Mobile app development has become a recent trend in the development industry. Various approaches and technological support made available for developing the applications suiting all the requirements of clients.
However, the vast availability of options to choose from, it becomes difficult for businesses to choose the one that fits their needs.
Why Choose Best Practices of Mobile App Development?
There are many software and programming language support available for developing mobile applications.
However, choosing the appropriate development approach depends heavily on various factors.
As the competition in the mobile app market is cut-throat, selecting the right approach for mobile app development holds importance in leading an app to success.
As the number of smartphone users has reached 3 billion, mobile applications are one of the best resources to reach a maximum of the target audience and promote products and services.
Divided by different platforms they run on, the development approaches used, the category they fall in, user intentions that they serve, and more, mobile apps remain an ultimate choice for many businesses to deliver the best support to their potential customers.
Hybrid Applications and Native Applications: What’s the Difference?
Among many discussed and debated topics of mobile app development, the comparison of hybrid apps and native apps always remains a current one. And for businesses, it is quite challenging to determine whether they need a hybrid or a native app solution.
But the relevant factors that directly connect to their potential audiences can help determine what is required.
The app users are not concerned with the background processes, including the development approach, platform selected, and more.
All they care about is the app performance and the experience it provides. The average churn rate of mobile apps worldwide is 71% for three months, and a 29% user retention rate is observed, according to Statista.
To keep your app’s user retention rate high, it becomes essential to consider using the best development approaches.
Therefore, to reach potential customers the right way, it is important to consider using the best practices of app development and concentrate on providing the best user experience through the app.
The development of mobile apps can be divided mainly into two parts: Hybrid and Native app development. Choosing anyone from these two heavily depends upon the app user requirements and your business limitations. But both these approaches have their advantages and limits also.
Exploring through them helps understand which approach actually suits your requirements and provides the best results.
Hybrid Vs. Native Apps: Criteria to Compare Upon
Comparison of these both can be made on the criteria that directly influence the user choices and requirements. Based on their limits and support, one can easily determine which approach suits their needs.
1. Development Requirements
Native applications are platform-specific; i.e., one has to develop different applications based on the platforms they intend to serve users. Native applications running on Android, iOS, Windows, or any other are developed separately and using their specific programming languages and development tools.
Whereas, the case for hybrid applications differs completely. Hybrid applications are not platform-specific. i.e., one has to develop a single app solution that can run on every platform, Android, iOS, Windows, or any other.
The base code for the app remains the same for every platform, and developers have to work on changing the user interface according to platforms only.
2. Tools, Frameworks and Language Specifications
Native apps require separate IDEs and programming language experts to build platform-specific apps as they are platform-specific.
For Android apps, using Java or Kotlin as a programming language and on Android Studio IDE, native applications can be developed. Similarly, for iOS app development, XCode is used where Swift or Objective C can be used to create the app. And Windows apps can be developed using C#.
Developing hybrid applications is easier as the concepts of web technologies and excellent support from these development frameworks offer seamless development support.
3. Feature and Functionality Support
As native applications are built to suit the specific platform capabilities, they can easily access the device features and provide a seamless user experience.
They can easily integrate the in-built features of devices, i.e., camera, GPS, microphone, and many more. It helps improve the user experience and provides excellent functionality support.
Developers have to seek support from different libraries that contain loads of code to let the app access device features, and this support is only available for certain features only.
4. Multiple Device Support
The app development should not remain specific to particular user devices only. Unless a business is bound to serve a specific set of audiences, multiple device support is expected from every app solution. And native applications are the best at providing multiple device support.
If developers can answer the device fragmentation issue of the Android platform, they can easily deliver an app solution that fits every size of mobile devices and provide an excellent user experience.
Hybrid applications are also developed, keeping every platform in mind, but multiple device support features of hybrid apps are limited when compared to native apps.
The security of user data and their device has become an essential factor to keep in mind when developing the solution.
According to a report, 90% of app solutions have at least one flaw that doesn’t get covered under OWASP top 10. However, the growth of the application security market indicates the situations may change, and security issues get addressed with the best approaches.
If we consider native applications, they are highly secure and data protective as they can make fully-fledged use of the device features. The protection of user data and constraints of app security get fulfilled with native apps, but the same is not possible in hybrid apps.
Because of their limited access to device features, hybrid apps use multiple libraries and coding support that sometimes include bugs and errors that can benefit hackers. The threat of security vulnerabilities is way more severe in hybrid applications than in native apps.
Native applications excel at performing on the dedicated app platforms. The ability to easily integrate device features, providing excellent support for app security, supporting the device resolutions with best development practices, integrating various modules dedicated to enhancing usability, excellent support for the device and platform-specific layouts, and more help native applications to perform excellently.
But with the introduction of frameworks like Flutter, this issue is getting answered with best development practices.
7. Development Cost
What every business ultimately focuses upon is development cost. The investment to be done in development makes all the difference. Compared to hybrid applications, the resources available for native app development are quite expensive (excluding open-source IDE support) and limited.
Moreover, as a company has to develop different app solutions for different platforms, the number of development teams on-board increases. And it ultimately leads to costly app development.
But for hybrid apps, their versatility is enough to save a good amount of the company choosing them. Hybrid app development is comparatively cost-effective as only a single code base can work for all platforms.
Moreover, the resources available for hybrid applications are highly supported by vast developer communities and are mostly open-source. Thus, hybrid apps can easily fit into the budgets of small-scale businesses.
The app development task proceeds to an entirely new level once the app is released in the market.
Based on the changing user demands, updated device features and platform updates, new module and service integration requirements, security patches and device security updates, and more, the developed apps are required to be updated.
To update and keep the performance maintained, support from different development teams is required to keep the native app solutions maintained. But for hybrid apps, support from multiple teams is not required at all. As a single app solution runs across all platforms, maintenance of the hybrid applications is very easy and cost-effective also.
Which Should I Choose?
As mentioned earlier, the decision to choose a native app or a hybrid app entirely depends upon business-specific requirements. To develop an enterprise solution, native applications fulfill all the required criteria and provide excellent outputs.
However, for small-scale businesses and startups, the budget remains a significant constraint when they choose to develop their business-centric app. And for them, hybrid applications become the best option to choose with their cost-effective and budget-friendly operation support.
Depending upon the size of your audience, the platforms they use, and their requirements, a suiting approach should be chosen to derive the best results.