Why hybrid apps are crushing native apps

Mike Creaven

Managing Director of Smartfitapps

Mobile Apps News

There are many different types of apps, from native and web-based apps to hybrids in between. Previously, native apps used to be the go-to format but the trend is changing.

Back when Apple first launched its App Store, native apps stood out as delivering the best possible user experience. A native app is a smartphone application coded in a specific programming language (such as Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems). Native apps used to be the preferred choice for developers as they offered fast performance and a high degree of reliability. They also had access to a phone’s native features, such as its camera and address book, and some of these apps could be used without an internet connection.

However, with the explosion of smartphone adoption, this type of app is proving expensive to develop. Because native apps are tied to one type of operating system businesses are forced to make multiple versions of their app, each compatible with the various different app stores they want to be present in. This leads to high initial development costs and higher on-going support and maintenance costs to upgrade the app for each new phone entering the market.

There are other app development options

Mobile responsive website: is a website tailored to function on all mobile devices. Mobile responsive websites have an advantage of being usable by all customers, however, they are not able to use a smartphone’s basic native capabilities such as address book, camera or accelerometer.

Hybrid app: This type of application has cross-platform compatibility but can still access a phone’s hardware and native features. It uses a combination of native app development to access these features, combined with responsive website integration to ensure the app is easy to maintain and update across all platforms. It is developed using platforms such as Sencha, PhoneGap, Mosync, as well as eir Advantage Apps.

Mike's blog

Back when native app development was the norm, most apps were tailored to the iPhone, which was the most popular phone at the time. Now, with Android market share rocketing, the need to access other non-Apple devices grows, and the desire for businesses to maintain a scalable low cost solution that delivers a similar level of user experience, hybrid app solutions are emerging as the ideal way to reach a wider customer base.

With the right solution hybrid apps can deliver everything that native apps can in a simplified, sustainable and affordable way. They have become the smarter choice for any competitive business considering developing an app.

What type of app would you consider for your business? Why not check out eir Advantage Apps for some ideas.




Mike Creaven is managing director of SmartFitApps, maker of the Smart Appys app builder system [http://www.smartfitapps.com]. Mike has 13 years’ experience working for a number of leading telecoms companies in Ireland, including Meteor and Vodafone Ireland, where he held various commercial, local and global marketing roles. During his time at these companies he managed teams for mobile apps, mobile advertising, social media, mobile data and content services, and devices, and was responsible for meeting seven-figure revenue targets on multiple propositions.

Michael has particular expertise in monetisation and mobile payments, including premium messaging, Charge2Mobile and NFC – all enabling factors in generating ROI on apps, web or other digital innovations via identification of new business models.

From Galway, Michael has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Marketing, and has chaired the IBEC Irish Mobile Operator Payments and Innovation forum between all operators in Ireland. Michael has also been a successful entrepreneur and director in two previous ventures.