The moment you decide to invest in a mobile app, you will be faced with deciding which type of app to build. Today, we will be diving into mobile apps and the difference between native, hybrid, and web apps. So, what app should you build? Well, that depends on a lot of competing factors, which include budget and deadlines. For the sake of this blog, when we talk about app development, we’re going to focus on the two biggest operating systems, iOS and Android.

Web Apps

Recently, web apps lack the functionality of native apps such as the ability to send push notifications, work offline, and load the icon on the home screen. However, progressive web apps take advantage of recent improvements to browsers to provide this functionality. Therefore, is a progressive web app right for you?

They can be an excellent solution for Android, but iOS support is still limited. Don’t think of a progressive web app as a substitute for a mobile app. Instead, think of it as an easier way to get a better performing app into people’s hands.

When talking about a mobile app, we’re talking about apps downloaded from the app store. There are two types of mobile apps that you can choose to build: native and hybrid apps. Native apps are normally what you think about when it comes to apps. The majority of apps on your smartphone are native applications that are built for a specific programming language for either iOS or Android.

Apple’s iOS apps are written in Swift or Objective C, while Android’s apps are written in Java. Some native app examples include Pokemon GO, New York Times, and Google Maps. Now, let’s take a look at native apps.

Native Apps

Native apps offer the fastest, responsive, and most reliable experience for users. They make tapping into the camera, microphone, compass, accelerometer, and swipe gestures much easier. Native apps can also make use of push notifications, alerting users when their attention is required. Therefore, you can continually bring back your audience to the app using push notifications, which is key to any successful app.

With native apps, you will have the ability to match app UI and UX to platform conventions. By building natively, you can assure your app’s interface will be user friendly for all platforms. These points all sound great; but there are two main disadvantages you should be aware of before deciding on a native app.

Disadvantages of Native Apps

iOS apps will not run on Android and vise versa. So, you will have to work with different code bases for each platform you choose to build in. Typically, native apps cost more and take much longer to build. These costs also impact maintenance costs, so if you don’t have a budget of a few thousand dollars a month, you should consider a hybrid app instead.

One of the disadvantages of building a native app is having to operate with different code bases for each platform you choose to develop. This is true if you want to stick with the native SDK provided by Apple and Google. However, in the last few years, several cross-platform development solutions have become a popular way to build apps using a single code base. The best part about cross-platform apps is that they don’t sacrifice user experience or access to native APIs.

Two of the best platforms that allow for cross-platform development is Xamarin and React Native.

Xamarin – is a platform built by Microsoft that lets developers build one app that works on multiple platforms using C plus.

React Native – is an open-source platform launched by Facebook. This platform lets you build React Native for iOS and Android apps with one codebase. You just have to use JavaScript and React to put it together.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are installed like native apps, but they are a web app on the inside. They are built with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Then, they run a simplified web browser within the app called web view. So, why would you want to use a hybrid app? There are many benefits to launching a hybrid app.

For starters, there is only one codebase to manage. The advantages of hybrid apps stem from the fact that instead of building two apps, you’re only building one app, and making a few tweaks here and there to make them work on both platforms. Since there is only one codebase to manage, you won’t need separate iOS and Android developers to maintain and update your app.

Hybrid apps are also easier to scale to another platform. Once you have your app put together, it’s effortless to launch on a Windows phone on another platform. As with native apps, hybrid apps retain the same ability to access device features. However, the benefits of hybrid apps do come with some disadvantages as well.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps

The most significant disadvantage is the lack of performance found in some hybrid apps. Although some hybrid apps like Ionic have made things much better in recent years. Cross-platform development can be challenging, and getting your hybrid app to run correctly on each platform can take a lot of work.

Apps are supposed to feel right, so if you swipe an element in a specific direction, you expect it to react immediately. This is easy in native apps, but not so much in hybrid apps. There are some hybrid app platforms for you if you’re thinking of building a hybrid app or just starting with one.

Phone Gap – Phone Gap is the most well-known among hybrid app platforms and probably the easiest, to begin with.

Cordova – is the open-source engine of a phone app and is backed by Adobe. Their platform lets you create a cross-browser mobile app with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. These apps run locally in a web view and are wrapped in native code.

In Summary

So which type of mobile app is best for your business? There are many different directions that you can take your app, all of which have pros and cons. The opportunity to get your app into the app store or the hands of millions is still going. Therefore, take advantage of this opportunity today. If you’re looking for mobile app development services in Orlando, Ecodelogic is the best solution.