With the boom of the mobile industry more and more applications are needed for the mobile space. One big question for development teams is, do we build a native or web or hybrid mobile app? My answer, it depends. There are pros and cons to consider before making that decision on what direction to go, and it really depends on the project or your requirements. Here are some pros and cons of each to consider:

Native Mobile App

Pros

  1. Platform dependent.
  2. Performance.
  3. UI experience.
  4. Presence in the platform app store.
  5. Offline functionality.
  6. SDK.

Cons

  1. Large learning curve for each platform you need to support from languages to IDE’s.
  2. Not ideal for a small development team or startup.
  3. Higher cost especially if you need to support multiple platforms.
  4. Application approval process.

Web Mobile App

Pros

  1. Standard web technologies: HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.
  2. Smaller learning curve due to known web technologies.
  3. Write once and run on any platforms browser.
  4. Ease of deployment and maintenance.
  5. No need for an application approval.
  6. Readily available, no need for end users to download the app.

Cons

  1. No presence in the platform app store.
  2. No access to device hardware features.
  3. Non-native UI experience.

Hybrid (i.e. PhoneGap, Titanium, Xamarin, and others)

Pros

  1. Standard web technologies: HTML5, JavaScript and CSS.
  2. Smaller learning curve due to known web technologies.
  3. Presence in the platform app store.
  4. Write once and cover most platforms.
  5. Access to device hardware features.

Cons

  1. Dependency on the framework.
  2. Application approval process.
  3. Performance.

Obviously, this is not a comprehensive list but a good start on what to evaluate before starting on your next mobile project. It is a huge investment loss if you choose the wrong approach and need to restart.

Happy coding!

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