Mobile App solution: Hybrid or Native


March 3, 2017
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Oftentimes I have stumbled upon quite a lot of curious and confused entrepreneurs looking for a reliable mobile app solution for their next product.  Well, if you are one of them, this article might just help you make a justified decision and select the best option available between the latest hybrid mobile app (powered by HTML5) and the popular native OS Apps. A recent survey clearly says that if your app fails for the very first time to impress the customer, 79% people will open only once or twice afterwards. So it’s really important to pay attention to your mobile app strategy.

Hybrid App: Most of the business logic is developed using latest web stack (HTML5, JS, and CSS) by utilizing a native SDK for mobile OS. Lesser Cost, Easier Deployments across multiple platforms, and faster solution are the key benefits when using hybrid apps.

Native App: This is a platform specific (iOS, Android etc.) solution and requires specific OS expertise. The best part is its capability (full OS potential utilization) that gives us a glitch-free user experience. However, it can take longer to develop and requires platform specific developers, and that hits the budget dearly.

Native Features in your Product? If you want to develop a product that will have heavy dependency on native OS capability and if these features are your major USPs (Unique Selling Points), straightaway go for Native Apps. It doesn’t mean that in hybrid app the OS dependent feature cannot be developed, however, it’s limited and based on the native SDK. If you need only a few OS hardware specific features (say Bluetooth, GPS, Camera, etc.), you can definitely save some money by going for Hybrid apps.

Time to Market? If you want to launch a mobile app quickly to the market with limited resources, Hybrid way is better as it helps you to launch the app for multiple platforms (OS) at no additional cost.

Can you afford platform specific Developers? If you can afford multiple developers (OS) or if you are targeting only a specific OS audience, native app will be a better choice, as you will have the liberty to develop whatever you want.

Version updates: If there are going to be frequent updates, hybrid apps are the best bet, as the app will update from web directly without user intervention.

Do you have a Website already? If you already have a full-fledged web portal (as in News, Bank, Media Companies) and a code base for the same, it would be much easier to launch a hybrid app targeting your mobile customers.

Impact on UX: Native app is the clear winner here. Frankly, a hybrid app can never match the level of user experience that one gets in native app.

Decision Time: Again, both hybrid as well as native apps are great in their own specific ways, so weigh the benefits carefully before you make a decision. Here is what Mark Zuckerberg has to say about his experiences (https://techcrunch.com/2012/09/11/mark-zuckerberg-our-biggest-mistake-with-mobile-was-betting-too-much-on-html5/)

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