Native vs. Hybrid vs. Cross-Platform App Development – Pros, Cons, and Comparison

Native vs. Hybrid vs. Cross-Platform App Development

In today’s mobile world, native, hybrid, cross-platform, and progressive web apps have become essential to running a successful business. Whether scheduling appointments, ordering food and clothes, or even completing your legal tasks, mobile apps are used in almost every industry. And why not?

The ability to do things fast over smartphones, better business expansion and higher brand value have made mobile app development a profitable investment niche. As per Statista, there is a 9.27% projected growth rate for the app development market. Moreover, the mobile app development market will generate a whopping revenue of $614.40 bn by 2026!

However, one of the major business concerns worldwide is to choose the best app development approach, viz., native app development, cross-platform app development, and hybrid app development! 

Although you can use any app development approach to launch your application, choosing the most specific one can yield better revenues, performance, and customer engagement results.

Hence, as a leading mobile app development company, we list the pros, cons, and comparisons between native, hybrid, and cross-platform app development. You can analyze each and hire app developers according to your chosen app development approach!

  • Mobile app development is a growing trend leveraged by companies of all sizes and niches. The app development market will exceed the revenue of $430 billion by 2022.
  • Native, hybrid, and cross-platform app development are the most popular approaches to creating mobility solutions. 
  • Native app development is beneficial for better UI/UX, speed, performance, and security.
  • Hybrid and cross-platform apps are more beneficial regarding budget and time constraints, market reach, code reusability, and 3D game development. 
  • You must partner with the right app development company to choose the best app development approach and maximize your project’s RoI. 

Custom Mobile App Development

Native App Development

The native app development approach is used to develop platform-specific apps. When businesses want to target a certain set of users, then they do that by leveraging native app development services. Android and iOS apps are developed using the native app development approach.

The technologies are also used according to the type of app you want to develop. For instance, Java, Kotlin, Android SDK, and Android UI are used for android app development. On the other hand, Swift, Objective-C, and UIKit are used for iOS app development

The high-performance and platform-specific features of native apps make them the best voice for businesses. Native app developers offer you lighter, faster, and more user-friendly apps for your specific platforms. However, you cannot use the same app to target audiences of different platforms.

Read More: 8 Tips for Choosing the Right Mobile App Development Company

Pros

  • Native apps have higher user engagement and better speed, as it is developed for a specific platform, viz., Android or iOS.
  • Easy API Integration to extend the capabilities of your mobile apps
  • You can easily update the native apps and deploy them on the specific platform
  • It is easier to detect bugs in native apps 
  • Interactive and secure apps

Cons

  • You can’t use the same code to deploy the apps on different platforms.
  • Native apps are not cost-effective as you need to hire various app developers for Android and iOS mobile development. 
  • The apps consume time, and it may affect your time-to-market.
  • You cannot access native apps from any device. The native apps must be downloaded from the Play Store/App Store.
  • Native apps consume more space than web apps or other mobile apps.

Uses

  • The best use of the native app development approach is to launch your gaming apps.
  • You can also use native apps when you want to target a specific set of audiences without any budget and time constraints.
  • If you plan to develop a camera app or a Geolocation app, then you can use the native app development approach.
  • High-animated 3D apps can also be created using the native app development approach. 

Some Popular Native Applications

  • Duolingo
  • Hive
  • Adobe Lightroom
  • Pinterest
  • Artsy
  • Spotify
  • Mint
  • WhatsApp

Tools and Frameworks for Native App Development

Native App Development

Hybrid App Development

A hybrid app development approach is best if you want to target multiple audiences from a single application. The hybrid apps can act as native and web solutions under different circumstances. Furthermore, the speed and ease of development make hybrid apps the best choice if you want to market your products faster.

Like native apps, you can also download hybrid apps from their respective platforms, the App Store/Play Store. The code for a hybrid app is written by hiring AngularJS developers, HTML developers, and more. It is converted into native apps via plugins like Apache Cordova or Ionic’s Capacitor. 

Hybrid apps contain two aspects, a backend code written in a web development language and a native viewer that enables you to display the application and its features. If your hybrid apps are used for Android users, the native viewer will be WebView; for iOS, the native viewer will be WKWebView. 

Pros

  • A single code can be used on different platforms to market your applications. 
  • You get more time to market your product with faster development capabilities.
  • The hybrid apps can act as a web solution or a native application under different circumstances.
  • Unlike native apps, hybrid apps are created using web technologies and hence, are easier to maintain. 

Cons

  • Does not interact easily with the native apps
  • Slower speed as compared to native and cross-platform apps
  • Limited access to the hardware and OS features like Camera, GPS, etc. 
  • Poor UI/UX and navigation as compared to the native apps.

Uses

  • A hybrid app development approach can be used when you want to target multiple users from different OS using the same code.
  • You can also launch hybrid apps to target web app users. 
  • Hybrid app development is a perfect approach when you have ideas and want to implement them on various platforms as an MVP.
  • For developing apps containing fewer animations, and 3D components, hybrid app development could be the best approach.

