native versus hybrid mobile app development

Ever since HTML5 came onto the scene, Hybrid apps have been quite the rage. The ease of development, plus developing for multiple platforms with the same code base has made it an important toolset for mobile developers. At TADCO, we develop native as well as hybrid applications, and from our experience, we know just when to make the tradeoff.

Today, we will walk you through the both platforms and help you judge when you should choose native vs Hybrid applications.

Budget

When it comes to cost, building a hybrid app is way cheaper than building a native app. This is mainly because 60 to 70% of a hybrid application’s code can be reused. This usually results in writing code once that can run on both iOS as well as Android apps.

Also for native apps, most of the time you have to hire two developers as opposed to just one while building a hybrid app. If your requirement for an app comes with a tighter budget, perhaps hybrid is the way to go. But if you have a decent budget for the mobile app – you can move towards building a native app.

Performance

Hybrid apps are basically web apps inside an app container. That means they come with their own performance issues that you see on the web as well. One common and well known bug is the browser loading the elements a bit slow, which means you can’t optimise rendering of your app after a point.

This is not the case with native apps. When you are building with Native apps you can write code in the C language, which is the closest you can get to the machine language, thereby reducing friction and increasing performance for your apps.

If you are a performance freak and want to save even 2ms of your users time, then hands down native wins here. But if you are okay with a decent performance lag, hybrid just makes it equally lucrative.

Time

By now we have established hybrid’s immense power of code reuse. What that also means is building hybrid apps will allow you to launch to market in a shorter time. The reason being since web apps and HTML5 have been around for a lot of time, all features have been already developed. Developers can use, or rather re-use, components in their projects.

Compare this to native which has been around only for a decade, where components are rather new. Also, with every update the design pattern changes for native apps.

This is why when you build hybrid apps, you can get it done faster. So if you are in the market to launch a MVP or validate your app idea, hybrid apps are the way to go. Typically an MVP for mobile app in hybrid can be developed in 3-4 weeks, as compared to a 8-9 weeks timeline for native apps.

Now that we have established the difference between hybrid and native applications, we hope you are clear now on how you want to proceed ahead with your app. To sum it up, while native apps win in term of performance, if you are constrained on time and budget, hybrid apps win.