For many companies, developing a mobile app is an important step forward in building their business. Building an enterprise-level mobile app is certainly a large investment, but once the project is complete, an astonishing ROI is within reach. To get to that point, your business must consider two different approaches to mobile development – native platform apps and hybrid apps (now known as cross-platform apps). Each offers different features that can be used to a company’s advantage if implemented correctly. Let’s explore the question, “What is a native app and hybrid app?” and discover some of the pros and cons of each system.
Native Mobile Apps
Native apps are developed for a specific operating system – usually Apple iOS or Android – and then installed directly from an online app marketplace. Here’s a look at some native mobile app pros and cons.
Native App Pros
- Native apps have the ability to work with a device’s built-in features, which made them the faster choice before hybrid apps improved. They also offered more operating-specific customizability.
Native App Cons
- Native apps tend to be more expensive to develop. The costs associated with maintenance and updates are higher because to offer the app on both iOS and Android platforms, it has to be developed twice. This means two unique codebases that must be updated and maintained separately.
Hybrid Mobile Apps
Mobile hybrid apps are very similar to web applications in that they can be accessed from a wide array of devices and more than one operating system. However, they give you much greater access to functionalities than a basic website. For instance, on iPhone, your app can gain access to the user’s address book, GPS, and load up without an internet connection if needed.
Hybrid App Pros
- Many developers prefer hybrid applications over native applications because the development process is streamlined. With a hybrid app, only one codebase needs to be developed. Then, the developer can drop-in OS-specific code to optimize the app for different platforms/devices.
- If your company has a BYOD policy, hybrid applications are typically a great option for you, thanks to their cross-platform functionalities. This means that you can use the app on a variety of different devices and operating systems at once.
- Hybrid apps offer reduced development and management costs because they only require one codebase to be built and maintained.
Hybrid App Cons
- Since hybrid apps can be used across a variety of devices, it’s important to spend more time on Q&A and testing than with native apps limited to a particular OS. Native apps require testing and updates too, but hybrid apps require continual testing and improvement as operating systems are updated and new devices are released. However, a native app built for multiple OSs would encounter the same issues.
- One of the earliest concerns of early hybrid apps surrounded performance. Fortunately, hybrid app development (now called cross-platform development) has evolved and advanced. The limitations of hybrid development are few and far between, but these customizability and performance issues may crop up occasionally.
As we can see, both types of mobile apps have their advantages and disadvantages. Budget, speed, performance, and the need for multiple platforms must all be taken into account while choosing how to develop an enterprise app.
Today, companies don’t necessarily need to choose between native applications and hybrid apps thanks to the latest form of hybrid development, known as cross-platform mobile app development. A cross-platform app is an application that has all of the benefits of a native app, with the flexibility of using that app interface on virtually any mobile device.
7T specializes in cross-platform mobile app development, which has dramatically increased in popularity thanks to the many benefits of cross-platform apps, particularly for business and enterprise clients. In fact, Facebook’s React Native framework is perfect for cross-platform app development.
At 7T, we take great pride in our ability to leverage cutting-edge technologies to build all sorts of custom software. This includes Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, SaaS solutions and, of course, mobile apps. Based in Dallas, 7T maintains regional offices located in Chicago and Houston. We work with clients worldwide in a variety of industries, so if you’re in search of an innovative development partner, we invite you to contact the team at 7T today.