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When developing mobile applications for an organization, there is a choice to make in terms of the technology used to build the application.

Native applications built using specific technologies for different operating systems like iOS and Android or a common codebase which can run on multiple operating systems.

This article speaks about the difference between Hybrid and Native applications, and the pro’s and con’s of each application development method.

Hybrid applications

Hybrid applications are written with web technologies (HTML5, CSS and JavaScript). Hybrid apps run inside a native container and leverage the device’s browser engine (but not the browser) to render the HTML and process the JavaScript locally. Hybrid applications are on webview, which the user is unable to see. A developer can use native features of the device without any code being hitched to the device by using a customizable native plugin.

Why choose Hybrid?

  • Single code for any platform – With a framework like Ionic, the code runs on any platform. This means it will automatically fit all the devices and the look of the app will remain the same. Hybrid gives users vast experience across all devices, and the developer will have the benifit of just one codebase to work on.
  • Use the same developers – A web developer will know HTML, CSS and JS. In the Ionic framework, the existing web developer can build high-performance mobile with his existing skill set.
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  • Get the best user experience – Giving your user the same experience across all platforms is crucial and important. Hybrid helps you achieve this seamlessly.
  • Access to the future – An open-source hybrid framework will secure your development strategy in many important ways. The best example for this is the latest Ionic framework, this works on JavaScript, React, Vue, Angular. This will help you update the application easily.

Hybrid Application

Let’s look at two famous frameworks used to build the Hybrid applications

Ionic framework
Ionic is a complete open-source SDK for hybrid mobile app development. It’s built on top of Angular JS and Apache Cordova. There are many UI components for the developer to access easily. The time taken to complete the application is similar to other frameworks, but the biggest drawback is the maintenance difficulties. In this framework, you can add as many plugins as your application needs, but this will require manual reconstruction as well.

React is a JavaScript library for building user interfaces. It is maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies. React can be used as a base in the development of single-page or mobile applications, as it is optimal for fetching rapidly changing data that needs to be recorded. It is widely adopted as it requires less time to develop. However, the framework misses many components or plugins ‘but’ Facebook constantly releases updates and improves the framework.

Pros of Hybrid application

  • Developing features and maintaining the application is easy and quick as the developer will create a single codebase.
  • Hybrid works across platforms, for example, android and iOS with just one codebase.
  • The UI interface helps the application work on most devices.
  • Due to the single codebase, this application is cost-effective.
  • The company won’t need a huge team to work on iOS and Android and then cross-functioning the app. The app will be delivered faster compared to native build.

Cons of Hybrid application

  • The application relies on plugins to access the features in the mobile.
  • In this application, the user experience may not be as smooth as the native applications user experience.

Native application

In Native applications, the build is different for each platform. The technologies used are also different for each platform.
A developer can use SDK, tools like Android Studio and languages like Java and Kotlin for Android and SDK, Xcode and Swift for iOS. If a company wants to build both iOS and Android at the same time, they can choose Native. The native application requires more time and effort to complete it. The final application will have a good interface and better performance. Additionally you, can enhance the application by adding better animation.

Why choose native?

  • Better Performance – Native code is comparitively more swift than Javascript and HTML, this helps developers while designing challenging applications. Particularly applications which have high animations or graphics are benifitted the most.
  • Loaded Native library – A developer using native SDK, gains access to newest features designed for a particular platform. The developer need not change or manage plugins to add any feature.
  • No support from third-party – If a developer builds with only native SDK, they are not compelled to seek any support from third-party.

Let’s Look at the two famous languages used to build the Native application

Apple has introduced Swift recently, it has slowly become an alternative framework to build iOS applications. The Swift framework is faster in performance and easier to work on. Apple always releases and updates the framework and hence new components are available, but at the same time, you need to wait for a release to use any particular feature you require in your application.

Kotlin is developed to work with Java. Google supports and authorizes the operation of Kotlin to develop android applications. The Interface in Kotlin allows you to work with shorter syntax, this helps to develop the application faster.

Pros of native applications

  • Native applications are faster as they are premitted to the native platform the application has.
  • Native applications support both online and offline operations.
  • This application has better security and companies with applications collecting sensitive data prefer native application for this reason. 
  • Developing features inside the application is easy, the developer can connect to the device and use the features of the device to build applications.

Cons of native applications

  • Native takes a lot of time to update or release a new feature update, due to different codebase for each device.
  • As we know you need two different applications for Android and iOS, this doubles all the efforts to build the application and release it.
  • The native application is more expensive as we have to handle two codebases.

Click here to learn which platform is best for your business and how Techpearl techpearl makes the best use of technologies to develop the best mobile applications.

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