How are hybrid apps different from native apps?
Before starting to talk about the nitty gritty of native and hybrid apps, an important factor that needs to be considered is the level of dependence modern users have on their smartphones. It is constantly with the user and needs to be responsive, so if the app is not responsive the first time the user interacts with it, he’s not going to use that app again. There are no second chances.
It is no secret that Hybrid apps do not perform as good as native apps, and while there are many advantages of hybrid apps, customer experience cannot not be sidelined.
It is difficult to imagine a world without mobile phones and its companion applications. Every function imaginable is available for download on app stores, doing business through a smartphone has made the market even more agile and responsive.
For any business, before deciding to develop an app it is important to decide whether it wants a native application that can be integrated with the android or IOS platform? Or are they interested in taking the route of the ‘minimum viable product’ approach by developing a hybrid application. Though the latter is easy and convenient to build, it will not be able to deliver an ideal experience to the user.
By looking at the key differences between the two developing frameworks, it entirely depends on the company to choose what they want.
A native application for the IOS framework is typically written in Objective C or Swift, while Android Apps are written in Java. These languages offer features which speak directly with the APIs exposed by the operating system of the mobile devices. There are many hardware related controls and gestures offered by these APIs which work well with the native features only. They cannot be harnessed well with hybrid apps (even though they speak with the same APIs). The rendering between the native languages and hybrids seem compromised.
There are gestures like swipes, which need to offer better feel for smooth user experience. Features like gyroscope, hardware sensors, blinkers, camera etc which are hardware intensive. do not work very well through indirect APIs, rather they work fine with direct interactions only. Such kind of applications can be harnessed well through native apps only.
A hybrid app is typically like a web site running inside the mobile phone. The entire web page might be inside the mobile – not necessarily on the web server. Whenever the user makes a request on the phone, the app will load the entire HTML page along with the data to display. Though it sounds interesting, and reusing the code between the web application and the mobile application for a common look and feel experience – it compromises largely on user experience. When the entire page loads, it gives a shaky or jittery appearance. This rendering from HTML to the internal browser of the app, and then the user interface causes an unwanted shiver in the user’s experience.
A hybrid app has the advantages of getting early to the market, thus most likely to be favoured in showing an MVP. While when it comes to using core features or crisp user experience however, the native languages should be preferred.