Thursday, December 8, 2016

5 Simple Questions To Decide Hybrid vs Native Mobile App Development

If you’re confused and wondering whether to build a hybrid mobile app or a native mobile app, this article will help you decide the mobile app strategy.

Quick introduction to Hybrid and Native app

Hybrid App: Developer wraps web code (HTML / CSS / JavaScript) with native SDK. Can be easily deployed across multiple platform and is usually the cheaper and faster solution.

Native App: This is platform (iOS, Android etc.) specific and requires unique expertise. However the full potential of the platform can be leveraged which will drive great user experience and larger app capabilities (especially around phone hardware).

Following 5 simple questions will help you decide between Hybrid vs Native App Development.

1) Do you want to use Hardware and Native Features.

In your application if you want to use phone hardware like GPS, Camera, SD card etc, it's recommended to go for native app instead of hybrid app. Because native SDK has support to access hardware, For hybrid app depending on the framework, you may or may not hardware access. Also you have to consider performance as well. For example in one my project there was a requirement to get camera preview in the app and capture it. Initially I build hybrid app but camera preview was sluggish and slow so later I have to move to native app. If there is no requirement to access hardware then hybrid application is the best option.

2) Is the UI experience is more important in your application?

If you want to create an insane user experience, the native app approach would do better. A hybrid app can never match the level of user experience that you get in a native app. However, this doesn’t mean that the user experience of a hybrid app is bad. A good front-end developer in hybrid app can get close to a native experience. Also performance of native app is much better than hybrid app so when there is a high demand of performance, go for native app.

3) Does your app need background services?

If your application need to work in background like background location tracking, file download in background then native app is the best option as native SDK has classes to create background services that can be invoked by alarms etc. In hybrid app, if app is background or killed, all the process stops.

4) What is your Development Time and Budget?

If you have very limited budget and want to get app quickly to the market then hybrid app is the best option as you don't have to create separate application for each platform. One single code wrapped with multiple native wrappers will give you native application for different platform so it will save both time and cost. As for the single native app you have to hire native developers, while for hybrid app one developer is enough and it can be quickly developed and deployed to multiple platform.

5) Does your application need offline storage?

Most of the apps are built work offline and for this we need local database storage in app. If your application need more space for offline storage than native app is best option. However it's possible to have offline storage in hybrid app too. But there is a limitation up to certain MB. After that it does not allow more offline storage.

With these 5 questions you can define your development strategy.

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