The native app, the web app, and the hybrid app are three of the most common app types among several mobile apps currently in use.
This blog will present an overview of each approach and its pros and cons to assist you in making an informed decision.
A summarized portfolio of Arbisoft in each of the multiple development approaches.
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Native apps, web apps, and hybrid apps are the three main categories you might research for your mobile app development project. The debate regarding which of these applications is superior is ongoing, with no clear winner.
Choosing the right type of mobile application to develop for your business can be complicated, to say the least. Depending on your business objectives and overall product goals, this decision can make or break your strategy. Here’s what you need to know about the app development options to help you decide which choice is right for your app.
Native applications are the most popular development strategy. Native apps are smartphone apps specifically designed for a particular operating system like iOS or Android. These applications are developed for specific platforms and written in languages that the platform supports. For example, Swift and Objective-C for native iOS apps and Java or Kotlin for native Android apps.
The general choice of Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for iOS and Android are Xcode and Android Studio, respectively. The specific IDE for the selected operating systems is used to build native applications.
Native mobile apps are known for their speed and reliability, which leads to a superior user experience (UX) compared to hybrid or web apps.
The ability to interact with a device's operating system is a major factor influencing the decision of many businesses to develop native mobile applications. These applications have access to different resources on a device, like a camera, GPS, phone contacts, and device storage.
Before deciding whether native mobile app development is the right choice for your business, it's essential to consider both the benefits and potential drawbacks of this development approach. Here are the pros and cons of native app development to consider:
Smooth Functionality: Even while running graphics-intensive programs, these applications tend to operate smoothly.
Platform-Specific Features: Developing an app for iOS or Android provides access to platform-specific features like a camera, GPS, phone contacts, and device storage.
Better User Interface: Native programs must adhere to platform-specific performance criteria, so these applications typically perform better than hybrid and web applications.
Higher Upfront Cost: Native apps can be more expensive than hybrid and web apps, particularly if the business wants to make the app available on multiple platforms. This could mean the business needs to hire two teams of developers to develop separate mobile apps for the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.
Xcode Requirement: Another downside to native iOS development is that it requires Xcode, which is only available on mac OS, while Android development can be done on Windows, mac, or Linux.
We have a track record of delivering award-winning applications that make life easier for businesses and consumers alike without compromising on quality standards. Here are a few success stories from our native application portfolio.
KAYAK is a travel search engine with a strong in-house engineering team. Its aim is to make travel bookings easy, simple, and swift. As a leading provider of aggregated travel search results, including flights, hotels, and car rentals, KAYAK constantly needs to build and improve its technology.
We worked with KAYAK’s in-house team to build fully integrated native iOS & Android apps that extended their web-based experience for users on the go. Since the inception of the KAYAK Trips product, we have assisted travelers around the world to manage their itineraries in a sleek and convenient way.
Arbisoft also provides end-to-end test coverage for KAYAK’s web and mobile applications. Thanks to our automation and manual QA engineers, KAYAK’s user base can take comfort that there’s someone keeping an eye on functional units of the software and certain changes being made to it.
Wanderu is a ground travel metasearch engine and fare aggregator operating in 40 countries throughout North America and Europe. We partnered with Wanderu to connect new carriers to their API, enabling millions of travelers to find ground transportation.
We successfully integrated hundreds of carriers running through thousands of locations with the Wanderu platform using Python. We assisted Wanderu in launching an iOS application that allows travelers to search online schedules, make reservations, and calculate trip costs while on the go.
In 2012, edX was founded by Harvard University and MIT with the mission to increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere, by offering high-quality courses online.
Arbisoft helped edX put education at their learners’ fingertips through Web, Android, and iOS apps that enabled students to take courses on the go. The apps were designed to allow students offline study options through full video downloads–so they could keep up with classes even without continued Internet access.
TenMarks, an Amazon company, provided solutions created and led by educators and technologists to personalize online Math practice while aligning it with Common Core and state standards.
We played an instrumental role in the development of apps and infrastructure for TenMarks for over five years—creating web, iOS, and Android apps for TenMarks designed for independent and classroom use, providing full support to parents and teachers, QA monitoring, and continued development. The mobile apps have been downloaded over 100,000 times.
Careem is a company based in Dubai that provides vehicle-for-hire services like Uber. They operate in over 100 cities across 15 countries. They have a large engineering team working on many projects, including 726 microservices, 31 applications, and 19 internal SDKs.
