Again, depending on your business objectives and overall product goals, this decision can make or break the success of your mobile strategy. Deciding to build your mobile product as either a web, native, or hybrid app involves a variety of factors for consideration.
Native Apps are for specific platforms making them fast and responsive. They are considered to have the best performance and have the best overall user experience.
Advantages of Native Apps
Native apps deliver the best performance of all three development approaches.
Native apps receive complete support from app stores and the overall app marketplace. Distribution in app stores helps with discoverability.
Native development allows developers to access the full feature set of the selected operating system.
The user experience of native apps is far superior to web apps or hybrid apps. To the user, the flow is more natural because of each mobile operating system’s specific UI guidelines and standards.
A native app must be approved by its own operating system, which assures quality, security, and device compatibility.
Disadvantages of Native Apps
Native apps use difficult programming languages that require experienced developers.
Expenses are more costly upfront for native apps compared to web or hybrid apps.
Native apps are not the best option for simple applications.
Web Apps are easier to build but are often much slower. Web apps are not recommended for a company that is looking to develop an interactive and intuitive experience.
Advantages of Web Apps
Web apps are relatively easy to maintain because they use a joint code base across multiple mobile platforms.
Web apps can be built for all platforms as long as they can run in an appropriate web browser.Compared to native apps, web apps are less expensive upfront.
Web apps don’t adhere to standard operating system protocols and don’t require approval from the app marketplace; they can be released at any time and in any format.Updates to web apps don’t need to go through an app store, meaning the user doesn’t have to manage updates manually. The newest version always loads when a user opens a web app.
Disadvantages of Web Apps
Web apps have a much smaller scope when it comes to leveraging device features and hardware.
A browser is required to run a web app. Users have to take more steps to use a web app, whether that’s searching for the page or typing in a URL. Either way, more effort complicates the user experience.
Users interact with different web browsers, and as a result, the usage patterns and performance metrics used to create a product roadmap are more challenging to collect.
Unless a web app marketed well, web apps have poor discoverability because they’re not listed in the app store.
Web apps are slower and much less responsive than native apps.
Web apps are less interactive and intuitive compared to native apps.
There are fewer branding opportunities with web apps. An app store listing presents an invaluable opportunity to convey an app’s unique value proposition.
With Hybrid Apps, you have to contend with issues that stem from both native systems and web systems, which makes fixing bugs more difficult. Performance is also a disadvantage because hybrid apps load in webview. Additionally, the more customization you want within your hybrid app, the more expensive it will be, and therefore, a native solution may be more cost-effective.
[Infographic] A Guide to Mobile App Development: Web vs. Native vs. Hybrid
Advantages of Hybrid Apps
Hybrid apps don’t need a web browser like web apps.
Hybrid apps have access to a device’s internal APIs and device hardware.
Only one codebase is needed for hybrid apps.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps
Hybrid apps are much slower than native apps.
With hybrid app development, you’re dependent on a third-party platform to deploy the app’s wrapper.
The more customization the app requires takes away from hybrid development, which costs more money that can be saved with native app development.
Although the initial cost may be higher with a native app, you’ll end up saving a lot of time and money in the long run. By offering a great user experience, better performance, and leveraging the device features, you’re able to provide your users with a more personalized experience.