Mobile app development develops software for mobile devices like cell phones, tablets, digital assistants, and mobile enterprise assistants. Mobile app development is primarily done in two leading operating systems: Android and IOS. Android captures 74.6% of the mobile market, iOS captures 24.6%, and other operating systems like kaiOS and Windows capture 0.8%.
This all started with one person, Martine Cooper, on 3rd April 1973 in New York. The first mobile application to market was the Psion EPOC device, and Palm OS is the first operating system to come into the picture with touch GUI under the WML, a language based on XML. WML is Wireless Markup Language.
After that, Symbian OS came into the picture with Nokia, Samsung, and LG in 2009. In 2010 the company captured 38% of the market, but it dropped to around 4% in 2012 when Nokia adopted the Windows OS. Furthermore, Google released Android in 2008, and Apple released iOS in 2007. So just like Nokia, Samsung and other brands also moved to this leading and phenomenal Android OS; around the same time, IOS mobiles started to come into competition. Now to this date, Android and IOS are dominating the market. These operating systems are developing rapidly with time.
Developers use the Android Studio framework with languages like Java, Kotlin, XML, and the latest one, jetpackCompose, to develop Android mobile apps. Conversely, iOS mobile app development heavily relies on Xcode frameworks, which can only run under the iOS operating system.
There are multiple languages used in mobile application development. Regarding hybrid development frameworks, we have a flutter, ionic and react-native. Hybrid development is based on the principle “Code once deployed everywhere”. Mobile applications developed using hybrid frameworks can create mobile apps (builds and bundles) for native Android and IOS.
Organizations worldwide widely use these frameworks for hybrid mobile app development.
Table of Contents
What is Native App Development?
The native app is developed for one platform only(Android or iOS). For native mobile app development, we need to use native development technologies along with the default development languages associated with that framework.
Android developers use Android Studio, which they write in languages like Java, Kotlin, or Jetpack Compose.
iOS developers use Xcode, which they write in languages like Swift, Objective-C, or SwiftUI.
Native app development is platform specific and allows developers to use core functionality without other interactors or bridges. Native apps have an edge when it comes to devise/hardware integrations. In IoT and healthcare, mobile applications can connect digital measurement devices like blood pressure meters, oximeters, thermometers, and weighing scales for data sharing. In that case, native development tools can even fetch hex or binary code directly for encoding and decoding for result fetch.
Examples of native app development:-
- Pokemon Go
- Thinkitive: Easypay
- Thinkitive: DocSink
What is Hybrid App Development?
We must use hybrid development technology and the third-party development tools associated with that framework for hybrid app development. Let’s dive into the hybrid frameworks;
The second leading hybrid framework is Flutter. Google developed Flutter in 2015 and made it publicly available in 2017. Developers write Flutter apps in the Dart language.
These two frameworks are the most commonly used. However, another framework, Iconic, emerged from Drifty Co. in 2013. To further address the advantages mentioned earlier in native mobile app development, hybrid frameworks employ bridges and interceptors classes to leverage core functionalities of native platforms. This enables tasks like reading and sending data to IoT and healthcare digital devices.
Example of hybrid app development:-
- Google Pay
- Thinkitive: LitonRx
- Thinkitive: AkosMD
Significant Differences Between Native App and Hybrid App Development:-
|Native app development||Hybrid app development|
|Uses native development tools with native languages, directly rendering into core functionality.||It uses hybrid development tools with bridges and interactors, which indirectly render into core functionality.|
|It is faster than hybrid app development environments.||It is slower than native app development, but in some frameworks like react-native, after the year 2022, when a new version is launched by react native, it’s the same at rendering as native environments.|
|It can render directly into the core components of native operating systems.||In a hybrid, we use bridges to render native components, but through the new architecture of react-native, we can render directly with virtual DOM.|
|It doesn’t contain virtual DOM or DOM concepts.||This development environment is blessed with DOM architecture to make the process easier.|
|It provides more flexibility, but it’s complex.||It is not flexible initially, but with native functions, we can make it the same as native. Also, it’s easier to understand than any other technology.|
|This can adopt native updates quicker. Because it’s provided by native support.||This needs little time after the new update in native.|
Pros and Cons of Native App Development
Pros of Native App Development:-
1. Native app development is something where we can work on a native development environment written in native languages. We can use, modify or upgrade direct native components per our requirements.
2. Some events continuously occur in Android and IOS devices; we can catch those events directly with native IDEs.
3. Android and IOS provide a considerable amount of SDK support.
4. Builds are directly created with other tools and supported and verified by the play store and app store.
5. It delivers high-performance applications and is more interactive than any other application.
6. It doesn’t rely on any other environment(android/IOS) support.
Cons of Native App Development:-
1. New updates give better support, but it is a time-consuming and lengthy downloading and uploading process.
2. New updates give better support, but it is a time-consuming and lengthy downloading and uploading process.
3. Development of a native environment is quick, but compared to hybrid development, it’s time-consuming.
4. With the cost of one developer, the hybrid can create 2 different environment builds, but in the case of native, we have only one build.
5. It requires the environment to be updated all the time. Which wastes time in setting things.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid App Development
Pros of Hybrid App Development:-
1. Hybrid development app has a significant advantage while developing applications under hybrid app development; it generates Android and IOS builds together.
2. It saves cost and is less expensive compared with native development.
3. Compared with the native mobile app development environment, it saves more time.
4. Considering the cost and effort of two developers, hybrid development of the same app can be done with one developer. Less coordination is required than in native development, as native development teams are usually different.
5. Reusability of code can be used under this development heavily.
6. With a hybrid development environment, we can cover 99% of users. Better than any native development environment.
Cons of Hybrid App Development:-
1. Hybrid development doesn’t have access to the native component to that much extent that native development has. Since hybrid development couldn’t manipulate that many native components.
2. For some functionality, third-party packages could only be released once available on both environments like Android and IOS SDKs.
3. In a few cases, hybrid development depends on native functionalities.
4. Even if a hybrid app can match native apps. From a design perspective, It’s pretty tough to get the accurate look and feel like that of native apps.
5. Hybrid has little flow performance compared to native because hybrid needs to convert functionalities into two separate builds.
When to Choose Native VS Hybrid App Development
Just like everywhere, each concept has its benefits and disadvantages. In the same way, native and hybrid have their plus and minus. As per our requirement, we can choose hybrid and native development environments. So let’s check with such requirements. We should use the hybrid development environment if some project needs to be done quickly and cheaply. Because hybrid development allows us to generate two different builds together.
If we want to develop a feature that is all new and has not been developed to date, we should go for native development, as it gives the flexibility to create anything.
But that doesn’t mean hybrid development couldn’t do that; natives have less pain in such cases. Some event catching is more accessible in native in comparison to hybrid. If the project has that much budget in terms of time and finance, we can go for native; in other words, we can say that if we are ready to redesign and recreate components separately for Android and ios, a native development environment is the best choice. If the project needs speedy deliveries and quick deployments and the use case does not deal with crazy hardware integrations, the hybrid could be the better choice.
If we conclude the whole thing, then the essence of all parts is if we need to create a project with standard functionalities and actual quick delivery and MVP, hybrid development is the best way. If we require a unique UI that respects the native platform and has hardware dependencies, native is the way to go.