Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry, and Symbian etc. are the leading Operating Systems used in Smart devices like Phones and Tablets. There are more than 950,000 apps in iOS store, more than 750,000 apps in Play store and around 200,000 apps in Windows Phone and Blackberry's play store. It has led to bifurcation among users as a device can have just 1 operating system and hence have access to its app store but not to every app store. Today most of the developers are facing 1 problem i.e. they are unable to decide whether to develop a native app or a hybrid app? This is an old debate and there is no definitive answer to it. Before we answer this question let us first understand out what native and hybrid apps means.
- Native app: This refers to app built for a specific operating system and can be accessed only from the dedicated app store. Like app developed for Android can only be accessed by Android users and is developed using Java, Windows, C++ etc. whereas app meant for iOS are developed using XCode/Ovbjective-C etc. This is a very expensive and very time consuming as complete development process happens for a specific app store at a time.
- Hybrid app: These are the latest HTML5 apps. The biggest advantage of developing hybrid app is consistent, cross platform UI that is compatible with most devices. This is less expensive app development method but cannot be used for every type of app.
- Development Cost and Time: Hybrid apps takes least amount of time to develop and are developed at a fairly cheaper price as compared to native app. Building a hybrid app means maintaining just one code whereas with native code you need an app developer for each platform. But this does not mean that native apps are bad because they have their own advantages.
- User Experience: Native apps provide the best user experience because they are specifically designed for a single app store with which one can get the best compatible apps. The screen size is taken care off and so are the hardware capabilities whereas with Hybrid apps the user experience takes a back seat as it is impossible to provide a good experience with just 1 app for all platforms.
- Paid or Free app: Since native apps have the best UI hence paid apps are usually advised to be developed as native apps whereas free apps can be developed as hybrid apps.
- Type of app: Games are hardware and graphic intensive hence native app system is preferred whereas apps where data has to render like news apps then hybrid apps are preferred because of the simplistic UI and less back end work.