Based on the latest calculations from Statista, the number of smartphone users in the world in 2019 surpassed 3.2 billion. Another smartphone usage statistic suggests that a total of 194 billion mobile phone apps were downloaded in 2019 alone.

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It’s no secret that the success of an app depends on the user experience. Everything from app store ranking to a slow-to-load interface to over-busy screens can make or break your app. The user experience includes usability, navigation, learnability, and the overall design of the app. If you’re not offering a flawless digital experience, your user retention will plummet. 

A report from Localytics reveals that 21 per cent of all mobile users abandon an app after only one use if they do not get the experience they expect. The first step in a great UX? Deciding between the two main app types: Native vs. hybrid.

Native vs. Hybrid App Development: A Quick Overview

One question routinely comes out in today’s modern development landscape and it is related to the types of app development. That question is whether to build a web-based app or a native app.

What are Native Mobile Apps?

A native app is an application written in a language specific to the operating systems that it is developed for. Through Native mobile app development, the product is created and optimized for a specific platform. 

As a result, a native app often benefits from a seamless and high-quality performance on the device as it is able to leverage the operating system’s full capabilities. The very fact that they are developed for a specific platform and that they are compiled using a platform’s core programming language and APIs makes them both very fast and responsive.

What is Hybrid App Development?

Hybrid mobile applications look and act much like a native mobile app, but they’re actually websites packaged in a native wrapper. The main benefit when comparing a native app vs. hybrid app is that a hybrid mobile app can run on any device or platform. This typically cuts down on development time and allows it to reach a wider audience.

However, if you are planning to add additional, custom features, building a hybrid mobile app could turn out to be more time-consuming than building a native app.

If you’re not offering a flawless digital experience, your user retention will plummet. Click To Tweet

Advantages of Native Mobile App Development:

Performance

In the native vs hybrid app development debate, performance is a major difference. Native apps are smoother, faster, and provide a better user experience than hybrid mobile applications.

A native mobile application feels as if it is an integrated part of the device because it has access to all hardware and software functionalities of the device or platform on which it is installed. For example, it can use the camera, GPS, microphone, access the list of contacts, and so on that are already integrated into the device. 

Another thing to keep in mind when comparing a native application vs. hybrid application is that a native app can also incorporate gestures (either standard operating-system gestures or new, app-defined gestures). Also, it is able to use the device’s notification system and can be used offline. When it comes to performance and seamless integration on a device, native apps claim the crown.

Native Apps are Safer

While most hybrid apps rely only on the system’s web browser security, a native app, for example, is protected by many different layers of the operating system. This makes it far more difficult to exploit.

Essentially, opting for a native app when comparing native vs. hybrid app development is a great way to make sure that the users are getting high-end data protection.

Scalability

If you plan to make any future expansions to your app, it is always better to go for a native application. A native mobile application is faster to configure as it needs to be compatible with just one platform.

Speed 

When it comes to speed, native apps come out on top again in comparing native vs. hybrid app performance. A native mobile application performs faster and is easier to work with because it uses the device’s built-in features. Hybrid mobile applications, on the other hand, can make for a slow experience. This is because they add another layer between the user and the app.

Nowadays, slow is almost as good as non-functional. To back this up, Interparcel conducted a study on the patience levels of individuals. According to their findings, 10 seconds is all it takes for a person to close a slow app and move on.

And while for basic apps, the difference in performance may not be easily noticeable, you’ll spot it right away in larger apps. When it’s your business on the line, why risk it?

Create a Customer Experience That Stands Out With a Native App

Most organizations believe their customer experience is good enough. But when it comes to your company’s app, “good enough” won’t help you break through to the next level.

A frustrated user will stop using your app or switch to a competitor if they feel the experience isn’t at its best. According to a study from Compuware, 79% of consumers try an app once or twice more if it doesn’t work properly the first time. Only 16 percent of the respondents said that they would be willing to try more than two times.  

Although the initial cost may be higher if you opt for native app development, you’ll end up saving a lot of time and money (and customers) in the long run.  

When it comes to the question of building a native application vs hybrid application, the answer almost always comes down to user experience. Whether pursuing iOS or Android app development, the answer is clear that native is the right route. Yes, it requires more expense and effort, but the faultless performance and consistent user interface will prove to be worth every cent.

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Tyrell Bibbiani

Tyrell Bibbiani

Tyrell works at Glance Creative as a Digital Marketing Co-Ordinator. Focusing on analytics, research, industry trends, website optimisation and social media strategies.