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Are the hybrid mobile apps demanding over the native mobile apps?

September 22nd, 2014

This is the age of the smartphones, we have all used various apps on different occasions. Our beloved mobiles and tabs have thus become the perfect tools for our day to day communications, socializations and other activities.

All these apps, however, are not developed in the same way. They are henceforth categorized under different types namely Native, HTML 5 and Hybrid mobile apps. Of these the hybrid mobile apps designing is what the current trend seems to be moving towards now. Let’s have a look at why this is so.

To understand the Hybrid mobile app’s advantages or disadvantages, we need to first comprehend the other two app types and their benefits.

Native Mobile Apps

Native apps are what most default mobile apps are categorized under. They offer the best of experiences when it comes to features handling, compatibility with your devices and best user interface.

There are certain things that you can experience only through native apps, they are as follows:

Elements such as pinch-to-zoom, double taps and other gesture recognitions are available under multi-touch features that are exclusive to native apps alone. These features give a personalized feedback to the users, making them ideal for certain apps (example: camera apps, txt app, image apps, etc) that require these functions for their optimal usage.

Next is the graphics part of an app. These native apps are the best in the category when it comes to rendering faster graphical outputs. Not many apps that display static screens require this feature, however, every app that are purely based on graphic rendering and fast refreshes, requires native app designing for effective functionality. Now we know that native app designs are best for fast graphical rendering, we understand that they are the ideal choice when it comes to app development for gaming, animations and intense algorithm computations.

Another important aspect of native mobile app design is that, it is compatible with the mobile device’s in-built components such as Camera, Geo-Location, Address Book, etc. Thus, when designing an app that requires the use of these built in parts, then native design is the way to go.

Now comes the user experience, right from the start a native app is very user-friendly. It fires up quick, has great performance, looks consistent and feels right at home on their respective platforms. They are also perfectly compatible with the app stores and even send reminders to the users on the release of newer updates. These small but game changing features make using the native apps a charm.

But, there is one other deciding factor that plays a vital role. Developing a native app requires experience developers and design specific tools which are costly to initialize and to maintain. This is one down factor that is hard for many to overlook and thus, has paved way for HTML based app development method to be sought after.

HTML5 Mobile Apps

Usage of HTML has been around for decades. With the advent of HTML5 and CSS3, however, the field of play for the mobile app developers has improved greatly. These mobile apps are basically web pages that are designed to run on any mobile browser.

Being a browser run application, the contents of these apps are available on the web. This makes it very easy for the users to search it online, an example of which is a shopping app whose products are listed on a search result, leading to more users finding the app.

The development of these web apps are so much easier, and thus, only requires little experience to go forth with its development. This constitutes to the fact that the production cost of a HTML5 mobile app is very low. Also any updates, bug fixes or changes made to the app will be immediately reflected to the users. This avoids all the hazels pertaining to users having to individually download these newer versions.

The CSS3 allows for smother animations on the likes of sliding panels and such, but nothing more. This is a region where HTML5 apps fail to make a dent in the mobile app development segment. Also, limitations to offline storage and lack of security are other issues that add to it. Now comes the multi-touch feature that we are very natural with, when using our smartphones. This is totally absent in the HTML based app designs at the moment, though efforts are being made to improve this stand.

Now that we have seen some of the main factors affecting both the above mentioned mobile app development methods (be it for god or bad,) let’s have a look at how Hybrid mobile apps perform in these respects.

Hybrid Mobile Apps

A hybrid mobile app can be considered has a cross between the Native & HTML mobile apps. They do the best in bringing out the positives of both these methods into one app, while excluding their negative aspects. These type of apps are primarily developed on a HTML5 or JavaScript base that are then packed within a native coat, giving access to the exclusive native features of the different OS platform.

Anyone experienced with a web based app development will feel right at home in the development of hybrid mobile apps. This makes the cost of developing a Hybrid mobile app almost similar to that of web app development. Hence, an ideal option for those looking forward to develop a mobile app that is cost effective, while at the same time feels like a native app.

Another important aspect of a hybrid app is that, the apps can either be used as a web app and used directly from the servers or installed onto the device like a native app. Therefore, with this brief understanding we can appreciate the reasons why hybrid mobile apps are preferred by this current trend – its flexibility driving it forward.

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