Choosing the right app development approach is a critical decision as it can significantly impact your app’s performance, user experience, and overall success. Two main approaches to consider are hybrid and native app development, and it’s important that you understand them both before moving forward.
👀 In this article, we define both native and hybrid app development, provide examples, and outline the key pros and cons of each to help you make an informed decision.
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Native app development is the creation of applications that run on specific platforms and devices, for example, an app made specifically for iOS or specifically for Android operating systems etc. The term “native app development” is typically used within the context of mobile app development.
It usually involves building separate apps using platform-specific programming languages, such as Swift or Objective-C for iOS and Java or Kotlin for Android. These apps are optimized for the platform they’re built for and can access all the device’s hardware and software features.
💡 What’s the best programming language for each app development? We have a quick guide here.
Some popular examples of native applications that you definitely know are:
📌 Facebook: as a leading social media platform, Facebook requires efficient handling of large volumes of real-time data, smooth scrolling, and quick loading of multimedia content. By developing the Facebook app natively for iOS and Android, performance and access to features such as push notifications, camera and location is smoother.
📌 Spotify: a popular music streaming service that relies on high-quality audio playback, smooth navigation, and seamless integration with device features such as playback controls thanks to a native integration.
Some popular examples of hybrid applications are:
📌 Evernote: a note-taking and organization app that focuses on syncing and organizing text, images, and other multimedia content across devices. Developing Evernote as a hybrid app enables the developers to maintain a single codebase, which simplifies the process of keeping the app’s functionality consistent across platforms.
📌 Uber: Uber (transportation “taxi” services) uses web views to show content from m.uber.com inside a dedicated browser in the app. The mobile app features native level functionality in many areas, but also runs on Uber’s core web application.
🔍 Read the best practices here
💡 Did you know? If you’re on budget, it’s possible to create an app for free (with some limitations of course!)
If you’re on a limited budget, short on time for development, and your app specifications don’t require a perfect optimization with devices’ features, a hybrid app could be the way to go for you.
However, if you have more capabilities for your project (in terms of time and money), want to curate user experience, need spotless performance and integration with devices such as an iPhone and Android phone, you may want to develop native apps for each platform.
👉 Use this app development checklist