Hybrid Apps Introduction
When it comes to creating apps, the good and bad news is that you have options. But having options can be overwhelming for a person not well versed in app development. This is one of the reasons we suggest you seek out a developer partner to guide you in your app development journey. Developer partners can discuss your goals and help you to navigate your best option according to time, money, and tech constraints and help build a world-class app for your organization. However, if you’re looking for a high-level overview to understand the differences between Native and Hybrid applications, read on.
What’s the between Hybrid and Native Apps Difference?
First, to be clear, there’s no black and white answer to which direction you should go. It’s really dependant on a variety of factors, including how your users plan to use the finished product. But there are clear differences between the two that may guide you in your choice.
The main difference: Native apps are built for a specific operating system – either iOS or Android. Hybrid apps, however, are built to work across any operating system and share the same codebase. In short, if you want a Native App, your developers will need to write separate code for both the iOS app and the Android app.
Although this may initially make developing a native app more costly, you’ll want to look beyond the price tag and think about the type of functionality you need for your app. Native apps tend to be more flexible in this area, even if they do take a bit more time to build.
Both Native and Hybrid apps have their own positive and limiting factors, so let’s break down each.
Hybrid apps look very similar to native apps. The main differences happen behind the scenes.
Hybrid Apps Promise Fast Development… at a Cost
One of the biggest upsides to a hybrid app is only needing to write one codebase that will work across multiple operating systems. Hybrid apps are essentially web applications that are disguised in a “native wrapper”. This wrapper allows it to communicate with the respective device platform and incorporate some operating system features. Hybrid apps can also be distributed through an app store (like native apps).
Just like mobile web apps, hybrid apps work across platforms. If you are constrained by budget, this means you won’t have to choose between iOS or Android to launch your app. And, since they share the same code, the app can be launched simultaneously and be completely accessible across all platforms.
Another benefit of developing a hybrid app is the ability to handle bugs more effectively. With Native apps, bugs must be dealt with individually (on each platform) but it’s ultimately up to the user to download the latest version of the app. This means, native apps run the risk of users being on different versions simultaneously, whereas hybrid apps will always have every user on the latest version. A new version of the app can launch without end users ever having to install updates onto their phone.
Of course, there are clear drawbacks to the Hybrid approach. Hybrid Applications lack in overall speed, performance and optimization. Because they are essentially web applications, the performance is completely dependent on the speed of the user’s browser. Additionally, the app will never look and feel exactly the same on two or more platforms. Think about how people often struggle to move from iOS to Android or vice versa. An iOS user is used to a certain style of UI and navigation – and it is difficult (but not impossible) to provide the ultimate experience for both platforms.
In short, Hybrid development has its limitations.
Examples of Hybrid Apps:
Feedly, SworkIt, Evernote
Want More Integration Opportunities?
Go for a Native App
Native apps tend to be more expensive due to the fact that a version must be written for each operating system that it’s used on. This means one for iPhones and one for Androids. It may also mean – if you want to be compatible with Blackberry or Windows – you’ll need to create code for those as well. This takes more development and testing time, and ultimately more money. This is the main drawback for native development and the reason why some businesses will opt for a hybrid app.
But don’t let the higher price scare you off. Apps generally aren’t cheap to build in the first place. If you’re going to spend the money and resources, it’s best to build a superior product. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right. For this reason, native apps are often a superior choice.
The platform specific code offers an overall smoother user experience. Not only are native apps more responsive, they’re much better at executing elements such as scrolling and animations.
They’re more flexible as well, in the sense that they can easily integrate with other elements of a mobile phone into their system. If your core app functionality relies on access to elements such as cameras, contacts, SMS, microphones, GPS, device buttons etc., you’ll want to choose native over hybrid
Another thing to consider, depending on the ultimate use of your app, is data protection and security. Native apps by design are far more secure and offer security features that just aren’t possible on hybrid apps.
Examples of Native Apps:
Harbour Air, MindShift, Grouse Mountain
Here’s a bit of a cheat sheet on both Native and Hybrid apps, so you get a side-by-side comparison:
Hybrid App Questions and Answer
Q1. Native Apps require another container app to execute in a mobile device.
Q2. _________ is the type executable for iOS.
Q3. Process of obtaining a binary executable image and preparing it for distribution is same across platforms.
Answer: – True
Q4. Native apps are executed directly by the OS of mobile device.
Q5. The right order of Native App Development is _________.
Answer:- (I) Package the binary executable with resources. (II) Create a binary executable (III)Distribute through the app store.-II, I, III
Q6. Native apps are a choice for implementation because, it is
(I) Executed directly by OS.
(II) Makes explicit use of OS APIs.
(III) cheaper to build in one platform.
Answer:- I and II
Q7. Purely Native apps are binary executable image that is explicitly downloaded and stored on the file system of the mobile device.
Q8. _________ is the type executable for Android.
Q9. Looking at the mobile app and its features, is it possible to distinguish between the type as Native, Web or Hybrid?
Q10. GUI Toolkit is an example of low-level API for Native Apps.
Q11. Built-in Apps have direct access to low-level APIs.
Q12. Native apps are not a choice for implementation because of its (I) Portability (II) Efficiency
Answer:- I Only
Q13. _________ is the type executable for Blackberry.
Q14. Natives apps can be downloaded from (I) App Store (II) Enterprise Distributed Mechanism (III)Market Place of the Device
Answer- (I) and (III) Only
Q15. _________ is the type executable for Windows.
Q16. Built-in Apps have direct access to low-level APIs only through High-level APIs.
Q17. The rendering engine in the pure mobile web apps is called as
Q18. The main cons of Web app comprises _________.
Answer – limited scope accessing mobile device’s features
Q19. Web apps are much easier to maintain, as they have a common code base across multiple mobile platforms. Is this statement true of false?
Q20. In case of Pure mobile web apps, the code is executed by the _______.
Answer – browser
Q21. Application caching is enabled with latest features of _________.
Answer- HTML5 and CSS3
Q22. Pure mobile web apps are written only in _________.
Q23. In hybrid apps, some native code is used to allow the app to access the wider functionality of the device. Is this True or False?
Answer – True
Q24. The advantage that hybrid apps carry over native is that it’s ________
Answer- All the options