With the continuous advancement in technology, our everyday lives have narrowed to digital assets. You all should agree with me on this, that all of our critical decisions in our business or personal lives are decided over the internet or mobile applications.

With this never-ending passion for the development of apps for smartphones, there have been a ton of questions and a sea of confusion on Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-Platform app development techniques, especially for new programmers.

In the year 2022, a comprehensive range of mobile apps will be available for use. It will consist of Hybrid apps, Cross-platform apps, Native apps,  Android, iOS, and Progressive web apps (PWAs). 

But, which among all these is best suited for business?

As each mobile application has its own specification so the question is quite relevant. Discovering which type of app development approach will attract the audience to the brand is a real struggle. So, it’s not difficult to understand why having an accurate platform for mobile app development is paramount. 

Nonetheless, many businesses fail to choose an appropriate mobile app development approach. And selecting the wrong application development technique can also cause the development of an unproductive software platform for your business.

Therefore we are writing this blog to explain the difference between Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform and clear the confusion among all the three. Make sure to read till the end.

Let’s start the discussion.

Market Overview For Mobile App Development

As a content writer and blogger, I have developed this habit of presenting any information with valid proof from all the survey reports and data. So carrying out my habit let me state some facts and data on mobile app development and mobile application downloads. These reports will give you deep insight into why choosing the right platform for app development is necessary and why mobile app development can hike your business.  According to a Statista report, by the year 2023, it is predicted that the total number of application downloads all over the world will increase up to 299 billion, which will be higher than 247 billion global app downloads in 2020.

And recent statistics show that by 2025 it is estimated that there will be 187 billion mobile app downloads from the Play store and there were 109 billion apps downloads from the Google Play store in the year 2020.

However, there is always this one confusion that every business faces- which is the ideal technology iOS and Android.

What Is A Native App?

The native apps are designed especially for specific platforms. They use the native OS of the platform and make use of platform-specific programming languages. As the native development is effectuated for a particular platform, they can take profit of the device-specific software and hardware, thereby improving the user experience.

Developers maneuver coding language particular to the Operating system. For instance, in the case of iOS apps, Objective-C or Swift is the opted language while Java is utilized in Native Android applications.

Developers choose Native apps because they offer exceptional performance. However, choosing native development dissuades organizations due to its high cost.

Nevertheless, the main difference between Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform app development is the total expense.

Features You Will Get In Native Development

  • Sturdy performance with simpler codes
  • Stable functioning
  • High API usability
  • Customized UI
  • Improved user experience
  • Easy bug prevention
  • Unique layout
  • Complements the screen ratios.

Benefits Of Native Apps

  • High Speed
  • Offline functionality
  • Minimum chances of bugs
  • More instinctive and unified
  • Inflated security
  • Sheer performance

Cons Of Native Development

  • Codes can’t be reused
  • Heavy maintenance
  • Needs high skills and talents

When To Consider Native Development

If you consider using Native development for your project, you should be prepared for the twofold team, cost, and time. Therefore, if you are not in a rush to launch your business app and have no budget issues then you can choose the Native app.

However, one thing is for sure, Native apps are like a future investment. They are more secure, user-friendly, and brisk in speed than other apps.

Tools Needed For Native Mobile App Development

Tools that are utilized for Android app development are: 

  • Android Studio
  • IntelliJ IDEA

Tools required for iOS app development are: 

  • XCode
  •  AppCode

Some Of The Best Native Apps

  • Google Maps
  • Artsy
  • Pinterest
  • Spotify

What Is A Hybrid App?

As the name implies, Hybrid apps are a union of both native and web solutions. Developers insert the code that is written in web development languages like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. onto a native application using add-ons like Apache Cordova or Ionic’s Capacitor.

Hybrid apps are employed on platforms and can be downloaded similar to Native apps. Hybrid apps operate in a native app and boast embedded browsers with the use of WebKit used by platforms.

Hybrid app development is convenient and economical in comparison to native apps. Here, you can encrypt the code once and reuse it. Its user experience and performance are very much similar to native apps. Although, it is challenging to accomplish a great UX and navigation pattern from a visual point of view.

Benefits Of Hybrid Apps

  • Improved UX/UI
  • Time-savior
  • Easy to sustain
  • Economical
  • Vast market reach
  • Available offline
  • Improved performance

Cons Of Hybrid App Development

  • No offline support
  • OS irregularity

When To Consider Developing A Hybrid App?

