When you first begin to plan out your mobile app development project, it can be difficult to know where to start. One of the first decisions that is often made is whether you want to develop hybrid vs. native apps, followed shortly by what kind of budget you will have.

In this article, we are going to try and help you make an informed decision on which of these approaches is best for your app development project. While both hybrid and native apps have pros and cons, for now we are most interested in which one can get the most bang for your buck i.e. the best return on investment.

Let’s begin by first taking a look at app development cost and what it takes to create a mobile app in the first place.

hybrid vs. native apps

Mobile app development cost

The first thing you need to understand about the cost of developing a mobile app is that it covers quite a larger range. While an app like Instagram my cost upwards of $100k to create, something more simple like a calendar app might cost only a few thousand dollars. The main thing that dictates development cost is time, which is often closely linked with the functionality of your app.

Another consideration that will affect the cost of your app is whether you opt for Android, iPhone app development, or both. This is where the hybrid vs. native apps discussion comes from, but since it is one of the first decisions you will make, it’s also one of the most important.

Let’s first take a look at native app development and the pros and cons of this approach.

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Native apps

From the very beginning of app development, native apps have been seen as having higher performance and capabilities. This makes sense when you think about it, as native apps are created specifically for the platform or devices that they run on, leading to more integration with the mobile app design.

However, when it comes to keeping costs down and getting the most out of your development, native has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at both.

Pros of native apps

Simply put, native apps are better. However, that doesn’t mean that they are always the right choice. The pros of working with native apps vs. hybrid is that you have full access to the full feature set of the platform. Not only can this improve the UX design of your app, but its performance and placement in the app store as well.

It also should be said that native app development is preferred by the platforms you work within, which makes sense, as you are choosing to work exclusively with their platform. It also means that they will help you with user interface design, helping to drive more users through the process and keep them engaged.

Cons of native apps

At this point it may seem like native apps have it all figured out, but that’s not the case. First, the languages used to create native apps are often much more difficult. This means that the development will not only take longer to perform, but it will cost more to hire developers who write in these languages.

Additionally, like we said earlier, the complexity of the app you are creating will lend itself to some developments more than others. For instance, native development is not recommended for simple apps as they could just as easily be made through hybrid development.

native app development

Hybrid apps

Now that you have a better understanding of native apps, let’s take a look at hybrid development. While native development works within the platform you are developing for, hybrid development is essentially a web app wrapped in a native shell. While this makes the app development process easier on the wallet, it also can lead to a series of problems.

In order to help you weigh hybrid vs. native apps for development, let’s look at the pros and cons of hybrid development.

Read also: Understanding the Differences of Hybrid vs. Native Apps for Development

Pros of hybrid apps

The first advantage of hybrid apps is that since they run on web technology, they are much easier to program and develop. Due to these lower requirements, hybrid is also less expensive to develop. Costs are also reduced with hybrid development because instead of having to create a different code base for each platform, you simply have to create one that works across multiple devices and platforms.

Hybrid apps benefit from their frugality and ease of use, but along with these advantages comes problems that some believe outweigh the pros. Let’s take a look at them and you can see for yourself.

Cons of hybrid apps

The very same reasons why some developers love hybrid vs. native apps is also why some developers hate it. First of all, since they aren’t created within the platform they run on, hybrid apps are in general slower than native apps. Not only that, but any sort of customization can lead to problems with the code. This can be severely limiting to any attempts to update or perform mobile app maintenance.

In fact, this lack of customization can often lead hybrid developers to spend more money than they would have with native development, essentially erasing all the advantages of going hybrid. However, if you are looking for a simple app, hybrid is the way you should go.

hybrid app development

Conclusion

So, which approach is best? Like we said early on, when it comes to hybrid vs. native apps, the answer really does depend. However, in the case of saving money and being cost effective, we recommend native. Now, if you have been paying attention so far, this might sound like the opposite of what we would recommend, but let us explain.

When it comes to creating money making apps, yes, hybrid apps are cheaper to develop. However, in the case of cost, native apps are the right choice. The functionality and performance that you lose with hybrid vs. native apps simply is too much and will end up costing you even more money down the line repairing your app or starting from scratch.

For savvy business owners and app developers looking to get the most bang for their buck, choose native development. And now that you have made this decision, you can get started, so go out there and make a great app!