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Native vs Cross vs Hybrid – What To Choose and when?

There are many ways to present a unique mobile experience to the users. Building mobile apps can be done by applying multiple methods. Each project’s needs and objectives are different, and hence the approach always changes. We have technologies that assist us in fulfilling all of them. But the bigger question is – which one to pick and when? Of course, you know the answer – that it depends.

The native app approach is the king of app development. It gives you a unique and amazing UX. But time to market is comparatively slower than the other two approaches. It also provides an extensive area of development. Pilot app project dramatically benefits from Hybrid app development as less importance is given to UX and performance as it quickly reaches the market. Cross-platform is the bridge and a golden means to choose between the other two approaches. UX and performance match the Native approach, but you will win cost and succeed in time efficiency.

Choice depends on multiple aspects

This blog post will deliver detailed insights into native vs cross vs hybrid methods of developing mobile applications. What are their best features, and when to choose them? Let’s find out!

Native app development

The Native apps run on a specific technology dedicated to either the Android or IOS platform. These platforms use their own languages to run their operating systems. Hence the coding differs for Android and IOS. Kotlin or Java is used for building Android mobile app development. Swift or Objective C works for iOS mobile app.

Mobile developers expect robust functioning on Android and IOS platforms. User experience a healthy performance as the application is tailor-made to run on both platforms. Native app mobile developers use the resources available on the chosen platform and code them accordingly to work better.

  • Native app has access to all of the sensors & hardwares in mobile

  • Top level security can be achievable with native app

  • Simpler code delivers Robust performance

  • Much more solid functioning in an offline environment

  • API usability is higher

  • Custom made UI components enhances the user experience

  • Preventing bugs is easier and

  • Single layouts for each platform to suit screen-ratios

When to use?
  • Whenever you need only one platform to launch your mobile app.

  • When your application constantly depends on Camera, GPS, and more

  • Developing 3D games or games based on lots of animations.

  • When you want to give your audience the best experience and especially when your company is launching the app for the first time.

  • Calculator, Notes and all the other built-in applications that you get when you buy a device. They are all native.

  • Google maps, Spotify, LinkedIn, Music, Wallet all are native apps

Cross-platform app development

Cross-platform app development shares the same codebase as hybrid development. Yes, mobile developers use the same native elements to create the app, but they differ in providing a great user experience with different UI.

Cross-platform apps are more popular, thanks to Flutter and React Native.

  • Building apps based on cross-platform apps help to save time and money.

  • You may add features quickly as the code base requires only a little tweaking.

  • UI performance matches with Native apps as it shares a similar codebase.

When to use?
  • Initially low on budget, cross-platform is the ideal choice.

  • If you are unaware of which groups to target, launch your app to target both audiences.

  • Your app is not complex and does not require extensive coding.

  • Bloomberg, Insightly, Reflectly, Alibaba, Skype, Slack all are the cross platform apps

Hybrid app development

Hybrid mobile app development uses the features of a native app and a web app. Mobile developers build a hybrid mobile app using well-known languages like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. A hybrid app is about combining mobile and web elements to develop a product to target different platforms quickly.

  • Hiring hybrid Mobile app developers relatively cheap as apps works on many different platforms

  • App reaches the market faster as the backend codes remain more or less the same for all mobile variants.

  • Hybrid apps are much easier to re-code for releasing new updates.

When to use?
  • You have a bigger audience who will use your app on many platforms – mobile and web

  • When you develop simple apps to connect with your customers without major animations and other complex features

  • When you are time-bound and want to create an application to launch on multiple platforms

  • Test your idea in Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

  • Just Watch, NHS, Airbus Helicopters, Tinder, Uber, Forbes are the hybrid platform apps

Comparison Table (Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform)

Let’s summarise

Picking the right solution for your mobile apps depends on so many factors. You need to consider your budget, timeline, audience and product. What kind of mobile app do you want to offer? Is it complex or rather simple? How many features you want to integrate – and are they advanced or not at all? All the details matter – using hardware features or operating system options can be limited in different types of development.

Business goals and needs are important, too. You should analyse your marketing strategy beforehand to understand who is your potential customer. What is their behaviour, what devices do they use and in what types of situations they will look for your products or services? Clear vision can help to choose the right solution, which can be crucial when it comes to development time and cost-efficiency.

If you are still not sure, which type of mobile apps would be the best choice for your project – try asking a seasoned mobile app development company like Omni-Bridge. Our expertise will be perfect when it comes to determining if you should pick native, hybrid, cross-platform or PWA.

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