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Native Apps vs. Hybrid vs. Responsive: The Best for Enterprise Mobility App Development

Mansha Kapoor
October 6, 2022

Enterprise Mobility Applications have changed the face of corporate life for businesses and employees since the Coronavirus pandemic. Enterprise Mobility applications have become a rather sought-after tool for business management and facilitating the work-from-home culture that the world had to embrace in 2020 and has adapted to today. 

Choosing the best Enterprise Mobility software for your business includes checking many criteria off your list. The price, features, and capacity may be primary, but there are other pointers that you may want to consider before taking the final call. The software’s application development approach is essential for determining whether the application is high-performing, cost-effective, and user-friendly. Being a business owner, you may have some unique ideas for your enterprise mobility app, but it may fail if you don’t pay enough attention to the development approach. 

There are three types of application development approaches for developers to choose from: 

1. Native Application Development

2. Hybrid Application Development

3. Responsive Application Development

The aforementioned application development approaches help developers define the application's nature, features, cost-effectiveness, interface, and accessibility. Each approach offers various advantages, disadvantages, potentials, and purposes to the applications. 

We have curated a comprehensive list of the functionalities, merits, and limitations of the 3 approaches to help you make a wise decision in choosing the perfect Enterprise Mobility software for your business.

Exploring your options for Enterprise Mobility App development

1. Native Application Development:

Native apps can be installed directly on mobile phones and tablets with the help of the Apple Store (for iOS devices) and Google Play Store (for Android devices). Data related to the app is programmed to store on the device or the cloud. 

Depending on the programming language used, Native applications are developed to run on one operating system simultaneously. In other words, the choice of programming languages for Native apps is based on the targeted operating system for runtime. Therefore, if developers want an application to be made available on both Android and iOS, they will have to maintain separate codes for a single application. 

A popular instance of Native Application Development is:  We know that software for Android devices is developed in Java; however, iOS applications are developed using Swift. Therefore, in order to run the application on both OS, developers must maintain two different codes so that users can install it on either of the systems.

Twitter, WhatsApp, Spotify, and SoundCloud are some famous examples of Native Applications. 

2. Hybrid Application Development

Since Hybrid applications consist of HTML and CSS components as well as elements from Native programming languages, they are a combination of web and native applications. In layperson's terms, the working of a Hybrid app resembles a web app, but it installs like a Native application. Amazon, Netflix, Facebook, and Instagram are typical examples of Hybrid apps. 

While the core of Hybrid apps is developed using HTML, a native device wrapper is placed around it, which makes it compatible with iOS or Android, thus making the application “Hybrid.” Additionally, Hybrid applications have access to internal device APIs, which means they can use the Camera, GPS, and internal or external storage of the device. 

What makes Hybrid apps very popular among users is that they can be installed on mobile phones with the help of Google Play Store or Apple Store and can be accessed on web browsers like Chrome and Safari. The native components on these applications allow them to be installed on smartphones, while the HTML core will enable users to run it on the web. 

3. Responsive Web Application Development

Responsive Web Applications are interactive, user-friendly apps developed using web development technologies such as HTML and can be accessed with web browsers. The front end of Web applications is designed using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, while the back end is developed with the help of server-side programming languages like Ruby and Python. While this approach has a comparatively distinctive style from Native and Hybrid apps, it does offer a similar user experience of an application but on a browser. Web Apps provide a quality web experience on mobile phones and tablets with their wide variety of layouts, high-resolution graphics, and grids. Additionally, what differentiates web apps from all other software development approaches is that they are not only interactive and convenient to use, but they are also automatically designed to adjust the screen size, image quality, brightness, and image size per device. This feature of web apps has neatly eliminated the need for developing different versions of one application to accommodate different screen sizes and resolution types. 

Native vs. Web vs. Hybrid Enterprise Mobility App Development

There are many criteria that must be considered before opting for the best application development approach for your Enterprise Mobility software. However, the following are some of the most significant pointers you should consider before making a decision. 

1. Performance and User Experience

Native Apps: When it comes to performance and user experience, Native Apps are faster and better optimized since they are compiled using the runtime platform’s core programming languages and application programming interface (API) and are designed for a specific operating system at a time. 

Native apps promise their users high speed, quality performance, commendable efficiency, memorable user experience, and an impressive loading time. 

Web Apps: While web apps are all for portability, user experience, and convenience, they cannot compete with native or hybrid applications when it comes to performance. Web apps are considerably infamous for their low-speed operations and lagging at runtime. 

Hybrid Apps: Hybrid apps are often preferred by users over Native apps due to their multi-platform compatibility; however, they provide comparatively slower runtime performance and are not particularly known for their user experience and transition. A Hybrid app takes longer to load, and the graphics are of average quality. 

2. Cost-effectiveness 

Native Apps: The all-inclusive cost of designing a native app (including maintenance) is very high, especially for new businesses that have just entered the market. The cost of native apps can be justified due to the process of re-developing one application multiple times for different operating systems and individual maintenance for the platforms. 

Web Apps: Web apps are the most affordable option for businesses looking for a cheap alternative for easy-to-use, comprehensive applications without compromising graphics, layouts, and user experience. What makes Web Apps far less costly than Native and Hybrid apps is that there is only one codebase and version of an application for all platforms. 

Hybrid Apps: Hybrid apps are a middle path for companies that do not want to spend a tremendous amount of money on application development but still want easy-to-access software for daily use. 

3. Functionality & Features

Native Apps: Not only do Native apps offer data security to users, but they also encrypt and embed the data into un-decipherable code so that if hacked, precious data will not be stolen. Additionally, Native apps are highly interactive with state-of-the-art features that can be easily integrated into the operating system, providing users efficiency and convenience to the users. Lastly, these apps can run without an internet connection and can access other features of the smartphone, such as Camera, GPS, storage, contacts, and more, to enhance the accessibility of the application. 

Web Apps: In addition to being portable, low maintenance, and highly cost-effective, web apps are also SEO-friendly, and help businesses rank better on the search engines. This is so because responsive websites load faster on mobiles and tablets, which increases positive user experience and thus improves the company’s search engine rankings. 

Hybrid Apps: As the name suggests, Hybrid apps are compatible with numerous cross platforms such as Xamarin, React Native, and Adobe PhoneGap. This makes Hybrid apps a popular option among users who use multiple operating systems or OS other than the common ones, ie. Android, Windows, macOS, and iOS. 

Additionally, besides operating without an internet connection, Hybrid apps too can access various built-in software, such as GPS, Camera, etc., of an Android or iOS smartphone just like Native apps. 

Final Thoughts

Besides the factors mentioned above, there are many other points to consider while choosing the best application development approach for enterprise mobility applications and more. While all 3 approaches have significant advantages, understanding their individual uses can help you successfully build an appropriate application that fits your needs. 

CognitiveClouds invites you to experience expertise in all aspects of application development. Reach out to us to discuss your next software development project with our team today!

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Mansha Kapoor