Native Apps vs Mobile and Web Apps
Post on 16-Apr-2017
NATIVE VS WEB VS HYBRID APPS: WHATS THE DIFFERENCE? Looking to build a mobile app for your brand but arent sure where to start? From native apps to web apps and hybrid apps, there are a plethora of options available to you all which have their own set of opportunities and limitations. With so many options available and considerations to make, navigating the mobile app space can seem daunting, so weve broken down each type of app to help you better understand and determine the best solution for you and your business. Below is a breakdown of the pros and cons associated with building a native mobile app versus a web app or a hybrid app. Native Mobile Applications
Can utilize built-in device and operating features Native mobile applications are programs that have been developed for use on a particular device or platform (such as iOS, Android, Blackberry or Windows smartphones and tablets). Because native apps are written for a specific platform, they can interact with native operating system (OS) features that are typically installed on a specific platform or device, such as a built-in GPS, calendar, camera or QR code scanner. This is beneficial because users are already accustomed to the look and feel of the native apps they use on their devices, so if your apps experience is in-line with the experience the user is accustomed, and it integrates with other native apps on his or her device, its more likely that your app will be well received.
Strong User Experience (UX) According to a recent Statista study, 3 million mobile apps are currently available for download. If your app is slow, isnt easy to use or doesnt work the way it should, you can bet your app wont bode well with your users, resulting in poor app store reviews, uninstalls, and a lift in your competitors downloads. To survive in todays saturated mobile app market, your app must provide a seamless and engaging user experience. Native apps are fast, easy to use, and provide a far smoother user experience than web and hybrid apps.
Dont require internet connection Unlike its web and hybrid mobile app counterparts, native apps do not require a connection to the internet. This is beneficial because if users dont have to use their mobile data to use your app, theyre likely to use and engage with it more often a win for you and your users.
Excellent User Interface (UI)
Users are accustomed to the look and feel of their devices and the apps that come with them. Because native apps are custom coded for individual smartphones, tablets and platforms, users will find the native app easy to use.
Easily discoverable in the app stores Native apps require publishing permission from app stores such as Google Play and Apple App Store. Once approved by the app stores, native apps are easily discovered and downloaded by users.
Higher perceived user security From a users perspective, native apps tend to be more trustworthy and secure than other kinds of apps because they go through a rigorous approval process before they are approved and featured in app stores.
Requires a higher financial investment When looking to build a mobile app, you should keep in mind that different operating systems require different sets of code. For instance, if youre building an iOS app, youll use Swift, which is different than the code you would use to build an Android app, (typically Java or Kotlin), and other operating systems. Essentially, native apps will need to be built separately for each operating system, which tends to require a larger financial investment. While native app builds come with a higher price tag, they provide a far better user experience than their web and hybrid counterparts.
Cant be built or deployed overnight Because they require more time to code for specific devices and platforms, native apps can take up to six months to build. During this time, developers work to ensure that the app works the way it should and provides the best possible user experience.
Web & Hybrid Mobile App Considerations
Limited in access to a devices native features Web mobile apps have no access to a smartphones native features (such as built-in GPS). While hybrid apps may have some access to a devices features, they cannot fully utilize a devices feature set the way that native apps can.
More affordable (initially) and faster to deploy Because web and hybrid apps use only one set of code across devices and platforms, they take less time and money to build. However, you should keep in mind that these apps could cost more in the long term, since they tend to be less stable and often require extensive developer maintenance as new OS versions are released and new bugs are discovered.
Require an internet connection to function In contrast to native mobile apps, both web and hybrid apps require an internet connection in order to function properly. Depending on what your goals are for your app, this is may be a rather large drawback because users wont be able to use your app without access to Wi-Fi or their data turned on which could be a turn off from a users standpoint.
Lower quality & overall user experience Because hybrid and web mobile apps arent tailored to suit each individual platform or device, they may not function the way they were intended to; they may crash, be slow to load, and certain functionality may break, resulting in a poor user experience. This is a risk you take when building an app that takes a blanket approach to coding for very different devices and operating systems.
Not easily accessible in app stores Web apps are not allowed to be listed in popular native app stores such as Google Play or Apple App Store, so they will be harder for your users to find and download.
As one article from Google states, People download apps every day, but the truth is that many of them are abandoned or never even used. This is because most apps fail to honor the rules of strong UI and UX. In short, users will interact with your app more and wont hit the uninstall button if they love the experience you provide them with. As you now well know, a native app will provide your users with the best possible user experience and interface, which will encourage positive reviews, a high engagement rate and wider app adoption. If youre ready to start building a best-in-breed native app that sets you apart from your competitors, wed love to hear from you. Get in touch with one of our friendly native app experts today.