Arbisoft engineers work with Careem's teams to provide engineering services in different languages and data ecosystems.
The most popular and commonly used websites on the internet today are web applications. Web applications include everything from banking websites and shopping websites to search engines, and social networks. These are all two-way communication channels where the application server sends data to a user's web browser and receives data back from the user.
A server for a web application delivers HTML code to a web browser exactly as it does for static websites, but the HTML code's source is generated dynamically.
Web application servers create web pages on the fly depending on who is accessing the website and what task they are attempting to perform. A specialized programming language is used to automate the generation of HTML, such as PHP or Java.
Web applications usually have multiple layers of architecture in their environment, such as database servers and authentication servers. This permits web developers to create applications where users can log in to their accounts and save or share data. Without dynamic web applications, you cannot order products from an online store or even post pictures on a social network.
When considering web app development for your business, it is crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.
To assist you in this process, here are some pros and cons of web app development:
Easy to access: Users can use the web app without downloading any additional software, application, or browser if they have the right browser.
No App marketplace approval: Since the web apps aren't on the app marketplace, the business does not have to go through an approval process to be visible to the public. This means the business can technically release the app whenever and in whatever format it wants.
Less scope: Web applications don't have the same features as native apps. For example, they can't use a device's GPS or push notifications features.
Complex UX: Web apps are exclusive to browsers, which puts them at an inherent disadvantage since users cannot access them directly from mobile devices. As a result of the additional steps to access these apps, user experience is negatively impacted Web apps are exclusive to browsers.
Less emphasis on the app: Web apps may lack the full-screen display and engagement features that native apps have, making it harder to maintain user engagement.
Less interactive: Web apps tend to be slower, less responsive, and less interactive than native apps.
All of our web app development projects have a dedicated development team that continues to work on the product throughout its lifetime to ensure proper functionality.
Arbisoft has created a wide range of web applications customized to the client's business objectives. Philanthropy University and Insurify are the key highlights.
Philanthropy University is a free innovative tech-enabled platform that provides learning for social impact by putting courses, communities, and funding just a click away.
We provided complete engineering services for the web platform and the mobile app to Philanthropy University. We created a seamless user experience between NodeBB (the discussion/communities experience) and Open edX (the Learning Platform).
The results significantly contributed to Philanthropy University’s goal to equip organizations with the practical tools and skills they need for success.
Insurify represents the next generation of digital-insurance innovation with its intuitive user experience and advances in artificial intelligence and natural language processing.
Insurify started offering online insurance quote comparison services publicly in July 2015. Since Insurance is vital in the US and no such insurance aggregator existed back then, they worked on their web application and created a platform for users looking for insurance.
Their requirement was to develop a web application to build an insurance aggregator that fetches quotes from different providers and makes them available for users. We developed web applications for Insurify from scratch and implemented multiple insurance provider integrations in it.
In the past, buying insurance for any vertical was a lengthy process. Now with Insurify, users can answer a few simple questions and see the insurance price from all the popular carriers in just one place, making the process simple and transparent for end users.
And our end-to-end experience with Insurify allows users to purchase the policy of multiple carriers.
Hybrid frameworks can develop iOS & Android applications using a single codebase. The most popular frameworks include React Native, Flutter, and Ionic.
The key difference between hybrid app development and cross-platform app development is the user experience. Hybrid apps can sometimes feel less native and more like web apps, while cross-platform apps are designed to feel more native because they use native components of the OS. That's why cross-platform apps are more performant and provide a consistent user experience across different platforms.
So, the choice between the two approaches depends on the specific needs and goals of the project. Hybrid app development can be a good choice for developers who want to use a combination of web and native technologies to create apps that run on multiple platforms. Cross-platform app development can be a good choice for developers who want to create apps that feel more native and provide a consistent user experience across different platforms.
When contemplating using hybrid app development for your business, it is vital to weigh the pros and cons of the hybrid application development approach:
Developer Productivity: Hybrid apps can be created using common web technologies on both the front and back ends, which reduces development time.
Superior Discoverability: Hybrid apps are easier to maintain, have a lower upfront cost, and can be featured in app stores.
Internal API access: Hybrid apps, unlike web apps, can employ device functions such as location tracking and push notifications.
Cross-platform compatibility: Hybrid apps developed using a single codebase can be published to Android and iOS stores.
Slow Speed: Hybrid (webview-based) apps are slower than native apps but cross-platform apps are faster than hybrid apps.
Third-party platform dependability: Hybrid app development uses a third-party platform for wrapper deployment, which limits functionality and capabilities.
