Native or hybrid apps – the debate isn’t over. To save you time exploring the differences, we’ve created a quick features review of every solution. Find the one that best suits your business–native, wrapped or JS-based.
Here, applications are developed on the unique codebase for each platform the app will work on–Android or iOS. That implies you work simultaneously with different SDKs and programming languages–Java for Android and Objective-C or Swift for iOS.
Native apps perform better than hybrid programs. With this approach, your application can be easily customized for all business needs, have a user-friendly interface and allow complex animation. Moreover, a complex native app will operate smoothly without any major disruptions. Additionally, native apps can support different “looks and feels” to follow platform owners’ (Apple/Google) style guidelines. High costs and time-consuming development are downsides of this approach. You need to hire two separate teams and double the estimated time for development.
Android and iOS provide for a set of tools and frameworks that allow for developing an app in a different programing language than the platform original. Upon packaging code is getting converted into native platform code. In fact, this approach simplifies app development for both Android and iOS.
Most advanced software solutions that allow wrapping applications are Xamarin and React Native. With Xamarin, both apps will be written in C# while, with React Native, you’ll go with Java Script. These solutions ensure that performance is the same as native and provide tools for testing and tracking apps operations. Unlike other hybrid solutions, Xamarin and React Native don’t harm the user’s experience; the app’s UI can be still customized and work flawlessly. The tool choice isn’t quite as diverse as it is for Android and iOS native mobile development. Limited access to open-source libraries is among the shortcomings of wrappers.
As both platforms provide the ability to insert a browser window into the application, this started a generation of WebView apps, apps that are essentially adaptive web pages rendered within an application. Apache Cordova uses this approach in their framework. They provide a set of tools and plug-ins that allow easy packaging and development of such apps. Additionally, they provide many interfaces for communication between webview sessions and platforms, which allows these apps to use additional phone features such as the camera. Only one team is required to work on the app, and the costs spent on the development are low.
However, you get a generic interface and limited access to the device’s hardware, and performance is lower compared with the native apps. Interactions with mobile hardware are possible only via specific plug-ins. JS apps will serve for those who just need to transmit the website’s content and don’t expect their needs to change significantly over the course of the project.
We’ve done a fintech mobile app on React Native for Viabuy, an e-pay platform. By adding K&C custom plug-ins to RN standard features, we’ve got an app UI and operations that are totally native. Just take a look: the K&C team managed to create a custom Android plug-in for the fingerprint feature, which worked perfectly on almost every device available on the market. And we’re ready to use our experience to go even further.