Native vs Hybrid vs PWA: the pros and cons

Native vs Hybrid vs PWA: the pros and cons
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Written by Debarghya DasNovember 30, 2021
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Debarghya Das

Junior Front-End Developer

This blog post will look at Native, Hybrid, and PWA app development pros and cons, making a different comparison between them and helping decide what could be the best choice.

Native app development (Objective-C / Swift & Java / Kotlin)

Native apps are written in code languages specific to the particular operating system that they are developed for. First, it was Java for Android and Objective-C for iOS but, due to the fast-paced software development we faced in the last few decades, these technologies have been replaced by Kotlin (Android) and Swift (iOS).

Being tailor-made to explicit working frameworks, these applications can completely profit from their local elements and effectively incorporate them into the whole biological system. Nonetheless, it has its burdens, so they should be filtered first to comprehend assuming that they fit the necessities. Let's check:

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The Pros:

  • Fast performance due to simpler code and ecosystem's support (maintenance and development stability);
  • Higher security (protected by many different layers of an operating system which makes them difficult to exploit);
  • Longer release cycles (more secure, well-tested, and reliable software);
  • Robust functioning in an offline environment;
  • Better UX/UI (exclusive/custom APIs and components optimized for different screen sizes and system versions);
  • Immediate implementations (features can be implemented as soon as they are released to developers);
  • Easy to prevent bugs and technical problems;
  • Provide layouts for each platform;
  • Non-dependence on open-source libraries/third-party frameworks;
  • Faster to configure (only compatible with one platform allowing to use any new features);
  • Payment integration;
  • Access to hardware features (quick and easy to implement).

The Cons:

  • Takes longer and is more expensive to have them simultaneously on iOs and Android;
  • Adding new features requires separate codebases;
  • Need a bigger team of specialists in native languages.

Best to use when:

  • Only need to code for one platform and use specific hardware features (GPS and camera, for example);
  • Want to give the best user experience removing complex and unnecessary features;
  • For 3D games or apps with many animations.

Hybrid app development

Hybrid app development combines elements of both native and web apps. They allow developers to code in one single language that can run in different operating systems.

They are composed utilizing web technologies (Javascript, HTML, and CSS) in any case, rather than the application being displayed inside the client's programs, it is run from inside a local application and its installed program. Let's take a look at its advantages and limitations:

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The Pros:.

  • Lower development costs (especially when creating for several different platforms);
  • Shorter time-to-market period (same back-end for all variants);
  • Easier maintenance (based on web solutions);
  • Easier to add new features (due to one codebase);
  • Possibility to use device features (native APIs are available);
  • Integration with Web-based services;
  • Have an embedded browser (to improve access to dynamic online content);
  • Can work offline depending on the functionalities.

The Cons:

  • Complex apps with many features will run slower;
  • Rely on system browser security;
  • New features implementation can suffer delays;
  • Having just one codebase means the app run equally everywhere (could not perform specific iOS or Android features);

Best to use when:

  • Have a simple project based on content (no animations or complex features);
  • Need to release on both iOS and Android and (not needing to use many native components);
  • Want to test a project idea (Minimum Viable Product).

PWA (Progressive Web Apps)

Progressive web apps are relatively new to this app development scenario, having had more widespread adoption in the latest years. These are web apps that seek to appear and act exactly like the native ones.

Yet, what's the significance here? It implies PWAs can be introduced and gotten to on cell phones (works disconnected and send pop-up messages) and can likewise utilize equipment highlights like camera and GPS. The client experience is upgraded for every stage and there are no devoted dialects or structures for Progressive Web Apps (generally done in Angular or React). Let's check it:

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The Pros:

  • Access on different platforms and devices;
  • These apps can be found online in the browser (no app store needed);
  • Loading speed;
  • Work offline;
  • Cheaper and faster do develop (50%-75% less time than traditional native mobile development);
  • Good responsiveness (easy adapt to different screen sizes);
  • User interaction and navigation is identical to native apps;
  • No need to install it (free from app stores, lengthy downloads, and updates).

The Cons:

  • Hardware and operating system features limitations;
  • Hardware integration problems;
  • Weaker performance on iOS;
  • Little support for Apple devices;
  • Not available on app stores;
  • Needs more battery power.

Best to use when:

  • Want a robust e-commerce experience;
  • Want higher traffic (available on all devices).

Conclusion

As it shows, there are numerous contrasts between every single one of these sorts of applications. Picking the most ideal choice will depend on many elements, like the item, the crowd for whom it is planned, the timetable, the spending plan, or more all, the center business.

Zeroing in on the task's requirements is most of the way to progress, so dissect its intricacy and restrictions. Thinking about the client's conduct and attributes, it is feasible to have time and cost-productivity application advancement.

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Techiio-author
Debarghya Das
Junior Front-End Developer
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