App Development – Hybrid or Native?

App Entwicklung Hybrid oder Nativ

App Development – Hybrid or Native?

Have you also been asking yourself the question: Shall an app be developed natively or with hybrid technology? To answer this question, the fundamentals, advantages and disadvantages of both variants should be considered.

Native App Development

Native development means that apps are written in the programming languages Java for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS directly with the SDKs (Software Development Kits) provided by Google and Apple. Developers can use Android Studio for Android and Xcode for iOS, both of which are free of charge. But there are other IDEs (Integrated Development Environments) as well like AppCode by JetBrains, which can be used to develop native apps. In addition to the most popular mobile operating system Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad), there are also still more like Windows Phone and BlackBerry, which should be – depending on the target group – also supported.

Advantages of native app development

  • Allows for an optimum of usability and performance
  • The users will get the interface (UI) that they are familiar with
  • Can make use the latest features on the respective platform
  • Direct access to the hardware (sensors, camera, etc.)

Disadvantages of native app development

  • (Mostly) the app needs to be developed by multiple developers in multiple variants (per operating system)
  • Thus more effort and consequently higher costs
  • More special know-how is needed

Hybrid App Development

In hybrid app development mostly web technology (HTML5 / CSS / JavaScript) is used to develop apps platform independent and cross-platform these days. The apps run in a kind of container app and can be uploaded to the app stores. One of the most popular frameworks is the Ionic Framework, which is based on the well-known open source technologies Cordova/PhoneGap, AngularJS and Bootstrap. With the means of Cordova JavaScript can directly access the interfaces (APIs) of the operating system (Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone, Ubuntu). But other frameworks like Xamarin can be used for cross-platform programming as well.

Advantages of hybrid development

  • Development only once for multiple platforms
  • Depending on the use case lower effort and therefore lower costs are possible
  • Unified user interface (UI) on multiple platforms

Disadvantages of hybrid development

  • Performance disadvantages compared to native apps
  • Look-and-feel differs from the platform standards
  • Can not use special features of each platform
  • Can not directly access functionality close to the hardware

Conclusion

In addition to pure native app development and cross platform or web app development, there are also hybrid forms that combine both approaches. What is the better solution in the end cannot be answered across-the-board. It depends on various factors such as the specific use case, the requirements of the app, the human resources (available app developers), the schedule and the budget. We at creative workline GmbH in Vienna, Austria, will advise you without commitment and individually to find the best solution – native App development or hybrid app development – for your app projects.

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