Hybrid App Development – Pros and Cons
Mobile applications can be broadly categorized into native, hybrid and web apps. Native application fully capitalizes all the features of a mobile device and its operating system. However, a web app lets you reach out to your target audience across platforms, reducing development time and cost.
Native vs Hybrid Apps
A native app is typically developed for a specific operating system such as Objective-C or Swift for iOS vs. Java for Android. The app is developed to leverage the features of operating system, follows guidelines of OS and best practices for optimum performance.
The user interaction with app is consistent with other native apps on the device which helps user navigate the app faster. Native apps leverage built-in capabilities of the user’s device such as GPS, address book, camera and so on.
Hybrid applications are quintessentially websites packed into a native wrapper. Hybrid apps are primarily built using technologies like React Native .Hybrid applications use a common code base to deploy native-like apps to a wide range of platforms.
- Developer can use existing web knowledge
- One code base for multiple platforms
- Less development time and cost
- Effectively design for various screen types such as tablets using responsive web design
- Access to device and operating system features
- Advanced offline capabilities
- Performance issues for apps requiring complex native functionality
- Does not support all operating system features
- Risk of rejection at app store for lack of native feel
Hybrid App: Tradeoff
While the hybrid apps are easy to build; take less time to market, and maintain one code base, the flipside of hybrid application development is the user experience. A lot is at stake when it comes to user experience. The two most popular platforms Android and iOS are vastly different and there is simply no way to build a mobile app that can cater to users of both operating systems.
After all, their styles and design guidelines are entirely different, making it difficult to create a hybrid app with superior user experience.
Is Hybrid for you?
Ultimately everything boils down to your business objectives and goals. It is important to analyze your target audience and their preferences. Based on your analysis, you need to decide whether your app needs to be on both Android and iOS. There are advantages to be present on both platforms, but do you really want your apps on both platforms immediately?