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Learn the differences between native and hybrid apps

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We are increasingly dependent on large technological developments to carry out our daily tasks, for example: WhatsApp to communicate with our friends, cryptocurrencies to make a payment, or a CRM to manage your customers.

That apps have revolutionised the way we manage our lives is a reality. Developers know this very well. However, before companies go anywhere with their ideas, it is important to take into account the differences between native and hybrid apps. Today we are going to share them with you.

Native and hybrid applications

what is a native application?

Native apps are so called because they are developed in the native language of the terminal. They are developed in a specific language according to the platform for which the applications are going to be created. For example, to develop for Android, Java will be used. The result will be applications developed and optimised specifically for each operating system. They have triumphed in the world of software.

what is a hybrid application?

They are mobile applications designed in a web programming language (CSS, JavaScript, HTML5) together with a framework that makes it possible to adapt the web view to any view on a mobile device. In other words, they are applications created to be used on different mobile operating systems, such as Android or iOS. These apps take advantage of the benefits of web development and adapt perfectly to the device as if they were native applications.

how do native apps differ from hybrid apps?

For a developer, it is easy to differentiate between the different approaches used in the app development process. However, for an ordinary citizen or company, it is not. The types that predominate today are: native and hybrid apps, and below we are going to tell you what their differences are.

  • Construction:

While the native app is built on a native language of the terminal itself, the hybrid app is developed on a web programming language (JavaScript, CSS, HTML5).

  • Performance:

In principle, native apps perform much better than the hybrid app, even though both are the same in terms of usability. This is because native apps make much better use of the hardware resources of the mobile or tablet, such as GPS or the camera. However, their performance is very similar and it is difficult to find indications that the app was developed in one way or another.

  • Cost of development:

In native apps, the development will have to be done for each target platform, so the process and price will be higher than the hybrid app.

  • Visual design:

Although it is difficult to find the differences between these applications, if we compare the visual design on different devices with different operating systems (OS), we can detect it. If we observe the same structure, it is probably a hybrid App, but if the visual elements change in shape and distribution, it is most likely to be a native application.

However, it is possible to develop native apps with the same visual design for different operating systems.

  • Learning curve:

Native apps require knowledge of development on each of the platforms to be worked on (programming language, existing APIs...), so learning is slower. However, in hybrid apps, you only need to focus on JavaScript, CSS or HTML technologies.

  • Export to different platforms:

The development of a hybrid application is simpler, easier and more versatile to export than a native app. The latter needs to be programmed for each language, so its export will be more complex.

  • User experience:

Generally, native apps generate better user experiences due to their access to all necessary system components.

Key findings

All in all, the differences between these two approaches are very important because they determine the way they are. As with web applications, we could also highlight other particularities. However, hybrid apps have been agreed as a kind of quick and easy to implement solution, but in the long run, a native application is much more powerful. They give us the opportunity to take full advantage of the features of the devices, and this entails a much more specific development.

When considering the choice between native and hybrid apps, you should take into account your business needs as well as your technology needs, i.e. time to market for initial development, time to market for new features, time to adjust to new functionality, user experience, code reusability, maintainability, app performance, and development cost.

which technology option are you going to choose for the app development?

Proceso de desarrollo de una aplicación

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