Making use of hybrid app development can be like a pilot solution for surfacing startup businesses. Hybrid app development becomes the right approach for startups because of its high development speed and cost-effective nature. Moreover, if UX is not the priority for your application then it is the best solution as compared to native apps.

Also, using a Hybrid app will be the best approach if you wish to distribute web apps all over the app stores and if you are planning to target a wider audience that can use the application on web and mobile gadgets.

Tools Required For Hybrid App Development

  • Apache Cordova
  • Ionic
  • Visual Studio

Some Of The Best Hybrid Apps Are

  • Instagram
  • Gmail
  • Airbus
  • JustWatch
  • Evernote
  • NHS

What Is a Cross-Platform App?

Cross-platform apps have the same codebase as Hybrid apps.  And this is the reason why many people misunderstand that Hybrid and Cross-platform apps are the same. But, there is only one similarity between both of them, that is, code shareability.

The cross-platform app outlook will allow developers to enter codes once and reuse them on several different platforms. This makes it the best option for cost-effective customized apps with secure, stable, and easy to manage and repeat features. There are various cross-platform app development frameworks that can assist you in giving the native app-like finish and user experience.

Considering performance depends on the type of framework you chose for cross-platform app development. However, what they offer is very close to native UX, easy execution, and low-cost development. 

With that being said, this particular approach is much better than Hybrid, but still Native remains the king of the crown.

Benefits Of Cross-platform Apps

  • Fuss-free & speedy development
  • Cost-effective
  • Code can be reused
  • High product maintenance

Cons Of Cross-platform Apps

  • Complicated development plan
  • Hard integrations

When To Consider Using A Cross-Platform App?

The businesses have to target audiences on the various platforms simultaneously.  And if your company needs satisfactory app performance on a limited budget, then cross-platform app development is an ideal approach.

To get a native-like look at an economical cost without selecting the long native app development-this is a good option.

Tools Required For Cross-platform App Development 

  • Xamarin
  • Flutter
  • React Native

Some Of The Best Cross-platform Apps

  • Bloomberg
  • Skype
  • Slack
  • Reflectly
  • Insightly

Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform: What To Select?

native vs hybrid vs cross platform

Now that you are informed about all the three popular mobile app development substructures. The next thing you will think of as a business owner is- which among the three is the best approach?

Well, whether you choose Hybrid, Native or Cross-platform, it all gamble on your project demands, budget, target market, and several other guidelines.

And thus, it gets difficult for us to pick a champion when there is a talk on Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform apps.

However, there are few parameters based on which we can get a clear picture of Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform.

Let’s take a sneak peek at these guidelines:

Performance

When it comes to performance while comparing Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform; selecting Native app development will be the best option. As Native app development will allow you to discover the next-gen features of mobile phones in a simple manner like wireless access points, network, and more for enhancing the delivery service and thus optimizing the overall app performance.

So, for performance, here is the clear winner- Native app development.

Time To Market

Fun fact: Every month, over 29.5K mobile applications are launched only through the Apple play store. And this number gets bigger in the case of the Google play store.

In such stiff competition, when comparing Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform based on time to market, Native app development takes sufficient time for its development plan. On the other hand, Hybrid and Cross-platform apps should be considered as they are quick to market.

So, the winner here is- Hybrid and Cross-platform development.

Development Price

The very first concern of any business is the estimate for mobile application development. Everyone wants a superior yet modern mobile application that can be developed within a planned budget.

And start-up organizations with a limited budget can’t furnish a Native app. For such cases, cross-platform app development is ideal.

So, in terms of development cost, the winner is- Cross-platform app development.

Customization & UX

The majority of the users say that they have left their shopping carts only because of a bad user experience. Today’s generation has higher expectations from brands and getting a rich user experience is the very first thing they want in any mobile application.

Offering customization, personalization, and enhanced usability is the first thing that every business should work on. In the case of Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform, Native apps have better User Interfaces and are tailored.

So, the winner here is- Native App Development

Final Thoughts

No matter which industry you are dealing in, businesses should invest in a mobile application development approach that suits and complements their business needs, and custom expectations as well.

Whether you select a Native, Hybrid, or Cross-platform app, it all depends on your project idea.

While differentiating Native vs Hybrid vs Cross-platform, every option has its own costs and benefits. You just have to look at the whole picture and realize the main objective you are trying to execute from the mobile applications.

However, if you are still confused about which type of mobile app will be ideal and suitable for your business/startup, drop us a line, our expert mobile developers will guide you in selecting the right mobile app development platform that will fulfill all your requirements.

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