A technical question often arises at the beginning of every app: What is the best development approach – native apps, web apps or hybrid apps? The proliferation of mobile devices and platforms represents a game-changing technology shift on a number of levels. Companies must decide not only the best strategic use of mobile platforms, but also how to most efficiently implement them. There are three main types of modern apps: mobile Web apps, native apps and hybrid apps. Which is the best? We will take a look on them.
Some of these emerging business apps have short lifetimes by design, such as event guidebooks, while others will persist for years. Some like augmented reality viewers, need constant real-time information and access to low-level handset capabilities such as geolocation, camera, and motion sensors. Others require little more than a mobile screen and the user’s finger. But there is one commonality: Every business wants IT to develop apps as quickly and cheaply as possible, and many want the apps IT creates to run on multiple device types — Android, iOS, and Windows at least.
Mobile Web Sites
Mobile Web sites have the broadest audience of the three primary types of applications. Any smartphone can at least display content and let the user interact with a mobile page, although some do so better than others. Along with reach, another benefit is easy deployment. Just update in one location and all users automatically have access to the latest version of the site.
1. Existing expertise in web technologies can be used
2. Cheap development
3. Fast and frequent updates easily possible
4. Wide range of functions possible thanks to HTML 5
1. Always runs in the browser environment
2. Often less convenient than a native app
3. Limited offline operation
Native apps are, as the name suggests, “real” programs that run directly on a device at the operating system level. They therefore need to be installed on a smart phone or tablet. Installation requires some effort – the user has to visit an app store such as iTunes or Google Play (in the case of Android, the apps can also be downloaded and installed without a store); however, the installation can also be initiated by a company’s IT department. A native app is based on a binary code which, once started, interacts directly with the underlying mobile operating system, such as iOS or Android. All APIs that a mobile system and its hardware have to offer can therefore be accessed. This generally gives the developer more options and easier access to the integrated sensors such as gyroscope and positioning, and much more. Furthermore, the special features of a system can also be used more intensively.
1. High responsiveness
2. Fast graphic rendering
1.Run on one platform only
These apps present a fusion of native and web apps. They are written in web programming languages with the use of native components of the mobile platform, which makes them rather flexible and grants access to the platform API. The code of such apps is transmitted into languages native for each platform. Apparently, the most popular hybrid app was the LinkedIn mobile client. They’ve shifted to native apps afterwards but not because the approach itself was wrong. The reason was strictly technical and rather prosaic: lack of good development tools. Recently, the hybrid approach has been considered to be the most reasonable. Thus, according to Gartner, by 2016 more than a half of all mobile apps will be hybrid.
2. The use of native component to leverage device-specific features
1. Doesn’t offer 100% support for device-specific features