HYBRID APPS DEVELOPMENT
Mobile Web App vs. Native App vs. Hybrid App
As is true with most technology selections, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to the type of mobile app to develop. There are numerous web app best practices to consider, not all of which are technical. Who is your target audience? Are they more likely to prefer a mobile web or a native app? What’s the difference between native and hybrid apps? What development resources do you have and which mobile technologies are they most familiar with? What is the licensing and sales model that you’re envisioning for your product?
Generally speaking (although there are always exceptions), the mobile web app route is faster and cheaper than the native mobile app route, especially when the objective is to support a wide range of devices. Conversely, there may be capabilities native to the mobile device (such as the movement sensor and so on) that are essential to your app, but which are only accessible via a native app (which would therefore make the mobile web app choice a non-starter for you).
But whatever choice you make – whether it be a mobile web app, a native or hybrid app – be careful to adequately research and confirm your assumptions. As an example, for the purposes of this mobile web app development tutorial, you may have decided to develop a native mobile app for e-commerce to sell your products. But, according to Hubspot, 73% of smartphone users say they use the mobile web more than native apps to do their shopping… So, in this case, you may have bet on the wrong horse.
But whatever choice you make – whether it be mobile web, native or hybrid app – be careful to adequately research and confirm your assumptions.
And then, of course, there are the practical considerations of time and budget. As one of my favorite sayings goes, “faster, better, cheaper… pick any two”. While time-to-market and cost constraints are of paramount importance in web application development, it’s crucial not to compromise too heavily on quality in the process. It’s quite difficult to recover the confidence of a user who has had a bad first experience.
Indeed, mobile web, native, and hybrid apps are all radically different beasts, each with their own unique set of benefits and challenges. This mobile web development tutorial specifically focuses on methodologies and tools to employ, and pitfalls to avoid, in the development of highly functional, intuitive, and easy-to-use mobile web applications.