Native vs. Hybrid: Welcome to the Hybrid Side

DevToolsGuy / Wednesday, July 10, 2013
In a World of Hybrid vs. Native Development…

Welcome to the Hybrid Side! As you know, an epic battle is going down here at Infragistics... Below, our own Ambrose Little and Steve Zaharuk go head to head over which is better: native or hybrid? We know what side you're on, so let us know if you agree or disagree with our experts' views in the comments below. Ready? GO!

How do Native and Hybrid development compare in terms of...

Time to develop?



Depending on your level of competency with a particular platform, you could probably get approval and get to market faster with native because each platform has their UI patterns, styles, and conventions baked in. BUT - if you're targeting more than one mobile platform (who isn't?), a hybrid approach allows you to essentially develop one app to run on all platforms. It's never that easy, of course, but there's a good chance you'd see a big time, effort, and cost savings with hybrid or web.

I don't think there is a clear cut answer to the question of Native vs Hybrid or Web. It's all about how much time and money you're able or willing to spend. Having said that, I think that hybrid web apps might be best here! If you need something for an internal application, building a web app is really a great choice. You can generally build something quickly and easily deploy internally, no matter what devices your employees are using.

Winner: Hybrid!

Operational/maintenance costs?



The same factors are at play here as they are in the development time. Each new feature has to be developed X times individually if you are native, as opposed to, essentially, one time if you are Web/hybrid. But where you see fewer savings is in testing and potential bugs. No matter what you will want to test on your key target platforms, and hybrid/Web can introduce some issues that you won't see with native, most notably with performance and app store approval challenges.

If you're creating applications that work on multiple mobile platforms, you have to re-write at least the UI portion of the application on each platform, which takes time, which costs money. In creating a native experience, you get a lot for free. The API's that each of the platforms provide really guide you into the best practices. On top of that the tooling for all of these platforms keeps getting better and better, including IDEs, Interface designers, Automated Testing and even Performance Testing.

Winner: It's A Tie!




As a rule, native apps almost always win in the UX category, thanks to their performance-you just can't get the level of smoothness in Web/hybrid that you can get in native. I would go as far as to say that this is more or less THE determining consideration as to whether or not to go native. If you really need that extra polish, you should build native. But for many apps that's not necessarily crucial, and the benefit of having the same design and interactions for your app across platforms can be a winning factor.

This is where Native shines. While for many, many apps, this is not necessarily crucial, and the benefit of having the same design and interactions for your app across platforms can be a winning factor, sometimes you need to go the extra mile. Users have come to expect a certain level of experience when they use an application on their platform, and if you fail to deliver that, they may just stop using your application. With native, you can really create a high-quality application that feels like it truly belongs on the platform. You simply just can't capture that native experience with a hybrid or web solution.

Winner: Native!


Steve and Ambrose both agree: Infragistics Ultimate offers native and hybrid/web tools, so you can experiment to find the right balance of quality and cost. With Ultimate, you get high quality, advanced line-of-business and data visualization components for iOS and Android, which work in Objective-C, Swift and Java. And these controls all have wrappers that allow them to work 100% in C# with Xamarin. You also get great applications samples that show you how to take both approaches, and the best interaction prototyping tool on the market-Indigo Studio-that you can use to discover the best designs regardless of which implementation platform you choose. The best part is you can purchase without regret. If you decide to go web and can't get the design/usability you want, you can easily switch to native and have the same great tooling experience. To experience the best of both worlds, download your free trial of Infragistics Ultimate today!



We want to hear it! Join the debate in the comments below – let’s get it started!