for your app to run on multiple platforms from the beginning?

There is this huge urge for companies to make their app available for both Android and IOS, right from the start. It is understandable, as it is natural to not want to be limited to a specific market. But, is cross-platform presence necessary as soon as possible?

For example, if your application aims to target a western audience, the most popular platform in the US is IOS, while Android comes in second. Of course, it is desirable to be on both platforms, but quality should not be sacrificed for a wider market.

Many huge applications started their appearance on one platform. Take Instagram as an example. Instagram was only available on IOS for the first two years. There is no rush.

So is cross-platform app development always the way to go?

 Of course not. There is more than one development solution, as there are different needs and requirements for each company.  

The most important factor that makes companies go hybrid, is the combo of little money meets little time. When your business strategy requires you to show up in a private and narrow market in less than four months to test how the market responds, hybrid is the best option.

If the results were optimal, you can then create a native version, and share it with the world. And well, if the results were not to your likings, you would have saved yourself time and money.

It is common for executives to push for hybrid app development to save as much money and time as possible. But it is important to keep a future-conscious mindset and think of the app’s performance in the market.

How much does it cost to build a native app?

We have already mentioned many times that the biggest disadvantage native app development has to hybrid app development, is the higher costs. What makes the native development costs higher than cross-platform development, is not the type itself, but how much more time-consuming it is.

There is no straight-on answer to how much will the development of an app cost, as it depends on so many factors. There are many other factors other than the native or hybrid approach impacting the price, such as where you choose to develop, the complexity of the app, etc.

In general, it can cost something between 20,000$ to 250,000$ to develop an app. Because of how it is impossible to name a price for native app development, we try to give you an overall view of how much development might cost in general. However, app development prices could take a full article to discuss in length.

Where in the world do you plan to have the app developed?

The price of app development heavily varies worldwide. Because of the differences in pricing, we take the rate of 40$ as the average hourly price worldwide and estimate the final costs based on it.

Roughly estimated, the cost of a simple app is approximately around 90,000$, an app with medium complexity costs around 160,000$, and the more complex apps are usually priced above 240,000$.

It is a hard choice to decide where in the world you want to develop your application. There are companies everywhere claiming that they can deliver any project in the best quality, and have the best developers. Although you get what you paid for, a high price does not mean good quality either. An approach of higher price equals higher quality, can lead to financial failure.

In general, the prices for app development worldwide vary from an average of 150$ an hour in North America, to 40$ an hour in Eastern Europe, and 25$ hourly in India.

If you want to create native apps for both the Android and IOS platforms, double your estimated price.

The time and costs relation

The mobile app development costs vary, and the reason for that is not only the platform. It is the needed time to develop an application that decides on the costs. This means the features, if it is cross-platform, and if not what platform it is being developed for?

Roughly estimated:

  • A basic app takes between 500 to 800 hours of development. This means approximately 3 to 6 months.
  • An application with medium complexity takes 800 to 1200 hours. This means a timeline of 5 to 9 months.

Complex applications with special features usually take more than 1200 hours. This means an app development process of over 8 months.

What makes an app take longer and cost more?

As we have already said, the price of app development is estimated by the time it will take. You cannot expect the development firm to inform you of the development costs immediately. They have to study your requirements and desired features and estimate how many hours it will take to develop the application.

What are the key factors that impact the costs?

  • The type of your project. CRM, LMS, EHR, marketplace, and other kinds of applications all take different efforts and a different amount of time.
  • The features you desire.
  • The platform. However, the development time and costs have become almost the same now.
  • The visuals. The costs heavily differ, between when the visuals are customized specifically for you, and when you use templates.
  • Are you outsourcing, or going in-house? We have an article on how that might affect the costs.
  • App maintenance, Costs that add up in the long run
  • App administration and backend framework   
  • How much does your vendor charge hourly
  • Where the development team is located, and how the team is structured

Maintenance costs

Like any other software if not, even more, mobile apps have maintenance costs. The average cost of app maintenance in the industry is 15-20% of the original development costs. Maintenance costs include hosting, engagement, marketing, monitoring, updates, and licenses.

The hosting costs

The most important factor the hosting costs are determined with, the type of data your application is dealing with. The more media-rich your software gets, the more ram and disk space, and a higher CPU is required. If your application is text-based, it probably has lower hosting costs.

Long time monitoring costs

The most important thing after an app’s publishing is the monitoring. It is an essential factor in its success and cannot be ignored by any means.

Monitoring costs cannot be estimated generally, as each application has its unique group of users and tasks. Discuss the costs with analytics platforms and get an estimation of the costs for your application’s requirements.

Stay flexible when it comes to monitoring costs.

Marketing costs

App marketing is about designated activities to keep the audience encouraged and involved. App marketing starts with the app install. The cost depends on the platform, country, and ad unit. The cost per install for IOS was 2.37$ per install in the US, 0.22$ in Brazil, and 0.98$ in China.

Later on, the marketing costs become about the desirable action a user takes.

Update costs

All apps release an update. First of all, it is impossible to create a perfect app with the first release. Second, the OS keeps updating, new features are added, and the market constantly evolves as well. To keep up with it all, you have to update your app to keep up with your competitors and keep the users satisfied. Third, updates are a great way to keep the users encouraged and involved with your application.

While the actual release of an update might not take much time, as little as one hour, the development process might be very time-consuming and cost you a lot.

License costs

If you use technologies for which the provider requires a license fee, the costs will add up.

Licenses can cost a lot, and the prices depend on the annual fees, as well as the number of devices.

Some interesting facts about native app development

What are some examples of native apps?

There are many native apps out in the digital market, and there is no way that we can cover them all. We aim in nodding instead, to a few that have heavily dominated the market in 2021. 

