If you're considering building a mobile app, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to build it using native tools or go with a hybrid approach. What does that even mean?
Native Apps: These apps are built using platform specific tools (SDKs). Building a native app for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) usually requires separate teams and tend to be more expensive to develop. Native apps allow you to build highly sophisticated user experiences and tap into the full potential of the hardware specific features such as GPS, Camera, Gyroscope, Accelerometer, etc. Native apps are also characterized by providing a much faster performance compared to Hybrids. Building apps natively also allows developers to tailor the experience for each platform.
Hybrid Apps: Web technologies (HTML5/CSS/JQuery) are used to create the main core of the apps and these are augmented with certain wrappers that provide access to the mobile hardware and functions. These apps tend to be less expensive to develop and allow for deployment to multiple platforms from one single code base. One benefit of Hybrid apps is that most of the functionality can be updated without the need to submit a new version to the app store. Users would immediately have access to the updates without having to update the app itself.
So how do you decide?
If your goal is to develop an app that is best-in-class, tightly integrated and has a highly polished user experience, it's a no brainer. Go Native.
Building a hybrid app makes sense when developing a proof of concept, when requiring something quick that can be deployed to multiple platforms or when working with a limited budget.
Each project is unique, and there are other factors to consider as well. If you would like to discuss your mobile project with us, we can help you and your company pick the best approach. Let us know how we can help.