Blog
Mar 23
Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform - What To Choose and when?

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform – What To Choose and when?

There are many ways to present a unique mobile experience to the users. Building mobile apps can be done by applying multiple methods. Each project’s needs and objectives are different, and hence the approach always changes. We have technologies that assist us in fulfilling all of them. But the bigger question is – which one to pick and when? Of course, you know the answer – that it depends.

The native app approach is the king of app development. It gives you a unique and amazing UX. But time to market is comparatively slower than the other two approaches. It also provides an extensive area of development. Pilot app project dramatically benefits from Hybrid app development as less importance is given to UX and performance as it quickly reaches the market. Cross-platform is the bridge and a golden means to choose between the other two approaches. UX and performance match the Native approach, but you will win cost and succeed in time efficiency.

This blog post will deliver detailed insights into native vs hybrid vs cross-platform methods of developing mobile applications. What are their best features, and when to choose them? Let’s find out!

Start your Project based on Your Customer Preferences

Start by understanding your target group – their preferences, needs, and wants. Which devices do they use? Is it Android or rather iOS? Or maybe both? Maybe it depends on the country your potential customers live in. Americans mostly prefer Apple devices. Based on the regions in Europe, devices change. But you may find it odd as to why is that important? If you target such places where customers mostly choose IOS, you got your answer. You don’t have to bother looking to create an application for the Android app. On the other side, if your audience is evenly in love with Android and iPhones, developing an application to target both of these groups will benefit your business.

Time and budget 

Another point to keep in mind is how much time and budget you want to spend on your project. If your app project clock ticks faster, then developing cross-platform frameworks is the ideal choice.  Flutter app framework enables you to quickly create mobile apps that will work on major mobile operating systems. 

Type of app

The type of application also plays a crucial role in choosing technology for its mobile app development. Mobile developers often prefer to use web apps to develop a fully functional E-commerce mobile application. Hybrids apps also offer a similar framework. Many  

products require hardware requirements like camera, GPS, etc., to function correctly, mobile developers pick native apps as their preferred choice.

These are the few preliminary things to keep in mind before developing an app. So let’s dive deep to understand native, hybrid, and cross-platform apps in detail. But if you prefer to read the basics of mobile app architecture first to understand better.

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform

Native app development

The Native apps run on a specific technology dedicated to either the Android or IOS platform. These platforms use their own languages to run their operating systems. Hence the coding differs for Android and IOS. Kotlin or Java is used for building Android mobile app development. Swift or Objective C works for iOS mobile app.

Mobile developers expect robust functioning on Android and IOS platforms. User experience a healthy performance as the application is tailor-made to run on both platforms. Native app mobile developers use the resources available on the chosen platform and code them accordingly to work better.

Features

  • Simpler code delivers Robust performance  
  • Much more solid functioning in an offline environment
  • API usability is higher
  • Custom made UI components enhances the user experience
  • Preventing bugs is easier and 
  • Single layouts for each platform to suit screen-ratios

When to use?

  • Whenever you need only one platform to launch your mobile app.
  • When your application constantly depends on Camera, GPS, and more
  • Developing 3D games or games based on lots of animations.
  • When you want to give your audience the best experience and especially when your company is launching the app for the first time.

Tools to use:-

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform - What To Choose and when?

Examples:-

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform - What To Choose and when?

Hybrid app development

Hybrid mobile app development uses the features of a native app and a web app. Mobile developers build a hybrid mobile app using well-known languages like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. A hybrid app is about combining mobile and web elements to develop a product to target different platforms quickly.

Making hybrid apps consists of creating backend codes based on the native shell (Andriod or IOS) which then be uploaded to Google Play or Apple App Store. 

Features

  • Hiring hybrid Mobile app developers relatively cheap as apps works on many different platforms
  • App reaches the market faster as the backend codes remain more or less the same for all mobile variants.
  • Hybrid apps are much easier to re-code for releasing new updates.

When to use?

  • You have a bigger audience who will use your app on many platforms – mobile and web
  • When you develop simple apps to connect with your customers without major animations and other complex features
  • When you are time-bound and want to create an application to launch on multiple platforms
  • Test your idea in Minimum Viable Product (MVP) 

Tools to use:-

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform - What To Choose and when?

Examples:-

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform - What To Choose and when?

Cross-platform app development

Cross-platform app development shares the same codebase as hybrid development. Yes, mobile developers use the same native elements to create the app, but they differ in providing a great user experience with different UI.

Cross-platform apps are more popular, thanks to Flutter and React Native

Features 

  • Building apps based on cross-platform apps help to save time and money. 
  • You may add features quickly as the code base requires only a little tweaking.
  • UI performance matches with Native apps as it shares a similar codebase.

When to use?

  • Initially low on budget, cross-platform is the ideal choice.
  • If you are unaware of which groups to target, launch your app to target both audiences.
  • Your app is not complex and does not require extensive coding.

Tools to use:-

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform - What To Choose and when?

Examples:-

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform - What To Choose and when?

Comparison Table (Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform)

App TypeNativeHybridCross-platform
Codebaseseparate codebases – one per platformsingle codebase with potential platform-specific abilitiessingle codebase with potential platform-specific abilities
LibrariesNot much dependency on open-source libraries and platformsHighly dependent on different libraries and frameworksHighly dependent on different libraries and frameworks
DebuggingNative debugging toolsNative + web development debugging toolsDepends on the framework*
Tools– XCode
– AppCode
– Android Studio
– Ionic
– Apache Cordova
– Visual Studio
– React Native
– Xamarin
– Flutter
Pros– Full access to device’s/OS’ features
– Powerful performance
– Native UI (updated along with the OS)
– Efficient App – Running
– High-quality functionality and UX
– Access to all native APIs and the platform-specific functionality
– Lower development costs
– Different OS support
– Code reuse
– Cost-effective development
– Big customization capabilities
– Different OS support
– The UI is almost as quick as native.
– Code reuse
– Development at a low cost
Cons– No multi-platform support
– High dev costs if different OS support is needed
– No code reuse
– Slower performance
– OS features are restricted
– No interaction with other native apps
– Slower performance
– Limited access to OS feature
– Poor interaction with other native apps

Let’s review

Choosing between Cross-Platform, Native, and Hybrid depends on your budget, timeline, audience, and product. What sort of mobile app do you want to build? Consult a mobile developer to know if your project involves complex coding or rather a simple one. List the features you want to integrate into your application and the hardware requirements. This will enable the company to streamline the app requirement with your business goals and objective.

However, if you are still unsure which type of mobile apps would be the ideal and most suitable choice for your project, get in touch with our experts. Our mobile developers will guide you in determining the right platform that fulfills every aspect of today’s digital app development requirements.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *