One of the most common questions people encounter when creating or designing mobile applications revolves around choosing a native or hybrid framework for their project. Each of these development models offers different features and technology options. The choice will depend on competing factors like organizational needs, the app's requirements, developer capabilities, and timelines. It's important to be well informed about what differentiates these approaches and how to make the right decision when considering mobile app development services.

Native mobile app icons

What are native and hybrid apps?

A native app is a device-specific program developed for a particular operating system, such as iOS or Android. Native apps are written in platform-specific programming languages. For example, Swift or Objective-C are used to write native iOS apps, and Kotlin or Java to write native Android software.

A hybrid app is a web-based program designed to run on multiple devices through an embedded web browser. Hybrid apps rely on HTML and allow cross-platform development. It wraps the web content with a native element to create applications.

Native vs Hybrid Apps Comparison Chart

Choosing native app development for your project

Recent industry studies indicate that mobile app users spent 87% of their total time on mobile devices interacting with native apps. Similarly, 99.6% of all smartphones run on either iOS or Android. Native development helps brands create mobile apps separately for these platforms and launch apps in both app stores. Both Apple and Google provide developers development tools, interface elements, and SDKs, allowing them to write code to integrate OS-specific features and optimizations. Companies generally choose to invest in native mobile apps. Let’s examine some the benefits of developing native applications:

Full access to hardware and OS features

Native apps provide full access to a device’s built-in features, such as GPS data, contact list, camera, microphone, gyroscope, and accelerometer, making it easier to work with and also perform faster. These capabilities are essential for apps that require device data, like geographical location or device movement. Mobile apps that require high-end features and faster turnaround time benefit from native development.

Quote on Native Mobile Apps

Advanced UX/UI

Native development suits high-end apps like games that require high user interaction and attention. Native Android and iOS apps provide a natural experience for their users by following specific UI standards shared by apps developed for these platforms. This enables developers to make app interfaces and navigation much more accessible for users. Native apps inherit their devices' OS interfaces, making them look and feel like a wholly integrated part of the device.

Enhanced speed and performance

The average attention span of users is very short, and they can get frustrated if apps have excessive load times. Native apps are much faster when it comes to performance and load times. Native apps take advantage the mobile device's memory cache, offering quicker and more refined performance than hybrid apps as they are developed explicitly for a given operating system. High performance with native apps helps users access and browse through an app's content quickly. Native apps are ideal for processor-intensive and highly demanding apps, such as 3D games or audio-processing apps.

Benefits of native app development

Simplified app distribution and ease of monetization

For most app creators, the main priority is to secure the maximum amount of users. Native apps can help by providing much-needed market visibility. Users can easily find and download a native app of their choice from app marketplaces. At the same time, native apps get full support from their respective app stores and marketplaces, as well as the ability to be featured in ranking charts.

We hope this guide has been useful in helping you determine whether or not your app concept is a good fit for native development. If you're moving forward with your app's development, the experts at Zco are ready to work with you. We have extensive experience creating high-quality software for our clients. Use the contact button below to get in touch with our account executives and discover how we can help you create your native app.


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