Mobile devices account for around half of all worldwide internet traffic. It’s apparent that mobile usage has more room to expand. There is still time for businesses of all types to hop on the mobile bandwagon. As a result, it’s important to understand the technology’s capabilities for tapping into a platform. I’ll discuss three mobile technologies in this article: native, hybrid, and progressive. Continue reading to learn about the key features and distinctions.
Native app development (Objective-C / Swift & Java / Kotlin)
Because both Apple and Google portray it as the best and only method to make apps for iOS and Android, the native approach is always the first choice for any company getting into mobile development. This is the path that those two businesses want you to take. It has a lot to offer any developer, but it’s also the most time and money-intensive way from a business standpoint.
Pros of using native technology:
- Due to simpler code and ecosystem support (maintenance and development stability), performance is quick.
- Higher levels of security (protected by multiple layers of an operating system, making them difficult to breach).
- Longer release cycles (software that is safer, well-tested, and stable).
- Strong performance in an offline environment.
- Improved UX/UI (exclusive/custom APIs and components designed for various screen widths and operating systems).
- Immediate implementations (features can be put into place as soon as they are made available to developers).
- Bugs and technological issues are easy to avoid.
- Layouts for each platform are available.
- A lack of dependency on open-source libraries or third-party frameworks.
- Faster to set up (only compatible with one platform, allowing new features to be used).
- Integration of payment methods.
Cons of using native technology:
- It takes longer and costs more to have them on both iOS and Android;
- adding new features needs separate codebases, and a larger team of native language experts is required.
Native – the business perspective
If you want to support two platforms at the same time, this is the most time and money-consuming option to develop apps (iOS & Android). To support development, you’ll need two teams of experts, each with its own set of problems to solve. After the development, you’ll need those two teams to support bug repairs and new features for months. For instance, Apple’s iOS can change so much that you’ll need to rewrite your program to accommodate the next OS release. If you want the most up-to-date features, money and time aren’t an issue, and you know you can sustain two teams, the native method can be the way to go.
When is the best time to use Native app technology?
- When you only need to code for one platform and want to leverage specific hardware features (like GPS and camera), this is the best option.
- Want to provide the greatest possible user experience by removing any unneeded and complex features;
- For 3D games or apps that have a lot of animation.
Do you have an idea for a product, but don’t know where to start?
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Hybrid app development
A hybrid method can be defined as a compromise between pure native and platform-independent development.
Hybrid techniques are supported by several frameworks (for example React Native, Flutter). It offers the largest ecosystem, with a large number of third-party libraries to pick from. React Native is simply a Web technology framework used to create native iOS and Android apps, which is a 180-degree departure from native development. To get started, you’ll need React knowledge as well as extra libraries and tools, but once you’ve mastered them, you’ll be able to work on pure React future projects.
Pros of using Hybrid (React Native) technology:
- Reduced development costs (particularly when developing for many platforms);
- Shorter time-to-market (all variants use the same back-end);
- Maintenance is easier (thanks to web-based solutions);
- Because there is only one codebase, it’s easier to introduce new features.
- Use of device features (native APIs are accessible) is possible.
- Have an embedded browser (to increase access to dynamic online material);
Integration with Web-based applications
- Depending on the functionality, it can work offline.
Cons of using Hybrid (React Native) technology:
- Apps with a lot of features will take longer to load.
- Rely on the browser’s built-in security.
- The implementation of new features may be delayed.
- Because the program has only one codebase, it runs as well on all platforms (but it can’t execute specialized iOS or Android functions).
Hybrid – the business perspective
The hybrid technique is the ideal compromise between the amount of time and money you want to invest and your ability to create an app for both iOS and Android.
You only need one development team that is solely focused on providing the greatest possible experience. Another benefit of hybrid development that few people realize is that it provides a single codebase, making it simple to resolve the majority of issues on both platforms at the same time. You’ll get better results faster, and your support team will be able to update the app more and easily
When is the Best to use hybrid apps:
- You have a simple project mainly based on content (no complex features);
- When you need to release on both iOS and Android.
Progressive Web App – PWA
This sort of software differs from native and hybrid in that it allows developers to turn a web page app (such as Twitter) into a full-fledged application with offline capabilities and other features.
Progressive Web Applications can be installed from within a browser on a computer or mobile device, and they generally mirror the browser experience. Microsoft Office for Web and their approach to PWA that extends what they can do with additional features, like offline mode, is a fantastic illustration of what can be achieved here.
Pros of using PWA technology:
- Accessible on a variety of platforms and devices.
- These apps can be obtained in the browser (no need for an app store).
- Work offline.
- Fast loading speed.
- It’s less expensive and takes less time to build (50-75 percent less time than standard native mobile development).
- Good responsiveness (adapts well to various screen sizes).
- The user interface and navigation are identical to those of native apps.
- It is not necessary to install it (free from app stores, lengthy downloads, and updates).
Cons of using PWA technology:
- Limitations in hardware and operating systems; Hardware integration issues;
- On iOS, the performance is weaker;
- Apple devices have limited support;
- App stores do not have it;
- More battery power is required.
You might also be interested in our previous article about PWA:
Will PWA (Progressive Web Apps) Replace Mobile Applications?
Progressive Web Apps – business perspective
Most business owners are wondering, “How can I use PWA for my business?”.
The world’s top players, such as Uber, Twitter, and Forbes, are already implementing Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) to keep up with the fast-changing market.
How does a PWA decrease my costs and load times?
The answer lies in a “Service Worker”. Service Workers are handy tiny tools that run on the user’s device and monitor your app to see which files need to be reloaded and which may be cached. When a user returns to your website, the service worker examines what content is new and what’s old to determine what content should be provided to the user again.
This is very useful because it allows you to only pay for new content to be delivered. This can significantly reduce your company’s expenses while simultaneously enhancing speed and user happiness through a seamless experience.
PWA business benefits:
- Progressive Web Apps are compatible with the mobile-first strategy. This means that stores created using PWA will work flawlessly on mobile devices.
The user experience of a native app is combined with the advantages of the mobile web in a PWA. PWA stores work well as both a web page and a native app.
- PWA-based stores can save up to 75% on the cost of a native app (both development and maintenance). You don’t need to create a separate native app using PWA; all you have to do is change your storefront.
- PWAs work offline, allowing users to continue browsing even if they don’t have access to the internet. A user would have to abandon this in any other web store.
- PWA uses headless architecture. It all comes down to separating your frontend and backend eCommerce platforms. PWA can be added to an eCommerce platform via API in just three months using this method.
- PWA decreases server load by having a faster loading time. During periods of high traffic, your store will not crash or slow down.
- PWA makes browsing a joy, which makes the conversion rate rise.
Whatever the future holds, PWA technology can have a significant influence on your business right away. Building a single app for all platforms in record time (think: a new feature every 4 weeks) provides a huge competitive edge; don’t underestimate it.
So, which type of mobile apps is better for your business?
The technology solution you select should be in line with the business objectives you wish to achieve, as well as your budget and product strategy. Each of the solutions listed above has a lot to offer and is well-suited to specific situations.
The ideal solution will be determined by several considerations, including the product, the target audience, the timetable, the budget, and, most importantly, the core business.
Focusing on the project’s requirements is half the battle, thus it’s critical to assess its complexity and constraints. It’s vital to develop an app that is both time and cost-efficient by taking into account the user’s behavior and attributes.