Every day we are using at least one application with any personal device whether mobile or laptop. Do all of them belong to the same kind of applications? Here are the 3 major mobile applications types in terms of development stack: Native, Hybrid and Web application. Each of these 3 mobile applications has its unique and significant characteristics and scopes. It also has different types, languages with their pros and cons which make the applications look and feel, performance & user experience different from each other.
What is a Native mobile application?
A Native mobile application is an application which is developed for a specific Operating System (OS)with native SDK and therefore can access and incorporate all features of a device. A Native mobile application can run on its specific system, like Android, iOS or Windows. For instance, the native application developed for devices that run on Android, cannot be executed or used on an iOS device. That means a Native application is exclusive and compatible to that specific OS only. But since they’re developed for a particular platform, they can access all the device in-built embedded features such as its GPS, accelerometer, navigation and even gesture or voice controls. Their ability to stay completely functioning even on offline and to use the notification system gives them an upper hand in comparison with the other types of applications. Users usually download the native applications from their specific application stores like Apple’s App Store or Google Play. On the opposite scenario, there’s no platform independence when Native applications are considered. Also, maintenance of Native applications generally is a bit intricate task to accomplish due to the numerous versions and device diversity supporting the same OS.
What is a Web application?
A Web application is merely a responsive web functionality program targeting the web browsers. It is typically stored on a remote server and appears to its users through a web browser that can run on any device. They can be viewed through any browser, whether it is on an Android mobile phone, an iOS device or a Windows Tablet. Since creating a native-alike interface and providing application-level functionality is highly achievable using HTML5, web applications are almost everywhere due to its massive adoption. And thanks to the caching system embedded in popular browsers, most of the web applications are now fully functioning even when they’re offline. In a nutshell, a Web application can now create an absolute abstraction over the user as if it is a Native application when it’s online. On the contrary, when it comes to accessing the more complicated and hardware features, such as complex custom gesture patterns set by the device user or getting data from the accelerometer embedded in a device, Web applications are still not the best option to go for in comparison with the Native applications.
What is a Hybrid mobile application?
A Hybrid mobile application is basically a combination of both Native and Web applications to achieve higher platform independence and device compatibility. Much similar to Native applications, they can incorporate the device features like the Camera or GPS and also perform complex functionality. Promoting the cross platform development, Hybrid applications can be distributed among platform-specific application market, such as Google Play Store, Windows/Amazon App Store and Apple’s App Store. If the application requirements suggest an average performance but demands the access to features of multi-platform devices, developing a Hybrid application with a medium development effort should be the best choice to opt for.
A comparative analysis of Native, Web and Hybrid mobile applications:
There are some significant points that are required to be considered and addressed before choosing the most suitable development cycle. They are:
- Target Distribution Platform
- Demand for the device features
- Target User Base
- Development Cost
- Required Application Performance
If the target distribution platform and the platform which the target user segment is more exposed to, point to only one then developing a truly Native application to that specific platform is undeniably the smartest choice. Otherwise, both Web and Hybrid application outrun Native application development in terms of platform independence and development effort. On a different note, going for Native or Hybrid applications are preferable if the demand for accessing the device features while maintaining good application performance is more prioritized.
At Dhrubok Infotech we design and develop top-notch mobile apps using the best and latest technologies. We have a dedicated team of professionals with knowledge, experience, and passion who are committed to build amazing software systems; fast, within budget and most importantly up to world-class standard. If you have an idea or requirement for building an app we’d be more than happy to be of assistance. Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.