The Mobile App Development Complete Guide: Web vs. Native vs. Hybrid

For your mobile app development project, there are three main types of apps you can explore: web vs. native vs. hybrid, but what's better to build?This decision can make or break the success of your mobile strategy, depending on your business goals and overall goals. There are a variety of factors you need to consider when you decide to build your app as a web, native or hybrid app.This comparative piece will examine all three development approaches, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of developing a mobile app from a company's point of view.

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Web App Development

Web apps are hosted on web browsers and are essentially native app - like websites. Instead of installing the application on the home screen of the device, however, users interact with the app via a webview, like a native app. This type of application is easy to build, easy to maintain, and an inexpensive option ; however, it requires a web browser, is much slower than native apps, and can not leverage device utilities. Web applications are also much less interactive and intuitive than native applications.

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Native App Development

Native apps are designed for specific platforms and written in the languages accepted by the platform (such as Swift and Objective - C are common languages for iOS apps, and Java or Kotlin are common for Android apps). Native apps are quick and responsive, are distributed in app stores, offer intuitive user input and output, and require no internet connection. Native apps generally offer a better user experience, but they are more expensive to develop than other options.

Hybrid App Development

In essence, hybrid apps are a combination of native and web apps. There are two parts in a hybrid app: the first is the back - end code, and the second is a downloadable native shell that loads the code using a webview. Hybrid apps are cheaper than native apps, do not require a browser, and can leverage device APIs ; however, they are slower than native apps and can not be customized to individual platforms such as native apps.

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How are You Creating a Web App?

Web apps are typically built into JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 and run within a browser (Safari, Chrome, etc.). Developers can not use a software development kit; however, there are templates with which developers can work. It can be straightforward and fast to build if you choose to develop a web app.  It can be straightforward and fast to build if you choose to develop a web app. They are often over - simplified, though, and do not offer the same native app features.

What are Advanced Web Apps?

Hybrids of regular web pages and mobile apps are progressive web apps. Native apps, such as sending push notifications or working offline, lack the functionality of web apps. However, browsers and web apps are increasingly advanced. Now, gradual web apps can leverage native app-like features. Here are some of the features:

  • Send notifications for push
  • Use touch gestures and the Accelerometer for your phone
  • Use some hardware of the device like vibration

Advantages of Web Apps

  • Easy to build
  • Easy to keep
  • Inexpensive
  • Build an app for all platforms – iOS, Android, etc. as long as you can run it in your browser

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Web vs. Native vs. Hybrid: Which Approach is Best?

The decision to build a web, native or hybrid app should be based on the goals of your business. Before jumping into development, the following factors should be considered:

  • How quickly you need the app
  • The quality of the user experience you want your application to experience
  • The complexity of features that your app needs to work with

First and foremost, whatever approach you choose should be fast, responsive and reliable. As users demand more from mobile experiences, keeping up with their changing demands is important. Whichever app you choose to construct, remember:

  • Your API infrastructure should access your content and services reliably and easily.
  • A mobile app should not be a replica of your website, but rather a brand extension
  • Always understand the expectations and behaviors of your users and adapt to the changing market demands.