Right App Development Framework

Native Vs Hybrid Vs Cross-Platform – What is the Right App Development Framework in 2021?

What is Native App Development?

What is Hybrid App Development?

The most widely used framework for hybrid development are:

What is Cross-Platform Development?

Points to keep in mind while Choosing the Right Development Strategy for An App to Succeed
Final Words

Mobile application for a business is the basic requirement in the current state of the market. It is forecasted that the revenue generated from mobile apps is going to witness furious growth at a rate of 385% in 2021. Therefore, it’s apparent that the current year is going to be excellent for both aspiring and existing mobile app owners. If you’re keen on launching a mobile app, one of the most important decisions to make is Finalizing the technology route, for a business mobile application is not that difficult in comparison to choosing the methodology and platform required for the application development process, especially when there are several available platforms available for native or cross-platform mobile development.

In such circumstances, only a technical expert can help you using in-depth analysis of your business requirements, budget, time, app idea, app development platform, and market analysis. Moreover, to create a flexible and infallible marketing plan, business owners should exhaustively analyze app strategy plans.

New technologies, frameworks, and coding languages are launching regularly with promising performances, but which is best suitable depends upon the mobile app requirements.

Before finalizing the app development route, there is a prime element that you need to finalize:

Should you build a native app or a hybrid mobile app or should you invest in a cross-platform app?

(This question is rather debatable while each alternative has its pros and cons. At the same time, all of these platforms are evolving.)

Choosing the right app development strategy for your business has the potential to make or break your entrepreneur journey.

Therefore, for better clarity, this article will help you with a thorough analysis to make a final decision and empowers you to understand the difference between the three of them. We analyze by comparing the main factors influenced by the approaches such as performance, end-user experience, release cycles, and time-to-market.

 

What is Native App Development?

Native mobile app development refers to developing an app solely for a single platform. It is a mobile application built using a specific programming language for a specific mobile operating system (iOS or Android). The native app is built with programming languages and tools that are specific to a single platform. Java or Kotlin is used for native Android app and Swift or Objective-C is used for iOS apps.

Native apps are acknowledged for their exceptional user experience as they are generally high performance. User experience is also enhanced as the visuals are customized to the platform UX.

The Most Popular Native Apps Are:

    • Google Maps
    • LinkedIn
    • Twitter
    • Telegram
    • PokemonGo
    • Youtube

Native apps are developed particularly for the platform, which means that an iOS app can’t be executed on Android and an Android app can’t be executed on the iOS platform. If you want to reach both audiences, it is required to create two versions of the app, that demand two different teams, each with required skillsets. This duplication escalates costs and time both in the original build but also for post-launch maintenance and new feature development.

The exclusive feature of a native app is its complete adherence to the guidelines of a specific operating system. This results in enhanced stability and performance along with facilitated scalability and easy maintenance. Hence, it requires only a few allocated resources for further assistance.

Another vital feature is that native apps are enabled to work in offline mode, whereas cross-platform solutions require a steady internet connection.

Key Benefits of Native App Development

Once you thoroughly read the key benefits, you are going to realize its full potential.

    • Native apps provide seamless performance as they are developed and optimized for a specific platform. They are more scalable due to the flexible resources management and availability of several tools. ‍
    • Smooth code interaction and underlying resources lead to high-performance that facilitates a better UX experience.
    • Another impressive feature of native apps is their enhanced security. Due to authentication processes and enhanced data protection features, native apps are always a more reliable option.
    • Both Google and Apple regularly update SDK tools, therefore native application development offers higher flexibility in terms of available features.
    • One single code base results in fewer bugs during the development process.

Native comes with few disadvantages as well:

    • Native apps require more investment to develop, support and maintain as everything needs to be carried out on both codebases therefore it escalate the budget.
    • Require two different skill teams, one for each codebase, spotting them can be time taken task as less than 7% of all developers are acquainted with native programming languages.
    • UI customization is time taken process as design patterns are different for each device and platform.
    • Maintaining two codebases intensifies the complexity, time, and budget.
    • Adding new features and improvements in the code need to be developed and deployed on both platforms distinctly.

When it is best to use a Native Platform?

    • When your application requires complete access to all of the device resources and services.
    • When app responsiveness, enticing UI, and speed are the priority.
    • When there is a use of animations and development of 3D games.
    • When you want an app that is easily updated and enhanced with new features.
    • When you want no dependency on the development framework to add new features. (Like in cross-platform when Google or Apple launches a new feature, it takes some time to update applications to support this new feature)
    • When high-security and data protection is the priority.

Although the first-time cost may be higher with native mobile app development, you’ll end up saving a lot of money and time in the long run, doing it well at the initial stage. By offering a great user interface, smooth performance, and leveraging the device features, enables you to offer your users a more customized experience which will be rewarding in the long term. The combination of the native mobile app advantages will result in higher conversion rates and will ultimately enhance customer loyalty.

 

What is Hybrid App Development?

 

As the name hybrid suggests, it is the blend of native and web solutions both. But the hybrid is not a framework neither a platform, rather it is a practice of developing a mobile app for multiple platforms such as Android and iOS using a single code base. The core of the hybrid application is written using web technologies. These apps are encapsulated within a native container that uses a mobile WebView object. When the app is used, this object displays web content using CSS, JavaScript, HTML, HTML5 web technologies.

A web app is good for desktop users, the first contact, and picking up a referral or organic traffic – but it isn’t an optimal mobile experience for repeat usage. It Isn’t ideal for engaging users and building loyalty and habit around your brand.

