The moment you decide to build an application, you are faced with many decisions. Technology, business, design, marketing, branding-all these have a certain effect and influence on the success of your application. If you make the wrong decision, they can also have drastic consequences. The most expensive thing in any application development is technology.
Changing your view of the platform, technology, or application type late in the development process can cause hundreds of hours of work interruption and multiply the overall cost. However, if the problem is solved immediately, it will speed up application development and benefits from it can be reaped in the long run.
What All Matters When Choosing an Application Type?
The selection you make between native, hybrid, and web applications depends on many factors, and no two companies will have the same factors that triggers this decision in the same way.
Before understanding these factors though, let us first understand some key differences between native applications, hybrid applications, and web applications:
- Distribution Method: This defines the channel through which the application could be found conveniently – the application store or online web,
- Multi-Platform Support: This just means that different application types have different functions that run on iOS and Android,
- Access to Native Device APIs: This means that the app has the ability to use the native functions of the device and other available APIs.
Before we learn more about these key details of each application type, please make sure you know the following answers:
- How quickly do you need to develop or build your application?
- What functions and features do you need towards MVP / full-fledged application?
- What is the user experience that you want in your app?
- What is your overall budget?
- What do you want to accomplish with this application?
- What are your options for internal and outsourced software application development?
Native mobile applications are written specifically for the platform or operating system (such as Android or iOS) using the native operating system language. For example, to develop a native Android application, you need to write code in Java or Kotlin; similarly, for an iOS native application, the code is written in Swift or Objective-C.
- Native applications can widely use the hardware of the device, such as the camera, GPS, microphone, compass, etc., as well as the functions of the operating system.
- Native apps utilize the device’s UI to provide the best customer experience.
- Native apps are specifically developed for platforms with a single focus which makes it faster and more intuitive.
- The native application has the characteristics of high performance, more reliability, and faster response, and provides the ultimate user experience, unmatched by other types of mobile apps.
- Native mobile application development is a future-oriented investment.
- The main disadvantage of choosing a native application is that it has a high upfront cost of development.
- Compared with other application types, native applications have the highest cost of ownership.
- Code written for the Android platform cannot be used in the iOS operating system and vice-versa.
- You need to hire different coders for each platform driving up the overall application cost.
- Every time there is an update, the user needs to download and reinstall the application.
- Native applications are also not suitable for companies that want to achieve faster time to market.
Web applications are just websites that “feel” like applications because of their interactivity and functionality. They provide services over the Internet, they run in a browser, and cannot be downloaded to mobile devices like native applications.
- Can cater to a wide range of customers across regions and provide services across multiple types of devices.
- A single version of the website helps to improve SEO.
- The adaptive web application can be scaled and adapted to different screen sizes from tablets to smartphones.
- No need to customize web-based applications for specific platforms or operating systems. Hence, lower development costs.
- Users do not need to download or update web apps from the app store.
- Web applications are completely dependent on the browser used by the device, which means that the functions supported by one browser may not be available in another browser.
- Since web applications are the shell of the website, they cannot work completely offline.
- Even though the web application can choose the offline mode, it still needs an Internet connection to back up the data on the device, get new data or refresh the screen.
- Web applications may not always be integrated with the device hardware.
- You cannot sell web apps through the app store.
The hybrid mobile applications happen to be between the native applications and the web applications. They have the feel of a native app because they can be downloaded from the app store and displayed on the home screen, but they rely on rendering in a browser embedded inside the app.
- Compared with native applications, hybrid applications can be developed faster and are more cost-effective.
- Before the enterprise decides to build a native application, a hybrid application can act as a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
- Hybrid apps load fast and are ideal for countries/regions with slow internet connections.
- Hybrid applications provide a streamlined and consistent user experience.
- Once the code is written, it can be used on multiple platforms.
- Since hybrid applications use a single code base, there is less code to maintain.
- The plug-in system helps applications access platform functions.
- Although hybrid apps look and feel like native apps, they lack functionality and speed, which is considered a hallmark of native apps.
- In hybrid applications, achieving excellent UX and navigation patterns is challenging.
- Hybrid applications need to download various elements, which can lead to increased loading time.
- Hybrid apps cannot access all device features and functions.
How to Choose One?
If you want to develop a mobile application for your business, the type of application you choose will depend on many factors. The following business requirements should help you choose your ideal mobile application.
- Need a High-Performance Mobile Application – In terms of performance, no other application type can match the native application experience. Next, in terms of performance are hybrid applications and web applications.
- Need to Use the Mobile App as Soon as Possible – If you put faster time to market first in your business plan, then native mobile application development should not be your ideal choice. You should invest in building a web application that takes the least time to develop and deploy.
- Limited Resources and Budget – If budget constraints limit your business, you must consider building web applications or hybrid applications. Hybrid applications can act as the MVP of your enterprise to test waters.
- Business Application Should be Fast and Stable – If performance and functionality are your top business priorities, then there is no way to solve it. All you need is a native application because it can provide you with speed, stability, and custom features, which are vital to your success.
Each of these three types of applications has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choices you make will affect your growth process. This is why the key to this process is to understand your assets and limitations and use them to get the best return in the form of an application.
After considering various options and making a decision, it is important to work with developers, who can visualize and put your ideas into practice based on your budget and the core goals of your business. It is important to work with a team that can support the knowledge and experience of the exact technology you choose so that your application can reach its full potential.
At Pratiti, we possess rich expertise in developing software applications on various platforms to best suit your business requirements. We are committed to making our customer’s digital journey as smooth as possible by collaborating, co-creating and co-innovating with them. If you are looking for an expert software application development company for your business, lets connect today!