Native Applications vs. Hybrid Applications

It is likely that on more than one occasion this topic has attracted your attention. When you hear “Native Applications” and “Hybrid Applications” many ideas and concepts may come to your mind. Learning to differentiate between a native application and a hybrid application allows developers to develop better projects by picking the best features, and features they want to offer their users.

Difference Between Native App and Hybrid App:

Native applications are those developed only and exclusively for mobile operating systems, whether Android or iOS. In Android, the Java programming language is used, while in iOS, Swift or Objective-C is used. These programming languages are the official languages for the respective operating systems.

On the other hand, when we talk about hybrid applications we refer to those that use technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, all of these are united and processed through Frameworks such as Apache Córdova – PhoneGap, Ionic, and others.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

With regard to hybrid applications, it is important to take into account that they are developed only once; meaning, a single application is programmed and it can be compiled for several operating systems, which is known as the ‘multiplatform App’. With respect to native applications, let’s imagine a situation in which, as developers, we want to expand the number of users that use our application; that is, we want to develop an initial prototype on Android and iOS. We must take into consideration the operational resources that we need to develop the application because it is necessary for an iOS and Android developer to create this application for both operating systems, which implies costs in time and money. So, probably, you’ll ask yourself: is it a disadvantage, in this case, to opt for native applications? Not necessarily. Everything will depend on the characteristics of the application to be developed.

For now, the balance is more inclined towards hybrid applications, but now let’s talk about the advantages of native applications. One of them is that this type of application has fewer layers to reach the functionalities of the device to perform an action. If we want to access the camera, GPS or sensors of the device, the code is optimized so that the functionality is carried out quickly. Imagine, for example, when we use Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod, MAC). These are developed by the same people who develop the software, allowing the resources of the hardware to be used to the maximum by it. In the same way, it happens with native applications because the programming language is optimized so that it consumes the resources of the device to the maximum, allowing faster and optimized applications.