Developing a mobile app is not as simple or as straightforward as thinking of an idea and publishing a new web page. In fact, choosing how to develop your next mobile app is one of the biggest decisions you will need to make, whether you are developing a new app for other businesses or one that is direct-to-consumer.
When you are in the market to have a new app developed, you may be wondering if hybrid mobile app development is still the way to go. Before you can make that decision, however, it is important that you first become acquainted with the three common types of mobile app development today: native, web, and hybrid.
What is Native Mobile App Development?
Native app development involves the process of developing mobile game sort applications with a singular platform and using a specific operating system. Native app development can help with providing an additional layer and protection for both developers and users alike, which is why it is a top choice for many business owners.
With native mobile app development, developers are restricted to the type of programing language that is native to the device or operating system they are working on. For example, if a developer is programming an application for Android-exclusive devices, they will need to work in either Java or Kotlin. However, developers who are working to create an application or piece of software for iOS smartphones or devices will need to work in either Swift or Objective C.
With native mobile app development, developers are a bit limited and will need to choose a platform that suits their needs and the needs of their prospective users and/or customers.
What is Web Mobile App Development?
For those who are interested in a newer method of developing apps, web mobile app development is one of the most popular alternatives to native development. With web mobile app development, developers do not need approval from a marketplace and can also integrate their app into a variety of embedded areas of websites and plugins.
Some of the features to keep in mind when considering a web-based app for your next project include:
- The ability for users to access and/or launch your app from their own internet browser
- No requirement to submit your app to the app marketplace for either Android or iOS in order to begin promoting and sharing your app or monetizing your app online.
- Additional opportunities to monetize your app without requiring the app marketplace approval process
- The application is internet-enabled and can be accessed from virtually any location with a working internet connection.
- It is very easy to remain compatible with older devices and/or smartphones.
- Easier maintenance with access to a common code base across multiple digital platforms.
While web-based apps do offer plenty in the way of flexibility and publishing, there are also a few drawbacks to keep in mind if you are considering going the route of web-based app development, such as:
- Internet is required at all times in order to access and utilize a web-based mobile app, which may limit individuals who only have access to data instead of Wi-Fi.
- Security and safety are not guaranteed with a mobile-based web application, which can pose serious risks for your business legally and financially, depending on the nature of your mobile app as well as the type of information or data you are collecting from your customers.
- Limitations to what features you can implement and share are also possible, as web-based applications are limited to the language(s) your developer(s) choose to work in.
What is Hybrid Mobile App Development?
With hybrid applications, a mobile app development company works to create a native application that allows the embedding of numerous languages and features without the application appearing or registering as a web-based app. Hybrid applications take the native application wrapper to embed snippets of code directly into the application wrapper itself. When a hybrid application appears online, it will appear as a traditional native app, not a web-based app. Hybrid apps and their web-based features are typically hidden to the naked eye, and only known to developers and designers.
Pros and Cons of Using Hybrid Mobile App Development Solutions
When it comes to choosing between native and hybrid mobile app development, mobile device security should also be a top priority, especially with the rise of online crimes such as phishing, identity theft, and financial scams. Some of the benefits of using hybrid app development include:
- Cross-platform support is available with hybrid app development.
- It is possible to reuse code without hassle.
- All devices can access hybrid mobile apps with the proper plugins in place.
- Increased safety and security are also possible with hybrid solutions over simple web-based app development solutions.
- Save time when it comes to developing your app, as a hybrid version is much more compatible with many devices compared to using a native app, which is restricted to its native operating system.
While hybrid apps are ideal for most businesses, there are a few drawbacks to keep in mind while navigating the world of hybrid app development, such as:
- Longer rendering times: In some instances, you may experience longer rendering times when it comes to working with hybrid apps versus native or web-based apps, simply due to the number of resources used for hybrid app development compared to alternatives.
- Performance: If performance is a top priority for you, a native app may be the best route, as hybrid apps are not always the top performers in terms of loading speed.
- Lack of new features: With hybrid app development, you will likely find yourself waiting a bit longer for new features to be released and available to the public.
Is Hybrid Mobile App Development Still the Future?
Yes, it appears that hybrid mobile app development is still the future. With the wide range of creative features and customization control that comes with web app development along with the added security and safety of native apps, hybrid mobile app development seems to offer the most on both ends of running a business and living as a consumer. Understanding why hybrid app development is the future of mobile apps can go a long way when developing your own apps or working in the mobile industry yourself.
The future of mobile app development is clear: hybrid models are here to stay, especially when it comes to developing cross-compatible apps and games on universal devices or operating systems.