CPU Intensive processes in the app's background mode
Photo editors / Games/ 3D graphics
Complex gestures and animations
Hardware/ sensor-based apps
Arbisoft has developed numerous Hybrid Apps that are tailored to the client's business goals. One of the key highlights of the Hybrid App Portfolio is Jobcase.
Jobcase provides many capabilities for job seeking and self-improvement, like access to jobs, an online profile and resume builder, important learning resources, and other great ways to help you take action and create a better future with a team of more than 200 passionate and dedicated employees striving daily to help every worker advance.
Arbisoft provided engineering support to Jobcase for their mobile and web applications. Starting with React-Native mobile application development, we quickly earned engineering services for the Jobcase Web and Product teams.
Our ReactNative team started with implementing a custom reusable component library which served a great purpose in building user interfaces for community and Jobs features. We developed highly reusable, performative features that helped us build smooth, and sleek UX on the community feed.
After MVP scope, we published our first release on app stores with the Jobs, Community, Profile, Notifications, Resources, and Create features.
Our design team ensured a clean, pixel-perfect User Interface. We scaled our designs with the user-device aspect ratio to make them fully responsive to the underlying hardware.
Throughout our journey with Jobcase, we consistently upheld high performance and coding standards and continuously innovated through techniques such as Lazy Loading, Prefetching, and Lazy Rendering, along with effective caching methods.
When developing a mobile app, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of the different options available. There is no one-size-fits-all solution in deciding whether to build a native, web, or hybrid app. The best decision will depend on your specific business goals, desired features, and target platform. Before making a decision, it's important to consider essential elements such as:
Before choosing between different application approaches, it's essential to be aware of
What are your business goals?
What does your business require?
What features do you want to include?
What platform are you targeting?
By carefully considering these factors, you can make an informed decision and choose the best approach to your business needs.
Cost also plays a significant role in determining development strategy. The development cost of the different kinds of apps varies depending on various aspects such as the complexity of the app, its features, the platform it is built on, etc.
Native apps are a great choice if you have a bigger budget because they work well and have a consistent experience.
Web apps are more affordable if you're a startup or small company with a limited budget.
Hybrid apps are a good middle-ground option if you don't want to build separate apps for iOS and Android.
When creating the app, it's important to remember that
It should be quick, flexible, and reliable
It should also be adaptable to the ever-changing user needs
The API infrastructure should be easy and dependable, and the app should be an extension of the brand, not just a copy of the website
Lastly, keep an eye on users' needs and behavior and adjust as the market changes
Discover the features of native, web, and hybrid application development with the informative infographic below.
As is evident through the exploration of Arbisoft's diverse project portfolio the choice of the development approach will ultimately depend on the nature of your business. To create an app that resonates with users, it's crucial to choose a method that aligns with your specific needs, requirements, and target audience.
We’ve been building award-winning apps across multiple niches for mobile operating systems from the Symbian and Blackberry days right up to Android and iOS. We work on cutting-edge technology and enterprise solutions to solve real-world problems and help businesses become bigger & better.
We keep your apps and their features up to date, wrangle the messiest legacy code, bring it in line with standards, and keep it functional, fast, and secure. Our world-class team of engineers is ready to take on diverse and challenging projects to create real value for our partners and community.
Need help turning your application idea into a reality? Let Arbisoft help you bring your vision to life. Contact us at https://arbisoft.com/contact/ to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in achieving your goals.
We'd like to acknowledge the efforts of our talented members who helped make this blog post possible! Without their contributions, we couldn't share this information with you.
Khawar Shahzad is a Principal Software Engineer with over seven years of experience in Native Mobile Development (iOS) using technologies such as Swift, SwiftUI, Combine, ObjectiveC, and Protocol-oriented MVVM design patterns.
Aitzaz Mumtaz Khan a Polyglot Software Architect with over 11 years of experience in building scalable cloud applications and leading teams with broad tech/business vertical knowledge. He has worked with top tech companies, including TenMarks Education (An Amazon company), Lola (acquired by Capital One), Careem (An Uber company), and currently with Insurify. He has 7+ years of experience in Software Architecture, Engineering Management & coaching/leading teams with various tech stacks covering Java/Spring, Python/Django, JS/React, AWS, MySql/Postgresql, and Data Engineering.
For the past three years, Amna has been leveraging her marketing expertise and writing skills to create and implement content strategies for startups, businesses, and SaaS companies.