Native, mobile and hybrid applications: advantages and disadvantages


In the last decade, smartphones have taken over our lives. And much of this success is due to mobile applications. They reinvented the use of mobile devices and created new possibilities by exploiting hardware functions in an innovative way.

In this sense, the mobile application market continues to grow. They are created from 3 standards (native, hybrid and via web), which define features and the ability to serve different audiences. Know the differences below!

What is a native application?

Native apps are those programmed from the SDK and the native language of a mobile platform such as iOS and Android.

They are distributed through official stores (such as the App Store) and stored directly in the device memory.

In the case of Android, specifically, it is possible to install from the APK of the app, a file that contains all the data needed to configure the application. However, such a procedure is not recommended.

What is a web app?

Web apps are pages that can display features of a desktop or mobile application.

This type of application has gained popularity with the latest versions of Java Script and HTML5, which together have created space for the development of solutions integrated with browsers and able to provide a good experience of use.

What is a hybrid application?

Hybrid applications are those that combine programming languages and technologies directed to the development of web apps.

They can use wrappers or frameworks, which allow their conversion to an executable application to be stored and installed directly into the user’s device memory.

A hybrid application can be distributed directly in an official store or by parallel means such as the developer’s website.

This type of mobile app is mainly made by companies that seek a simpler way to develop software since it only requires knowledge of web development and some specific framework.

Which is the best choice?

Deciding between creating a web app, a hybrid application or a native is a key point during software development.

Such choice may be driven by different factors, such as the need to maintain a simplified creation process, the type of device used by the target audience, or the type of resource that is intended to be implemented.

Hybrid applications are easier to migrate to other platforms. Many frameworks allow multiplatform development. Thus, from a single source code, the developer manages to port his application to the main systems of the market.

Web applications are known for their wide compatibility. Although they do not gain access to advanced device features, they only need a modern browser to run. So with web apps, the company guarantees a greater number of users for its solutions.

Native applications are ideal for those who want to work with low-level features such as sending SMS, making calls, and accessing the camera. Because they are created in the system language and stored locally, they gain access to the necessary APIs to take photos, obtain sensor data, and modify system settings.

In addition, applications made with native code are more innovative. They can better exploit the features of the handsets, resulting in a better user experience. Its performance is also improved: by having a source code made in the language indicated by the system maintainer, errors and security failures are less frequent.

Want to create innovative native, web, or hybrid applications? Then contact us!