As a mobile app developer for iPhone and Android, I am often asked the same questions. Should my app be a native iOS/Android or should I explore a hybrid approach? Here is what I tell most clients….
There are still tons of misconceptions surrounding the mobile app development market. Recently, the question has become extremely difficult since the two most common hybrid platforms (React Native and Xamarin) are providing a great mobile experience and are getting closer to a native UI/UX experience. Before we dig into native and hybrid app development platforms, we must focus in one most important aspect of development, and that is the end user. The end user is least concerned about the technology or the platform that powers the app they are using, they are mainly concern on usability rather what goes into making the app. And let’s keep in mind, almost 80% of users will stop using your app if it fails to work once or twice.
Now a brief description of native app development, in the context of mobile development a native application is a software program that is developed for use on a particular platform or device. Because a native app is built for use on a particular device and its OS, it has the ability to use device-specific hardware and software. Now what is a Hybrid app? A hybrid app is an application that is created using the same technology of writing as in mobile web products and websites, but which is placed in a native shell on a mobile device. With the course of its evolution, the native approach gained web technologies, closing a number of development disadvantages, such as the writing of two different sets of codes or selection of separate teams for each platform, and finally became a hybrid. However, instead of eliminating all issues it also created new weaknesses.
User Experience in a native mobile application provides key benefits specially with better scrolling, specific swipe gesture recognitions, profound effects and interface animations, and speed. The capabilities of native app development gives freedom not only to developers, but also to the end user since is taking full advantage of the software and the operating system’s features. A native approach allows you to directly interact with all of the devices’s operating systems features such as microphone, cameral, contact list, as well as interaction with the local hardware so they are faster in execution which ultimately results in better USER EXPERIENCE.
User Experience in a hybrid mobile application, every developer must educate team members for the common controversial hybrid user experience, so all team members and stakeholders are prepared and understand the limitations introduced in hybrid development specially when the focus relates to speed and quality. Even though the two most popular platforms today “React Native and Xamarin” have made tremendous improvements in user experience, there are still limitations when it comes to loading time, slow run, lack of background mode support, and most noticeable is the often look like a custom website with a user interface of a mobile app.
The main answer is that these two approaches are the best of the best. The success of one native app doesn’t detract from the merits of hybrid development as they are great success apps in both iOS and Android stores. Hybrid apps are perfect for developing minimum viable products with limited budgets and timeframes while in the other hand native apps are suited for mobile development that requires flawless performance, custom features and the best user experience. If you have questions about this or other articles, we at Tapcrew can help you choose the right app platform for your ideal. We are conveniently located in San Diego, California and have been working with mobile app development since the beginning of the iPhone and Android devices.
Infographic: Native vs Hybrid App Development
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