Currently, PWA (progressive web apps) falls under this category otherwise flutter and react native apps are generating different apk’s for both platforms, therefore they consider under cross-platform. If your mobile app involves complex features and functionalities, then hybrid app development might not be the right approach for you.

Key Benefits of Hybrid App Development

 

    • A hybrid app needs less time to develop, as only one codebase is required.
    • As only one codebase would work therefore it’s cheaper to develop, maintain and continuously improve.
    • A huge pool of developers and agencies work in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS so finding a team is much easier
    • The code is built using well-known technologies and you only need one team to handle both iOS and Android
    • The codebase can be used as a starting point for a PWA, providing flexibility and an even better mobile experience
    • The absolute choice for MVP

 

Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps

 

    • Hybrid apps can struggle with graphics-heavy 3D and AR games, due to the overhead of the webview.
    • Hybrid apps rely on third-party plugin updates, so it is important that your team select well-established and supported plugins to ensure that this doesn’t affect your app’s performance.
    • No native feel.
    • Comes with less functionality and flexibility.
    • Hybrid apps require a constant internet connection to deliver the full range of features to the users.
    • It is better when you need to capture a wide audience in the beginning. It allows you to target users from both platforms at the same time.
    • iOS still does not fully support all the features of a PWA despite Apple launching service workers. The technology is more Android-focused.


Brands that launch PWA first:

    • Lancome
    • The Washington Post
    • Trivago
    • Starbucks


The most widely used framework for hybrid development are:

    • Vue.JS
    • PWABuilder
    • Polymer
    • Angular.JS
    • AMP


Ideally to be used when:

    • You have to target a huge audience using various platforms like mobile and web.
    • When the app does not require major animations and other complex features.
    • When time is less and you want to launch an MVP
    • If UX and performance are not a priority for the app, it would be the best solution than a native application.

What is Cross-Platform Development?

 

Many people mistake that hybrid and cross-platform are the same. But the only similarity between both types of apps is the “Single Codebase.” This implies cross-platform app approach enables the developers to write code once and reuse it according to the platform.

Startups and SMEs find cross-platform as a lucrative option to develop an app for multiple platforms like Android, iOS, and Windows simultaneously.

The cross-platform dev approach uses a native rendering engine. The codebase written in JS connects to native components via the so-called bridges. This provides the close-to-native UX. Cross-platform apps are free of platform conditions. They offer seamless functionality, easy implementation, and cost-effective production. Yet, do not expect outstanding performance. Customization is also a pain since it is limited to the framework you use.

The approach can be said to be better than Hybrid, but still Native remains, a King.

In the battle of performance, no one can match the Native app development.

If cross-platform is your priority then Flutter is the best framework available after React Native, as it’s better in terms of performance, compatibility, app features, engineering cost, and further market trends.

Benefits of Cross-Platform App development:

 

    • Single source code across multiple platforms helps by reducing the development efforts up to 50 – 80 % across projects. It enables development teams to follow the project deadlines. Therefore it speeds up the development process.
    • Internet marketing is going to be the future of mobile applications. And, the cost of application development across different platforms discourages companies to invest much. The use of a single code base across platforms results in significant cost reduction. Even it makes the development teams easier and flexible by saving their time and money in learning multiple technologies. They have to master a few skills to kick start the project.
    • With both cross-platform and hybrid app development approaches, the development teams don’t have to write unique code for different platforms. Instead, the program developed for one app gets leveraged many times. It is with a codebase used in bits for future projects.


Disadvantages of Cross-Platform:

 

    • Developers can experience difficulties while integrating cross-platform applications to local settings and engaging a third-party cloud service provider.
      1. Every time Google or Apple introduces a new feature for Android or iOS, it takes some time to update applications to support this new feature.
    • Cross-compliance during the development phase makes the code sluggish and even reduces the speed.
      1. Cross-platform applications are not able to take total advantage of native-only features to provide excellent user experiences. It is because of different screen layouts, platforms, and functionality.

 

The most used cross-platform frameworks are:

    • Flutter
    • Xamarin
    • React Native
    • Ionic


Ideally to be used when:

    • The business needs to target audiences on different platforms at the same time. And the company wants to invest in a limited budget
    • To achieve native experience and look at low cost without opting for the long Native app development approach.
    • App does not require complex functionality and responsiveness.
    • Effective and efficient UI is not the priority.


Points to keep in mind while choosing the Right Development Strategy for An App to Succeed

 

    • Target app audience
    • Analyze the preferable way for target users to access the application
    • Foreseen the required updates
    • A fair estimate of the level of complexity of the functionalities
    • The level of UI/UX required to maintain in the app
    • Development resources (available & affordable)
    • The requirement level of native functionalities (devices’ and OS’s features)

Final Words:

Native, Cross, and Hybrid, all three platforms are viable, which one to choose for development, it depends upon your app requirement. We have seen native apps are upmarket in the app development sector that makes them a king. Yet, let us not forget that the choice altogether relies on the business nature. Apps such as games, B2B, and content distribution apps are usually developed as a cross-platform. While apps that require specific features are meant to be Native.

For more insights and real market figures, refer here.

Analyze the below questions, answers would help you to make a wiser decision:

    • Do you want to fascinate your users by creating a completely native application that amalgamates into their preferred platform (Android or iOS)?
    • Are you more interested in opting for a Minimum Viable Product approach and swiftly creating a hybrid application that can be released on various platforms?

However, if you are still not sure which mobile application development platform would be the ideal and most suitable option for your app vision/project, just don’t wait, let’s have a session with our mobile application developers. They will guide you in determining the right platform that fulfills every aspect of today’s digital app development requirements.

 

 

 

Let’s take your business to the next level with our development masterminds.