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You have an application idea (Android & iOS) and you have prospected several mobile application development agencies. So you've probably heard about Native or Hybrid applications. It's probably the most controversial debate when it comes to choosing a mobile application. 

Our main activity at Appearance is the development of mobile applications, that's why we want to give you our point of view on the subject.

In this article, we will compare native mobile development and hybrid mobile development, with the advantages and disadvantages, as well as the implications this can have on your application.

The choice of language for my mobile application ?

Today we live daily with our phones, because of its size, we have it constantly at hand. But it's nothing without its technology, which allows us to write, order, buy, meet or learn about it all through applications. Which for us users becomes an indispensable tool.

But for each of the companies behind these applications, it represents a real commercial challenge. That's why it is essential to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of the technologies that can be used to create an Android & iOS mobile application.

At the time of writing this article, there are two development approaches:

  • Native development, using a specific language, called Swift or Objectif-C for iOS apps, Java for Android apps.
  • Hybrid development, with React Native, Ionic or Cordova, are multi-platform frameworks, Android, iOS and Web.

Hybrid development

Hybrid frameworks do not use the language specific to the Android smartphone or iOS. For example, React Native uses JavaScript to create multi-platform mobile applications, based on the React library, created by Facebook for web interface creation. This allows the web developer to create applications.

Advantages :

  • Cross-platform code: A single code to create an application on Android & iOS.
  • A JavaScript developer is enough to create an application.
  • Easier to find the cause of a bug because React Native uses declarative programming.
  • Instant reload, allows to update the application while it is in use. This is an advantage of the production process (however the Apple Store ...)

Disadvantages :

  • Features: Not all the features specific to smartphones are accessible in hybrid language. It is then necessary to develop some features in native language to be able to use them from React Native.
  • Performance management: a hybrid language does not have the same performance as a native language. Performance reduction when using large data.
  • Less fluid navigation: React Native does not have an ideal solution to navigate between interfaces, which constrains the user experience.
  • Difficult to find developer profile, knowledge of the Web (JS) + knowledge of the native language to use some features.

Native development

As we have explained, the native mobile application is written with the specific language of the smartphone. Such as Java for Android and Swift for iOS.

Advantages :

  • Better performance: there is no better solution than using native language.
  • Direct access to all the functionalities your smartphone can offer (GPS, Camera, Virtual Reality, Notification, SMS, etc...).
  • No performance loss between the application and the use of iOS / Android SDK.
  • Immortal language because it will always be updated by Apple/Android, unlike Facebook's React Native which is not their main product.
  • Access to the latest technologies developed by Android or iOS (IoT, ARCore, ARKit, etc...).
  • Excellent support from the developer community.
  • Regular language updates.

Disadvantages :

  • The cost of development, because you have to develop in two different languages for iOS and Android (except since the creation of Flutter in 2018, which allows native development for both iOS and Android).

So ? Hybrid or native development ?

To sum up, hybrid development is faster than native development because you can develop a single solution for Android and iOS, which reduces development costs. On the other hand, native development allows you to build applications with higher performance and better stability, but is more expensive because you have to develop in two programming languages: Swift & Java.

However, at appearance we want the best for our customers, that's why we develop with the Flutter SDK from Google. It allows to have all the advantages of the hybrid and the native without their disadvantages! Because yes it allows to develop in native language, so with the best performance by developing a single code for Android & iOS and therefore at the same price as the hybrid.

If you want to know more about the realization of a mobile application in native language, especially with Flutter do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to discuss it together.

Gautier from Apparence

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