In the world of mobile app development there has been a long debate on the merits of hybrid vs. native apps for development. While a native app is built specifically for the device that it runs on, hybrid apps can be developed across multiple platforms at a much lower cost. This leads business owners and app developers to wonder which option is best for them and the needs of their customers.

With this article, we are going to explore the various differences in these two development methods. Along the way, we will compare the pros and cons related to both hybrid and native app development and state our case for why native wins out over hybrid in almost every scenario. Without further ado, let’s start with a quick overview of these development processes.

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Hybrid vs. Native App Development

If you aren’t already familiar with the differences between hybrid and native app development, there are a couple of things you should know. Native app development means that developers built the app specifically for the platform that it will be used on. This means that, in the case of a brand like Twitter, the development team had to create an app for all devices across both Android and iOS platforms.

On the other hand, hybrid app development is when developers create a singular web app that they then wrap in a native app shell in order to work across all platforms. While this offers a reduced cost and time spent on development, hybrid apps can’t take advantage of each platforms’ specific strengths and features.

Factors to consider

Now that you have an overview of both the hybrid and native app development processes, let’s take a look at the different factors you will need to consider for your own development project. There will be times when hybrid will make more sense for you than native and the other way around, so by reviewing and comparing both you will have a better sense of which route is right for you. Let’s get started.

Quality of app

First, let’s discuss one of the most important aspects of app development: quality. After all, if you are investing a good deal of time and money into a project, you will want to make sure that the quality of the app is up to snuff. While a hybrid app does save time on development, native apps are almost always superior when it comes to quality. The reason for this is that developers can use each of the built-in capabilities of the platform.

Everything from the UX design of the app to the integration with other applications can be improved by taking a native approach. While a hybrid app can still function well and look nice, due to the nature of development there are just too many limitations when compared with native. When 61% of consumers have a better opinion of companies with a good mobile experience, native app development is simply the best way to go.

Time to market

The next factor that you will need to consider when planning out your development is how long it will take to get your end-product to market. In this case, hybrid app development is superior to native, as it only requires building one app and then copying it across different platforms. While there are only a few advantages of hybrid over native app development, this is one of them.

That being said, speed is not necessarily a sound goal for the mobile app development process. While we can’t speak to all situations, spending extra time in order to ensure both a gquality app and good user experience will be well worth your time. So, even though hybrid apps have a shorter development cycle, native app development should still be considered.

UX design

While we have already touched on this earlier, having a solid user experience design has never been more important to the success of a mobile app than today in 2018. In fact, according to Forrester Research, a better UX design could yield conversion rates up to 400%. A 4x increase in conversions is not something worth leaving on the table, which is why native app development should always be considered, as it lends itself to UX far better than any hybrid app.

Security

Another area that will need to be taken into consideration when developing a mobile app is security. With recent big names like Facebook showing that anyone is susceptible to data breaches, users will be even more cautious and so should you. As good as your app design might be, your customers will not tolerate a lack of security when it comes to their personal information.

Since hybrid apps operate off of the same code across many different platforms, security risks are much higher than with a native app. Not only that, but native app development is often put under stricter scrutiny by the platform as the code is different for each device. This leads us to conclude that when it comes to security, native app development is the best choice for keeping your users’ data safe.

Cost

The final area of consideration we will review when comparing native vs. hybrid apps for development is cost. Again, this is an area where for years hybrid apps have been able to separate themselves by offering a lower cost development. However, what has been discovered, is that over time with various app maintenance and improvements, native app development will save you more money in the long run.

This, ultimately, is what it comes down to when comparing these two approaches. While hybrid apps allow you to cut corners and reduce time spent in development, those shortcuts have a very short shelf life. Instead, by doing things right the first time around, native app developers are able to take the role of the proverbial tortoise and come out ahead, no matter how much the hybrid hare tries to keep up.

Clear winner: Native app development

As we stated from the beginning, native app development is the clear winner when comparing hybrid vs. native apps. Although hybrid has been able to stay relevant for a time, those days are numbered and native app development only continues to grow in potency and popularity. Our suggestions is to always attempt native app development first and then, when necessary, employ hybrid techniques.

We hope that this article has helped you decide the best option for your own development project. Remember, while time and money will seem important factors at the beginning, it’s always worth your time to ensure a high-quality app first. In the end, you will be happy that you put in the effort up front to reap the benefits later on down the road.