Mobile apps can be developed in many different ways but essentially there are three different methods, native, web and hybrid. In this article I will explain why we at Aquro are convinced that hybrid apps are the future and why apps such as Twitter, Gmail, Uber, already are using this technology.

Native apps

The traditional way to build apps is to build one app for each platform. The most common platforms are iOS and Android. Apps are written in different programming languages with different code libraries for each platform. For Android apps are developed in Java and iOS apps are developed in Objective-C (and in some cases in Swift). These type of apps are called native apps.

With native apps you get access to all the features available in the platform and full access to the device hardware (camera, GPS and sensors, etc.) but it also requires that developers understand how the platform works.

Historically, it’s said that native apps provide a smoother experience for the user, but today’s powerful mobile phones make it impossible to say if you’re running a native app or a hybrid app.

Building native apps are in general costly, simply because the expertise needed is expensive and time consuming.

Web apps

Another way to build a mobile app is mobile-friendly web page that looks like a mobile app. Such website is sometimes referred to as a mobile web app. A web app is developed with common web standards and web apps are therefore often easy to develop for any web developer.

The disadvantage of a web app is that you can’t use the hardware of the device, like the GPS and camera, and a web app can’t be installed as ab app on a mobile phone.  And of course, it can only be use when having internet access.

Hybrid apps


Hybrid apps combines the best from native and web apps. Developing hybrid apps is easy and efficient while maintaining the advantages of a native app.


When developing a hybrid app, you basically develop a mobile-friendly web application that is packaged together into a native app using Cordova. Doing this gives the app access to the device hardware. The user interface is developed with HTML5 and CSS and the logic of the application can be developed using JavaScript - just like most web pages. 

And not least, the app is cross-platform. You develop one app for both iOS and Android mobile phones.

Hybrid apps is not only the future because it’s efficient and smarter, it opens up the possibility for more developers to build apps because specific native knowledge is no longer needed.

Pros & cons


Native apps

Web apps

Hybrid apps

Development:



Development time
High
Low
Low
Programming language
Java, Objective-C, Swift
HTML, CSS, JavaScript
HTML, CSS, JavaScript
Platform independent
No
Yes
Yes
Access to native API
Yes
No
Yes
Platform specific development tools needed
Yes
No
No
Platform specific hardware needed
Yes
No
No
Device access:



Microphone
Yes
Limited
Yes
Speaker
Yes
Yes
Yes
Accelerometer
Yes
Limited
Yes
Local storage
Yes
Limited
Yes
Access to contacts
Yes
No
Yes
Notifications
Yes
No
Yes
Geolocation (GPS)
Yes
Limited
Yes
App features:



Network connection needed
No
Yes
No
Advanced 3D graphics
Yes
Limited
Limited
Speed
Very fast
Slow
Fast
Install as real app
Yes
No
Yes
Publish on app stores
Yes
No
Yes

In addition to Aquro Visual Coding our UI library, Aquro SmartUI, offers prebuilt modules, UI components, templates and themes that make it incredibly easy to build interfaces that works and looks great on both Android and iOS.

These tools in combination with the possibility to develop custom components in HTML and CSS or your own application logic in JavaScript makes Aquro Platform the perfect place to develop future apps.

AquroUI

About the author
Johan is our lead developer and has extensive experience from product development. If someone knows about MADP it's Johan!

Johan Nordström
+46 (0)8-124 506 10
johan.nordstrom@aquro.com