You’ve been involved in mobile app-related discussions for a few months and finally, it’s time to proceed towards development! But before you can go before the company’s leaders with a formal proposal and price estimate, you’re tasked with making an important decision: should you develop a native or a hybrid app?
The native versus hybrid debate has to do with the platform upon which the app will operate. Choosing the right type of app is critical, and it’s an issue that must be addressed early in the process. After all, the platform will impact virtually everything, including your choice in developer, the cost and timeframe for the development project, the ideal app monetization strategy and your marketing plan. With such a far-reaching impact, it’s important that you understand the native app pros and cons so you can choose the avenue that’s right for your needs and requirements.
Native Apps Are Used on One Type of Operating System (OS)
If you opt for a native mobile app, it will work only on Android devices or only on Apple iOS devices, whereas a hybrid app would work on both platforms (and even lesser-used platforms, such as Windows and Blackberry).
This attribute can be either a pro or a con, depending on your precise situation. If you’re seeking to develop an enterprise app and your company is fully iOS-based, then a native app for iOS would be ideal.
But if you’re going to develop a B2C mobile app that will be made available to the public, you could find yourself in a situation where you must choose between developing an iOS app or an Android mobile app. That means you’ll have to foot the bill for not one but two native apps in order to maximize your user base and revenue potential. In this case, you could be better served by a single hybrid app.
Native Apps Can Leverage OS-Specific Hardware and Software
Since native apps are designed for a specific type of device, your developer will have the freedom to build an app that can interact with and leverage the software and hardware that is standard on a particular type of device. For instance, if you were creating an enterprise app for iOS, it would be relatively easy to configure the app so it communicates with Apple’s standard calendar application to allow employees to schedule meetings and view another person’s appointment schedule.
This is an area where it’s common to encounter struggles during the hybrid app development process, as it can be challenging to build an app that can accommodate a vast range of different devices and operating system versions. You could find yourself amidst a QA testing nightmare and in the end, there may be limitations associated with choosing a hybrid mobile app.
Of course, not every app needs to interface with device-specific hardware and software, so you may find this issue is not a major consideration in your decision-making process.
Native Apps May be More User-Friendly, With a Shorter QA and Beta Testing Process
Since native apps are built to run on a precise platform, the QA and beta testing phase tends to be a bit shorter. That’s because the developer must ensure the app is compatible and user-friendly on a fairly limited number of devices and operating system versions. To fully appreciate this upside, you must have a good understanding of the alternative: a hybrid app.
Hybrid apps must work on dozens of different operating systems and devices, which means testing can be a long, complex process—especially when you consider that the solution to a problem on device A may create a new problem on device B. The result can be a seemingly endless cycle of troubleshooting. This issue can come to light during the initial build and during the routine maintenance of a hybrid app. Of course, this isn’t a problem for every hybrid app. But at the end of the day, native apps tend to be associated with an easier, faster build and slightly lower costs for ongoing maintenance.
Native apps also see fewer compromises for the sake of compatibility across a vast range of devices. This may lead to a better user interface (UI), greater functionality and an improved user experience.
Native vs. Hybrid: Which is Right for You?
It’s important to consider the native app pros and cons carefully, as ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution in the native vs. hybrid debate. Some companies are well-suited to native apps, while others are best served by a single hybrid app that can run on nearly any device or OS. It really depends on the nature of your app, your user base and your monetization goals.
At 7T, our development team is here to help you explore your options as you identify the right type of mobile app for your unique objectives and requirements. Our talented development team is available to build a wide variety of app types for the device, operating system, industry and user base of your choice. In fact, 7T specializes in some of the most cutting-edge mobile app niches, such as virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics.
If you’re ready to start development, turn to the experts at 7T. Based in Dallas, our company maintains offices in Austin and Houston. We also serve clients beyond Texas, as our clientele is scattered across the United States. Contact us today to discuss your mobile app development project.