Mobile app development debate: hybrid and native
Running in the background, not always obviously either, what with smartphone owners narrowing their focus when navigating tiny their tiny screens, the difference between a native and hybrid Apps is perhaps lost on a customer. This consumer wants his or her information, wants it right now in an easy to digest form. On the other hand, for startup owners and product vendors at least, that key distinction means everything.
So, where to begin? If you’re a startup, if you’re all at sea because you’re bogged down by development woes, let’s make things simple. For starters, what’s the difference between a Native and Hybrid App? Hey, it’s built to run everything behind the scenes of that attractive UI you’ve become so enamored with, so should you even care about those differences when you’re smitten with your screen’s content?
Native Apps Defined
Simply put, they’re designed to run on a single platform. You know, like an Apple iPhone or an Android smartphone, that sort of thing. Of some advantage here, Native Apps tend to be faster, snappier, and generally more responsive because they’re programmed in a single language, one that targets either an iOS or Android platform. Windows phones were also once part of the design landscape here, but they’ve sort of fallen by the wayside, if you know what we mean. If you’re a client, let this info sink in for a moment. Try browsing over to the Apple Store or Google Marketplace, because this is where native Apps reside. As such they need to pass through a rigorously enforced validation process before they can gain access to the store.
Okay, so you’d make your profits off of a platform-specific development cycle, as utilized by a qualified group of software engineers. That’s how the process would go down, but this systematic approach can take time, plus a whole mountain of resources. Several iterations are required before your App finally makes it into one of those two incredibly popular marketplaces.
That’s the problem, though, right? Sure, if you’ve got a large budget, a development service that focuses purely on Apple or Android coding can eventually reach that final App iteration, but that’s not a realistic approach, not for clients stuck on a budget. Let’s face it, startups have limited financial resources and they’re not going to focus on the background technology either. They just want results, want an App that shows off their product, service, or idea. Be it a game or a productivity enhancing program, they want users to buy their App and use it. Top of their list of demands, usability comes first, then there’s responsiveness and reliability, too.
Now, while it’s true that mobile App developers sometimes favor the single language, single platform route, they’ve learned a valuable lesson. That lesson goes something like this: It’s the usability factor, the way in which a mobile user experiences the interactions between the interface and the natural flow of information –or entertainment—that converts them into loyal customers. And loyal customers keep on coming back for more, right? That takes us nicely onto Hybrid App technology, where usability and user experience is at least as important as any old development cycle.
Hybrid Apps Are Accepted Everywhere
Less about the coding and verification process, Hybrid applications might just be your perfect solution. Another advantage is that the software uses web API elements, and those elements are framed by a native wrapper, therefore once the app is approved by the market place or store, new releases or updates will go with no need of the market place or store verification. If all of this techspeak sounds like so much coding double-talk, don’t worry. The main point is this: If a Hybrid App is created by a company who’s well-versed in such services, the results should pretty much be a match for those produced via a purely single platform development cycle. Sure, native apps still perform faster, and they naturally access your smartphones camera and GPS without requiring a third-party translation codebase, but that’s a benefit you’ll rarely perceive. Meanwhile, Hybrid App developers have a whole stack of benefits to offer. Remember, you’re a startup or someone who’s on a budget. You don’t want to play around with different App iterations, not when the App store is judging the results according to their oftentimes impossible to please standards. Enter Hybrids, with their platform neutral usability experience. If you want it to work on an iOS device like an iPad or on an Android tablet, that’s not an issue. Better yet, perhaps by employing a laptop’s web browser, your clients will seamlessly continue that same user experience on a basic computer. Chromebooks, desktops and laptops, it makes no difference, the App will just work.
At the end of the day, this is a money game. If you do code Apps as a fun pastime, that’s wonderful; in time, you’ll be a code guru and ready to apply for a position as an App Developer, too. If, however, you want to get something out of this, want to feel fulfilled while realizing concrete results, your route to success should use an App developing team and workflow framework that actually yields the results you need. User experience and result-oriented usability must be valued above programming concerns like framework codebases; the goal is more important than the route taken to get there.
Having conquered several mobile programming disciplines and web coding systems, including CSS and HTML, Hybrid Apps don’t need App stores or finicky approval certificates, not if your App design team has access to Ionic enterprise edition, at any rate. Utilizing Enterprise edition OR a progressive App technique, you’re freed from such marketplace restrictions. Then, left to focus on more important issues, a development team can zero in on a debugging strategy. Yet again, this feature is built right into many hybrid App developer tools.