A Simple Guide to mobile app development, How to choose from native, web, and hybrid?

There are number of ways, languages, resources to create a mobile application. At times it can create confusion for a beginner or a developer to choose the best option, how to weigh the benefits of different methods. Developers need to pick the simplest and most robust one as per the specifications and goals of the project.
This guide provides a general overview of the three main resources mobile app developers can choose native, web, and hybrid, and the factors you would like to think about to form the simplest choice for your next project.

1. Native app development

Native apps are built for a selected platform, which suggests you would like to write down new code for every platform you would like to support. Swift and Objective C are common programming languages for iOS apps, while Java may be a popular choice for Android app Though it’s often difficult to quickly develop native apps for multiple platforms, there are tools that will help. for instance, Xamarin may be a cross-platform toolkit that permits developers to create interface layouts that will be shared across iOS, Android, and Windows apps.

Native apps are also built using the specific Integrated Development Environment, (IDE), Apple and Google provide app developers with their own development tools, interface elements, and SDK.
  • You get a quick and responsive product.
  • They are often distributed within the app store (which helps with findability and user trust).
  • Typically, these apps don’t require an online connection.
  • They deliver a far better user experience since they’re built consistent with specific UI standards for a given platform.
  • Developers can access all device features and functionality.

There are also certain disadvantages too to native mobile app development. These include:

  • Developers got to understand specific coding languages.
  • They are costlier to develop and maintain.
  • Updates require a download.
  • Many native apps require large installations.

Large installations are particularly challenging for native mobile app development. for instance , a typical game on Android could be 500MB, since it’s to store all assets on the device if it’s not pulling them over the air because the app runs. When most users see their phone’s storage is nearly full, they delete an app or a game they don’t use regularly. during this regard, native apps run the danger of using an excessive amount of storage and being deleted as space for storing reaches capacity.

2. Web app development

A web app is hosted on a browser , like Chrome or Safari. it’s almost like an internet site , except that the knowledge is presented more precisely.
The issue of storage is resolved as nothing needs to be stored on users device, nothing is downloaded. Web apps are usually inbuilt JavaScript, HTML5, or CSS.

Web apps deliver the subsequent advantages:

  • They are easy to create and maintain.
  • They are less costly .
  • Updates are often pushed to the user (no download required).
  • You write your code once.

The ability to write down code once means you’ll build one app that works across all platforms (iOS, Android, etc.). In fact, some companies are even employing a web app as their company or product website. They get both a usable app and a corporation site from an equivalent development process, reducing total development time and price .

The disadvantages of web apps are:

  • They require an internet browser to run. The browser is a component of the appliance architecture.
  • They are slower than native apps. Browsers typically don’t function at an equivalent speed because of the latest smartphone OS.
  • Web apps aren’t accessible via an icon like a native app. it’s possible to put in a shortcut to a user’s home screen, but the icon will appear as if the browser, therefore the company cannot use their own design and can likely be mistaken for Chrome or Safari.
  • All device functionality isn’t accessible. While developers can access certain features like the camera and geolocation through HTML5, advanced functionality remains largely unsupported.

3. Hybrid app development

Hybrid apps behave sort of a native app, but they work across multiple platforms (meaning you simply need to write the code once). it’s an internet app, but it are often installed on the user’s device even as a native app would be. samples of hybrid mobile apps include Uber and Yelp.

A hybrid app essentially consists of two parts:

  • The backend code, which is made with languages like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.
  • A native shell that loads the code employing a WebView. A WebView may be a browser bundled inside a mobile application. this enables the app to access hardware features of the device, like the camera or contacts.

Most hybrid mobile apps are built with the Apache Cordova framework. Cordova may be a free and open source tool that wraps your HTML or JavaScript app into a native container. Your app can reach almost every phone and tablet on the market with only one set of code. Plug-ins provide APIs for accessing device capabilities.
Ionic may be a popular app platform for building hybrid mobile apps. Developers can build, test, and deploy hybrid mobile apps easily. Ionic is made on top of the Cordova framework.

Hybrid apps are often implemented in two ways:

  • Locally—The code is packaged inside the mobile app binary. REST APIs exchange data between the cloud and therefore the device.
  • On a server—The entire web app is implemented from the server using the native container as a skinny shell over the UIWebView.

A recent Ionic Developer Survey found that hybrid apps are growing in popularity. Almost one-third of developers surveyed reported that they expect to form an entire switch to hybrid apps over the subsequent two years.

Hybrid mobile app development is advantageous for the subsequent reasons:

  • They are easier to create than native apps.
  • They are less costly than native apps.
  • One app works across all platforms.
  • No browser is required.
  • Developers can access device features like the camera and storage.
  • Developers can re-use their skills from web development.

Disadvantages of hybrid mobile apps are:

  • They are slower than native apps in terms of performance.
  • They are costlier than web apps since you would like to create the shell.
  • Debugging is more complex thanks to the added shell layer.
  • You cannot customize the app supported platform, which may negatively impact the user experience.
  • You can target multiple platforms with one code, but each platform has certain nuances when it involves WebView which require to be considered.

Decision time: What you would like to think about

  • Timeline—How fast does one need the app built? If you would like to urge something to plug quickly and at a coffee cost, an internet app is your best bet. Hybrid apps also can be built rather quickly, but tend to need longer than an internet app.
  • User Experience (UX)—What level of quality are you striving for? If the UX may be a high priority and important for user adoption, accompany a native app. it’s well worth the extra development time and money.
  • Features and functionality—Do you would like to access more advanced device features, like streaming? If the solution is yes, you’ll eliminate an internet app from your options. it’s also important to notice that plug-ins for hybrid apps aren’t usually immediately available for brand spanking new device features, making native the higher choice over hybrid in these situations. As a general rule, if you begin adding an honest deal of customization to your hybrid app, you’ll also have gone native, as your costs and time to develop are going to be equivalent, but the app’s performance is going to be poorer.
  • Performance—When performance is critical, nothing beats a native app. Real-time updates and 3D graphics, for instance, will load faster on a native app. The hybrid performance takes second place, although it’s recuperating because of advances in OS performance and device power.
  • Budget—How much money is devoted to developing the app? A native app is that the costliest, followed by hybrid than web apps.
  • Distribution—Do you would like your app available within the app stores? Then you would like a hybrid or native application.
  • Graphics and animation—Native apps offer the fastest graphics and fluid animation. These features are critical if you would like a fast data refresh or provide interactive reporting in your app. this is often why game apps are often native.
  • Available skill level—Assess the skill level of your development team. Native mobile app development demands knowledge of Software Development Kits (SDKs) and programming languages for every platform you would like to support. Web and hybrid apps allow you to deliver on multiple platforms with an equivalent skillset.

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