Some Popular Hybrid Applications

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Discord
  • Uber
  • Gmail
  • Evernote
  • BMW App
  • Just watch

Tools and Frameworks for Hybrid App Development

Hybrid App Development

Cross-Platform App Development

Finally, cross-platform app development is one of the most popular approaches for your enterprise mobility solutions. Although many people consider hybrid and cross-platform apps as one thing, they are different. While hybrid apps can work as web apps, the same isn’t true for cross-platform apps.

A cross-platform app development approach is used when you need to target multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, and Windows, with a single application. A cross-platform app is developed using app development technologies like Xamarin and Flutter. 

Unlike hybrid apps, cross-platform apps are more on the native side, providing better security and engaging UI/UX. The apps can be built at a low cost since the same code is used for various operating systems. The code for cross-platform apps is written in JavaScript and is connected to the native platform via “bridges.” React native app development generally falls under cross-platform category.

Read More: Cross-Platform App Development – Everything You Need to Know

Pros

  • Reusable codes for multiple OS
  • Cost-effective and time-efficient app development
  • Faster implementation and easy maintenance
  • Better UI performance than hybrid apps

Cons

  • The performance of cross-platform apps is not good as compared to native apps.
  • Customizations can be a problem in cross-platform app development
  • Poor interaction with other native apps
  • Difficult integrations and complex development process

Uses

  • When you are on a low budget and want to target users from multiple OS.
  • You can use cross-platform apps if you want a wide array of development tools with simplified access.
  • Cross-platform apps are also used where easy implementation, and cost-effectiveness are the main goals. 

Some Popular Cross-Platform Applications

  • Adobe Reader
  • Chrome
  • TeamViewer
  • OpenOffice
  • Reddit
  • Bloomberg

Tools and Frameworks for Cross-Platform App Development

Cross-Platform App Development

Which is Better: Native App Development, Hybrid App Development, or Cross-platform App Development?

Although selecting one approach for your mobile app development is difficult, things can be made easy if you analyze your requirements and customer needs. As a leading app development company, we have listed some crucial factors to help you choose the best app development approach for your next big project!

Improved-PerformancePerformance

Native app development is the most efficient approach to creating a high-performing application. We have already discussed that native apps are built per the requirements of a specific set of users. That means you will only use the Android app development tools and features for Android users and ios features for iOS users.

However, hybrid and cross-platform app development approaches perform somewhat slower than native apps. The reason is that both are not meant for a particular platform. Hence, they utilize the same tools and APIs even for multiple operating systems. 

Winner: Native App Development

Market Research & Competitor AnalysisMarket Reach

If market goals and easy business expansion is your business goal, then opting for the hybrid app development approach can be the best solution. That’s because a hybrid app can act as a web solution and a native app under different circumstances. Besides, you need not invest in writing separate codes for Android and iOS users. A single code can run smoothly on multiple channels.  

However, if you do not have budget or time constraints, opting for native app development can also be a wise choice. You can write different codes for multiple app versions and can easily market your high-performing apps. 

Winner: Hybrid App Development

Enter Delivery TimeTime to Market

According to a survey, 3739 apps are launched daily in the market, and many apps even have the same purpose. 

To defeat such a competitive environment, you must launch your app early and with a wider reach. And to do that, hybrid app development or even PWAs(progressive web apps) are the best choices. You can easily launch a hybrid app in less time and with a wider market reach. However, you’ll need to compromise your custom application’s quality, speed, and UI/UX.

Winner: Hybrid App Development

uxEase of Customizations and UI/UX

If you aim for an engaging interface, better navigation, and user-centric experience, then native app development is the thing for you. That app development approach always focuses on offering OS-focused services and user experience. Since you develop the app only for specific users, they get the best functionality.

Besides that, the customizations are also easy with native app development since they have a fixed set of libraries and tools for a specific OS. Those things are not present in hybrid and cross-platform app development approaches. 

Winner: Native App Development

SecurityApp Security

Finally, we have the most critical aspect required by businesses worldwide, i.e., the application’s security. As per a report, there were 155.8 million cases of data breaches in the past year in the US alone. On a global level, that number exceeded 950 million in 2021. 

Hence, companies always look for the most secure development approach to develop their enterprise applications. And amongst hybrid, native, and cross-platform apps, the native app development approach is the most secure. The in-built security features of native apps, including file encryption and fraud detection systems, make native apps safe. 

However, if your main goal is to develop an app at a low cost, you can eventually create a hybrid or cross-platform app and convert it into a native app when your time and budget permit.  

Winner: Native App Development

Mobile-App-Development

Conclusion

So, which is the best app development approach for your enterprise mobility solutions? Well, the answer is all! Every app development approach has its pros and cons. As seen above, there are many leading brands in each category. 

Hence, the perfect app development approach is determined by the type of application you want to launch. Furthermore, it also undertakes factors like budget, time-to-market, target audience, and complexity of the features. However, partnering with the right app development company is also crucial to mark the success of your project. 

That’s where Matellio comes into play! 

With a decade-long experience and access to the best talent worldwide, we are the first choice of businesses regarding mobile app development. Whether native, hybrid, cross-platform, or even progressive web app development, our experts can deliver the perfect mobility solution matching your requirements.

You can leverage our free consultation and a no-obligation quote for your project. Besides that, we also offer free competitor and market analysis services to help you get the latest and most profitable app development trends. So, begin your mobile app development and ensure the success of your brand. Please fill out our consultation form to get started today!

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