A mobile app is a type of application software designed to run on a mobile devices such as a smartphones , tablets ,etc.
Business owners considering mobile apps development whether for clients or internal company usage may choose among these three types – native, web or hybrid applications.
This should be the number one question for every entrepreneur before they start/dive into app development.
It depends on company's priorities and many factors such as,
★ How fast you need the app .
★ Your budget for app development .
★ What are the features you need .
★ The quality of the user experience you want your app to have .
★ The complexity of features you need for your app to work .
The more importantly you should take care about what is your target audience.
Let us analyze each type and its merits and demerits and then decide which of them will be the most suitable option in each case.
➱ Native apps are build for a particular device and its particular operating systems.
➱ It can be installed through an application store (such as Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store).
Example − Whatsapp , Native sms app , native alarm app , etc…
➱ Native apps are written in java and kotlin for android , swift and objective c for Apple ios.
➱ It can take full advantage of all the device features — they can use the camera, the GPS, the compass, the list of contacts, and so on.
★ It can use the device notification system .(i.e) push notifications allows direct communication line with the customers .
★ It maintain UI design of each operating system, thus they offer the best user experience .
★ Easy to add new features and it run offline as well .
★ A Native app is more secure and reliable .
★ Faster running code with core programming.
★ Native apps use difficult programming languages which require experienced developers and it takes too much time to build the app .
★ Native apps are usually more expensive in developing, especially for companies that need apps on multiple OS platforms .
➱ Hybrid apps are similar to a website which is designed to appear as an app .
➱ This means that while the basic infrastructure of hybrid apps is native, the content is web-based .
➱ Hybrid apps can take advantage of all the native features of native apps – accessing data from other apps, offline working, ability to be downloaded from an app store – while the actual content relies on HTML being rendered in a browser.
➱ You can use Frameworks such as Angular , React Native , Flutter , Xamarin .
Example- Twitter, Uber, Instagram .
★ Maintenance is simple .
★ It can be found in the Play Store , App Store which makes the distribution easy .
★ Hybrid apps don’t need a web browser like web apps . It has a browser embedded within the app only .
★ Developing a Hybrid App is cheaper than developing a Native App. It can be built for cross-platforms(Only one codebase is needed ) .
★ Hybrid apps are much slower than native apps .
★ App stores may refuse hybrid apps that do not work smoothly .
★ Graphics are less accustomed with the operating system as compared to Native Apps .
➱ Progressive web apps are not real applications , they are actually websites that open in your smartphone with the help of a web browser .
➱ They are run by a browser and typically written in HTML5 .
➱ Users first access them as they would access any web page then they navigate to a special URL and then have the option of “installing” them on their home screen by creating a bookmark to that page .
➱ PWAs are only compatible with Google Chrome . Example-Wikipedia .
★ Web-based apps are easier to control and they can run on any OS platform .
★ Developers can offer applications without approving them by any app stores .
★ Easy update − Just update in one location and all the users automatically have access to the latest version of the site .
★ No installation required, as compared to native or hybrid app .
★ They can be used only through the web, which means safety control is vastly decreased .
★ Mobile websites cannot use some of the features. For example, access to the file system and local resources isn’t available in websites .
★ Web apps are slower and much less responsive than native apps .
NATIVE VS HYBRID VS PWA - Comparison
|development process||difficult||relatively easy||easy|
|security||secure||less secure||less secure|
|code portability||complex coding||write once and deploy anywhere||easy|
|availability in STORE(app/play)||yes||yes||no|
WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU
➱ Native apps , hybrid apps , web apps each have their own strengths and weaknesses .
➱ After considering your options, it’s important to work with app developers that can bring your idea to life efficiently and cost-effectively .
Whichever app you decide to build, remember the following :
➱ Always have an understanding of your users expectations and adapt as market demands change .
➱ Your API infrastructure should have reliable and easy access to your content and services .
While on the other hand, small businesses aren’t capable of affording a fully native app.
The battle between native apps and hybrid apps and PWA is never going to end because, honestly, there’s a place and need for all.
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