Hybrid vs Native Mobile Applications

One question that habitually surfaces in today’s fashionable mobile development is whether to create a native app or a hybrid one. As a developer, I have often wished I had the time to think through a number of scenarios for my apps usability before running off to develop the relevant computer code. This text compares native and hybrid methods of app development to assist you in making the right call when developing your product:

Native apps

Native apps are written using programming languages specific to the platform they’re being developed for. This would typically be Objective-C or Swift for iOS and Java for Android. Native apps usually have better performance with rendering and animations than their hybrid competitors.

Since the app is developed within a mature ecosystem following the technical and user experience guidelines of the OS (e.g. swipes, app defined gestures, left aligned header on Android, centrally aligned header on iOS, etc), it not only has the advantage of faster performance but also “feels right”. What feeling right means is that the in-app interactions look and feel consistent with most of the other native apps on the device. Therefore, the end user is more likely to learn how to navigate and use the app faster than a hybrid one. Finally, native applications have the significant advantage of being able to easily access and utilize the built-in capabilities of the user’s device (e.g., GPS, address book, camera, etcetera). When a user sends text messages, takes pictures using the device’s default app, sets reminders, or uses the devices music app (the one that came with the phone), they’re using native apps.

Hybrid apps

A hybrid app is a mobile app that contains a web view (essentially an isolated browser instance) to run a web application inside a native app, using the native app’s wrapper to communicate with the native device platform and the web view. This means that web applications can run on a mobile device and have access to the device’s built in capabilities, such as the camera or GPS features.

Hybrid apps are possible because of tools that have been created that facilitate the communication between the web view and the native platform. These tools are not part of the official iOS or Android platforms, however they are part of square measure third party tools such as Apache Cordova. Once a hybrid app is constructed, it’ll be compiled, remodeling your Internet application into a native app.

Developing with Cordova is simply like developing a webpage. You produce markup language, CSS and JavaScript native files, take a look at them within the browser then wrap them using a native internet read with Cordova (you’ll still want native SDKs and development tools for this step).

Conclusion

Both native and hybrid squares are ways to satisfy the various desires and preferences of users and developers, and neither can be thought of as an ideal resolution. They have their strengths and weaknesses and it’s up to you as a developer to make a decision regarding which fits your purposes best.

About Author

Bilal Khan

Bilal Khan is a Jr. Project Manager at Genetech Solutions with a love for technology writing. Having a MS degree in Computer Science, He has decent exposure too, as well as makes ample effort to keep up with, latest technology trends.

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