With hybrid development tools such as Ionic or Cordova being all the rage for app development these days, you might think that native app development is taking a backseat. We believe otherwise as native app development is still far superior to hybrid apps due to their inherent ability to fit into the app ecosystem it was made for. Such development is vital for when working with the world’s top mobile operating systems, which are very different from each other and require developers to use languages such as Java, Kotlin (Android), Objective-C and Swift (iOS).
So why should you pick native app development over hybrid? We have 7 reasons.
1. Access to device hardware – apps developed on the SDKs (software development toolkits) released for Android and iOS have full access to their hardware capabilities. This ensures that any app you create would be able to use the full set of features offered by the device in which your app would run, seamlessly (think GPS, cameras and microphones).
Hybrid apps have the same access to a device’s hardware capabilities, albeit much slowly due to its dependence on a bridge to connect.
2. Higher security – remember that an apps owner is solely responsible for any data breaches and can be held liable for damages caused to the users. All the more so with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that ensures the data security of all citizens in the European Union and the European Economic Area.
Android and iOS have been around for some time, giving them time to develop many layers of security, making them difficult to be broken into by malicious hackers. Any native apps developed using the SDKs of these platforms, therefore, will be protected by the same, unlike with hybrid apps that depend on third-party frameworks.
3. You can scale faster – an app needs to change with its end users which is why we love the scalability native apps brings us. Such apps as we mentioned previously are created for their very own platform and have the ability to fit the updated needs of its end-users. The developers need not worry about adjusting the development to fit several platforms and can focus on developing the app fast so that it can be released faster.
Shorter update cycles from hybrid web apps, however. puts pressure on an app to update itself every so often to keep up with its competitors, and can be an expensive process.
4. Instant access to native app updates – with giants such as Google and Apple behind them, iOS and Android will continue to be upgraded over time. Any updates on such platforms, therefore, are pushed to the developers via their native SDKs, who then push it to the app to ensure it stays updated.
This, however, is not the same as hybrid apps as you would need the creator of the framework to push the updates on any new system features. This might take a day or a month (precious time that can be used by your native competitor to push a better, more updated product of their own).
5. More developers – native app development as you can imagine has been the norm since the days in which apps were released. A majority of the developers, therefore, has many years of experience with it and will be able to deliver above and beyond on the software requirements you seek of them. This experience they have gathered over the years will be invaluable in troubleshooting issues as and when they appear, shaving off the time you would need to spend on QA.
The same cannot be said for the number and experience of hybrid app developers. If you intend on developing a hybrid app, make sure the developers know what they are doing and not dabblers in a technology they do not fully understand.
6. Better UX/UI – mature operating system such as iOS and Android have guidelines for developers who create apps for it, ensuring the new app’s UX will be one that is already familiar. Such enforcement of UX standards increases the app’s acceptance from users as they can navigate intuitively based on their experience from previous apps. This already familiar UX, together with the performance improvements granted by native app development allows the app to run smooth and fast.
Hybrid apps on the hand will not be able to provide the aforementioned intuitive experience with the expected performance.
7. Reduced time spent on fixing bugs – hybrid apps on both iOS and Android is maintained in one codebase, and this is as troublesome as it sounds due to the complications involved. Native apps, on the other hand, have individual codebases, is more mature and gives developers plenty of opportunities to code faster with fewer bugs.
To summarize, yes, hybrid app development is much talked about due to its relative recentness, speed and cheaper development costs. Not all that glitters, however, should be mistaken for gold and this is the same for hybrid apps that will cause performance, UX, security and update issues for you in the long run.
Need to develop a quick app that works on the cheap? Go for hybrid apps.
Looking to develop an app with complicated features, makes use of all the hardware available and will stay relevant? Invest in native app development with us here.