In the world of mobile app development, there are different routes you can take to create your product, some of which can be hard to choose from for the developer that’s not quite an expert at advanced coding. When architecting the app, developers utilize one of these two options: hybrid or native. Each has its own pros and cons relating to user experience, speed, interface options and more.
- Native: an application that lives directly on a device and is accessed through icons on the device home screen, installed through an application store. A native app is developed for use on a particular platform (Android, iOS) through code written for a specific processor.
- Hybrid: a cross-platform application that combines elements of native apps and web applications. Essentially a hybrid app is a web app created inside a native shell.
There are multiple aspects to each app type; below, I’ll focus on the pros and cons of both.
Developing a Hybrid App
Hybrid apps are an easy solution for those working on a stricter budget and who want to quickly push out a product. Developing a hybrid app is not only cost-effective, but it’s easier to maintain due to its single codebase across multiple platforms (Android, iOS). Because a hybrid app is developed very similarly to a web app, developers can simultaneously manage both the Android and iOS platforms.
However, creating a hybrid app that can be easily managed comes with cons. Because you’re essentially developing a web app inside of a native shell, you have to depend on a third-party platform to deploy the shell. Additionally, you have less room for customization because you can’t access the complete feature sets from iOS and Android operating systems. Lastly, hybrid apps are significantly slower than native apps in their refreshing and interface speeds. Not having full customization capabilities and slower processing speeds can substantially lower your user experience, making or breaking your product in the app world.
Developing a Native App
Native apps are the most common type of mobile app. Although they require a significant investment of time and budget, they perform at higher qualities than hybrid apps regarding user experience. Native apps are built directly into the specific operating systems, allowing the mobile app to run smoother than a hybrid app while being available offline.
Full customization is available in native app development because developers can access the full feature set of an iOS or Android operating system, allowing them to get more granular and specific when it comes to aesthetics and design. The biggest downside to native app development is you are required to update your app separately in both operating systems; this extends all development timeframes for any upgrades you might want to make.
Here’s How to Reap the Benefits of Native Mobile Apps
The biggest cons to native app development now have a solution. MCSS (Mobile Cascade Style Sheets) allows for complex multi-operating system designs in native app development, something you couldn’t do before.
- With MCSS, you can create just one, complex design for your native mobile app to run on both Android and iOS while updating and maintaining them simultaneously with just one line of MCSS code, something you cannot do with hybrid apps.
- Maintaining your app while it’s in production is made extremely easy with MCSS, which cuts down native app development time by 40% to allow your developers to create a smooth-running native app in a faster development time frame.
- When it comes to your app’s aesthetics, MCSS eliminates the need for highly-experienced developers to code for both Android and iOS and gives you the ability to use a website’s CSS file to match your app design, again eliminating hours of development time.
- MCSS also offers pre-designed themes for native mobile apps that you can build from to even further cut down on development time.
Bottom line: Building an app with hybrid technology is no longer valid with this tool. MCSS is a cost-effective solution to building a native mobile app that will perform much better than a hybrid app with an enhanced user experience.