WhatsApp

One of the most popular messaging apps in the world, WhatsApp has been developed as a native to Android and IOS. WhatsApp was the 4th globally most downloaded app in the third quarter of 2020, with over 140 million downloads.

An excellent example of a native communication tool.

Spotify

One of the most popular apps, especially among the younger generation. Spotify claims to be an essential app for every smartphone of every music lover.

Spotify is a music service hub, giving its users access to thousands of songs and podcasts from artists and labels all around the world.

An outstanding example of a cloud-native application, through collaborating with Google cloud, Spotify has reached new levels of efficiency in delivering the best service to its users.

Pokemon Go

App Store’s biggest celebrity back in 2016, Pokemon Go is an ER game that turns the real world into its gameplay map. The creators of this application claim that they aimed in making people get out, travel around and explore the real world. Pokemon Go uses GPS and integrates AR technology to create a new experience.

Waze  

An amazing navigation application, with worldwide popularity. This application can be run on smartphones and tablets that have GPS. Drivers around the world use this app’s turn-by-turn information, route details, and travel time estimations to navigate their way. Waze has a great simple design. It is also free to download and use!

What are some examples of hybrid apps?

Instagram

One of the most successful hybrid application examples. Instagram is one of the top social media apps, encouraging millions of users every day. It is used by many businesses, and it is the best for sharing a flow of media daily. Instagram is created through the use of HTML5, and its signature capability is to store both online and offline data and even rich media.

Uber

An application used daily by millions of users worldwide to book taxis and get to their destinations. Uber runs on m.uber.com and is the most popular web application at the moment. Uber does it right with its minimalistic and intuitive user interface, with great navigation and flow. It is a fast application with excellent performance, satisfying millions of users.

Gmail

It would not be possible to leave the Gmail app out of this list. The Gmail app uses the full potential of HTML5 and gets the best out of it. It redefines the web Gmail experience with its amazing features and the things it can get done. Through seamless integration of native elements and HTML, Google has created a significant application, with an amazing performance and user experience.

Twitter

 Twitter sets an amazing hybrid application example. It has gained a large audience through its fast and smooth performance, and simple interface. Twitter solved the downsides to the hybrid approach, delays for example, and changed how the users perceive these apps.

One could even say that Twitter had a huge part in the increase of demands of hybrid apps.

Which are better, hybrid or native apps?

There is not such a thing as the final answer to this question. The truth is, it depends on your business goals, requirements, and circumstances. There are benefits and advantages to both the native and cross-platform app development approaches.

A quick review on both the hybrid and native development pros and cons:

Native app development pros:

  • Higher performance
  • Harmony and integration with the operating system
  • Higher security  
  • Better functionality
  • Better user experience
  • Fewer bugs
  • Native app development cons:
  • Multiple codebases
  • Higher costs
  • Take at least double the time in development and maintenance
  • Hybrid app development pros:
  • Faster release of the application
  • Lower costs
  • One codebase
  • Less effort in developing and maintaining the application
  • Easier to maintain
  • Hybrid app development cons
  • Cannot be used offline
  • Not as good user experience
  • Higher learning curve
  • Dependent on third party development tools, increasing the probability of errors occurring

Indirect access to a device’s features

Hybrid apps are more suitable for companies that cannot afford the time and money the native quality requires and need to get out in the market as soon as possible. The hybrid apps perform well, which are simple and basic, and do not have complex goals or carry heavy graphics. Cross-platform solutions are also suitable for cases in which the company wants to test the application in a limited private market, to later apply the analytics to a native app.

Which has higher maintenance costs, hybrid or native apps?

 Hybrid apps are easier to maintain, while they usually have more errors. With hybrid apps, you are maintaining one single code base. That’s not the case in the native approach.

A hybrid app can be updated as many times as you wish, as the updates are loaded from the server instantly. Meanwhile, native apps require permission from the user with every single update.

The problem with being dependent on one code base though is that if there is an error, all the versions get involved. Hybrid apps also do not have straight access to the platform’s features and hardware. Instead, they are dependent on third-party development tools and plugins.

This means that whenever the OS updates, the hybrid app’s developer will have to wait for a plugin that gives them access to the new features. It also means that whenever there is a problem with the third-party development tool, you are involved as well.

A native app development company

We talked about the definition of a native app and compared it with other forms of applications. There are many companies out there that can help you develop a native app. But you should really consider what you need and what you expect from the app. so, you can consider calling our professionals in Dewzilla to give you the needed hints. We also can create it for you from scratch. Don’t hesitate to give us a shout. 

In conclusion

In this article, we discussed in length what hybrid and native apps are, the pros and cons to each development approach, how to choose the approach that best fits you, and the costs overall.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches, and each project has different requirements and goals, making one approach more suitable for it than the other.  The two development approaches have been compared very often, and the discussion is still relevant.

Hybrid applications have certain advantages that make them appealing. A hybrid solution can be published in a shorter time and maintained with easy updates. They also have a lower initial cost.

But many companies have found that they have to spend more in the long run, trying to better the UI elements, or keep the application integrated with the evolving OS.

Although the initial investment is higher with the native app development approach, they might cost you less time and money in the long run.

It all depends on your company, and whether or not you can afford the overall better performance of a native app.

We wish you luck.

FAQs about native application development

What’s the meaning of a native app?

An app is called native if it’s developed for a platform or ecosystem to utilize all of its available features. These apps usually are available for downloading through application stores. 

Are native apps better than others?

There are many reasons to make us answer “yes”, but there are also some negative aspects here. So, it depends on what you expect from your app and the people who are likely to use it.

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