This is a rare find if you have a mobile app development enthusiast in your contacts who did not come across all possible types of app-making. Some of the experts like to stick to the basics and use native approach, others look into the newest trends and opportunities. But this is definitely hard to find the person who did not make wrong decisions in his/her career. The technical arena is so huge that the issue of being tangled in the mesh is rather common and burning. In this article, we’ll have a closer look to the mesh which concerns comparison between Hybrid vs Native vs Web application development. First of all, we would like to mention that this is one of the opinions we have and the solutions we implemented for the customers based on the questions we came across.
The only truth we explored is that there is no approach which may satisfy all needs of customers or businesses. All of them have a set of disadvantages, advantages, and improvements that gamble business during the lifetime. For example, the early-bird hybrid apps are almost gone as their code was refactored/rewritten several times already. However – they are used actively in Apple’s App Store and Google Play together with Native ones. For example, Cordova and Xamarin appeared as one of the most popular frameworks in 2017
But if we check the quality of the hybrid/alternative applications we explore that most of them are with poor quality which causes the customers’ low satisfaction and apps removal. Among the statistics 2017-2018 – the poor quality of the apps took 12% of the total percentage of removals. As well, this is followed by the statistics of lack of mobile-friendly environment in Hybrid applications.
In the information below we’ll take a look on those things and concerns which really matter – when to invest and what type of the hybrid applications to choose in different business targets and all challenges and respective benefits they deliver.
Concept model and back to basics: PWAs/Natives/Hybrids
The mobile market is growing dramatically and the only problem here is in the fact that there are 2 Global vendors of OS and if a business wants to approach all customers and cover the requested territories – there is a need to develop the solution for WEB and Mobile (iOS/Android/Windows Phone). This is easy for the existing business when it has accumulated costs and account prognosis to forecast the costs and accumulate funds for Native development team. But this is critical for Startups which are just raising funds or have limited budgets. The Native development starts to be very “heavy” and the Shareholders start to consider one platform for the MVP or look into some hybrid solution based on the framework which supports the development of one adaptive code. The business needs Mobile approach when the target auditory uses the products on their smartphones more often than in laptops and computers.
This is the chart which shows the frequency of smartphone usage and this data is even more than was calculated by The Manifest 2018 Customers App Survey.
Quora gives us a good basic definition of the Native approach. To make the long story short – Native apps are developed and designed for the exact operating system Android or iOS. They are developed on Swift/Objective C/Java and frameworks. The apps are built with the guidance and best practices of the community and they interact with all features (in-built ones) like GPS, Camera and etc. This is great for User Experience, they are fast and have a very low learning curve.
Hybrid apps are based on web approach and deliver the single code for multiple platforms. When you choose Hybrid stack – this means that this application will run on several platforms and may be adapted even for Windows Phone. This is very cost effective when you would like just test the market and create the MVP for your business. We’ll he how it goes below.
As we see, each of them has unique features, but all these three ways have a purpose to create software solutions for the mobile market.
Hybrid Applications: Some statistics you’ve never heard
INCOalliance is working with Hybrid applications from the time being, it means that we have tested this way of development, liked it and now use in the MVP development. However, the clients who come to us with their ‘pains’ are curious – which market giants are written within Hybrid approach. Here we go with some amazing data:
Twitter – this is the great example of the apps which gained success by using the Hybrid development –Twitter shows how social app may be built and stand with incredible traffic amount. It can be proved with the basic check – when the home page of Twitter refreshes, it loads the new tweets and calls the web service in your Home page.
Evernote – this is also a great example of Hybrid development. Its main feature is in application productivity and intuitive design. And this demonstrates how Hybrid may do multi-device, seamless sync capability. That is why the untrained eye may not consider this app as Native-like.
Uber – the most popular taxi service is Hybrid, and this is amazing as the feature of geolocation is working as a native component. The mobile app calls m.uber.com and shows the web view. Ans this gets drivers and passengers to be connected rapidly.
The Hybrid approach is not a single way to build the app. There are a lot of frameworks that serve the same purpose.
At INCOalliance we have tried a lot of them and here is the chart that shows the popularity of the Frameworks among our customers.
- Phone Gap– http://phonegap.com/
- Ionic– https://ionicframework.com/
- React Native– http://www.reactnative.com/
- Xamarin– https://www.xamarin.com/
PWAs that rules the business
Ali Express – this is the most famous PWA representative, it had built a global e-commerce solution based on a progressive web app. The main aim was to improve their rates in retention and conversion as well as visitors’ re-engagements. Here PWA has Native-like animations and the work of push notifications. But together with all these features, it allows users to surf on offline mode.
Trivago – the travel website based on PWA approach. This is famous for its simple interface and reviews. We like the way how the comparison works here and delivers travel options.
Telegram – this is messenger which is not yet very popular globally, however, represents a good and smooth solution of PWA family. Moreover, it has an open API and this allows to increase the speed and responsiveness for iOS and Android smartphones.
However, as we see, this approach is not very popular and it still has a lot of ‘dark sides’. They were introduced by Google a couple of years ago and still has no opportunity to replace the Native and Hybrid applications. When there is a question of replacement of native components – sometimes there is a big problem due to the fact that still, it is browser written on JS.
Conclusions and Perspectives
The World of the Mobile perspectives and transformations is very dynamic and in the case to stay tuned – there is a need to track a lot of stuff by yourself. This cause a big mess for the business, as there are a lot of reports which demonstrate completely different data and analytics. The technology stack is always a hard choice and may depend on the project/perspectives/volumes/traffic and even marketing campaign. At INCOalliance we have built PWAs, Hybrid, and Native apps and came to the conclusion the Hybrid for Startups is the best choice. It gives the possibility to save time and money, create an amazing interface and connect with an existing backend or develop it from scratch. PWAs are not ready to support the existing business and do not work for most of the Mobile approaches, especially if there is a need to stay with interactions, animations, performance. If you are considering the way how to develop your mobile app from scratch or adapt your business to go live with smartphones – you may contact us for the free consulting and R&D strategy.