Comparing the Cost of Mobile App Development: Native vs. Hybrid

When it comes to mobile app development, businesses often choose between native or hybrid app development. Native development addresses the requirements of a specific mobile operating system (OS) like iOS or Android. For native app development, you need to use the official programming language and other tools offered by the OS platform.

In contrast, hybrid development represents a “code once and runs everywhere” approach, and it relies on mostly traditional web languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and some frameworks. Hybrid apps are developed once and can run on multiple platforms.

A mobile app development price is often a significant factor in decision-making, while each option has benefits and drawbacks. Here in this post, we will compare the cost and benefits of these two development approaches. We will also briefly explain the actual development cost of native and hybrid apps.

Native App Development Cost Factors vs. Benefits

Native app development involves creating an app specifically for a particular operating system (OS) using the language and tools provided by the OS. While this approach may have drawbacks, its numerous benefits make it an attractive option for businesses looking to create high-quality, performance-driven apps.

Benefits of Native App Development

  • Better Performance: Native apps are optimized for the specific OS they are designed for, resulting in faster and smoother performance than hybrid or web apps.
  • Native Features: Native apps can take advantage of the features and capabilities of the OS, including push notifications, camera integration, and geolocation.
  • Better User Experience: With native apps, developers have more control over the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), resulting in a more polished and intuitive app.
  • Offline Functionality: Native apps can offer offline functionality, essential for apps that require continuous access to data or are used in areas with limited connectivity.
  • Security: Native apps are considered more secure since they are less susceptible to attacks or hacks than hybrid or web apps.

Cost Factors of Native App Development

  • Time and Resources: Developing native apps requires specialized skills, and developers must be familiar with the programming languages and tools specific to the OS. This means it can take longer and need more resources than hybrid or web app development.
  • App Maintenance Cost: Native apps require ongoing maintenance, including updates and bug fixes, which can add to the overall cost of development.
  • Multiple Platforms: Developing native apps for various platforms can be costly since each requires a separate development process.
  • App Store Fees: Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store charge a fee to publish apps, which can add to the overall development cost.

While native app development can be more costly than other approaches, the benefits are numerous, including better performance, native features, and enhanced security. However, businesses must consider their specific needs and budget before deciding on the best approach for their app development project. Ultimately, the decision between native and other development approaches will depend on the project scope, timeline, and budget.

Related Reading: Logistics Mobile App Development Cost

Hybrid App Development Cost Factors vs. Benefits

Hybrid app development, as we have already mentioned, represents a “build once & run everywhere” approach and makes things easier using common web development languages and tools. While hybrid app development may not offer the same level of performance as native apps, it does have numerous benefits that make it an attractive option for businesses looking to create a cost-effective app.

Benefits of Hybrid App Development

  • One App for Multiple Platforms: Hybrid apps are developed to run on iOS, Android, and even the web. Thanks to this, you can save time and resources for developing apps separately for each platform.
  • Web-Based Technologies: Hybrid app development uses web-based technologies, which are familiar to many developers, making it easier to find and hire qualified developers.
  • Reduced App Development Cost: Building hybrid apps is less resource-consuming as you can run one hybrid app across iOS, Android, and the web.  
  • Easy Updates: Hybrid apps are easier to update than native apps since developers only need to update the web technologies used.
  • Access to Device Features: Hybrid apps can access device features, including the camera and geolocation, which can enhance the user experience.

Cost Factors of Hybrid App Development

  • Development Tools and Frameworks: Many development tools and frameworks are available for hybrid app development, ranging from free to paid options. Depending on the project’s specific needs, businesses may need to invest in paid tools to get the desired results.
  • App Design: The cost of app design will depend on the app’s UI/UX complexity and the level of customization required.
  • App Features: Despite embracing a hybrid development approach, you may need to bear higher costs when building a large, fully-fledged app with rich and advanced features.
  • Platform Compatibility: Hybrid apps must be compatible with multiple platforms, including iOS and Android, which can increase the cost of development and testing.
  • Third-Party Integrations: Third-party integrations, such as payment gateways or social media platforms, can add to the overall cost of development.
  • Maintenance and Updates: Hybrid apps often depend upon third-party tools, and integrations may require frequent security updates and replacement of APIs or plugins. This may add to the app’s maintenance cost.
  • App Store Fees: Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store charge fees to publish apps, which businesses must factor into the development cost.
  • Testing: Hybrid apps must be tested on multiple platforms, which can add to the overall development cost.

Hybrid app development offers a cost-effective alternative to native app development, but businesses must consider the specific needs of their project and budget when deciding on the best approach. Businesses can create a high-quality hybrid app that meets their needs and budget by prioritizing app features and using the right development tools and frameworks.

Cost of Developing a Native Android App

A native Android app built specifically for Android devices must use platform-specific programming languages like Java or Kotlin. Native app development for any platform is more expensive as you need to build everything separately for that OS platform. The actual development cost for Native Android app depends upon the complexity and size of the app, the project deadline, and the experience and expertise of the development team.

Generally, the more complex an app, the longer it will take to develop and the higher the cost. The cost may also be affected by the developer’s hourly rate and the location of the development team.

The cost of building a native Android app can range from $25,000 to $150,000, depending on the app’s features and complexity. It’s essential for businesses to carefully consider their budget and requirements when planning the development of a native Android app to ensure that they get the desired outcome within their budget constraints.

Cost of Developing a Native iOS App

Developing a native iOS app involves building one specifically for the iOS platform, using programming languages such as Swift or Objective-C. The development cost for a native iOS app depends on several variables, such as app size, feature set, project timeline, and developer expertise.

In most cases, the complexity of an app project is proportional to the development time and resulting cost. The developer’s hourly rate and the development team’s location may also affect the cost.

The app development cost for the native iOS platform varies from $30,000 to $200,000, based upon common variables like size, features, complexity, development time, and development team experience and skills. This is why businesses must plan development meticulously per their budget constraints and available resources.

Cost of Developing a Hybrid App

Hybrid app development is widely popular to save costs as one can run the same app on all platforms. Development frameworks like React Native, Flutter, Ionic, Xamarin, PhoneGap, and a few others are hiring a lot of flexibility in the hybrid development scene. Despite these cost advantages, hybrid app projects must consider different cost variables such as app size, features, frequency of updates, third-party tools, project timeline, and hourly rates charged by the development team.

Hybrid development offers some cost advantages over native development because of code reusability. Considering the average development cost globally, a hybrid app may cost from $20,000 to $150,000.

However, businesses must carefully consider the specific requirements of their project and budget when deciding on the best approach to app development. Businesses can create a high-quality hybrid app that meets their needs and budget by prioritizing app features and using the right development tools and frameworks.

Ending Notes

While prioritizing app features and adhering to the right development approach is essential, there are other measures that businesses can take to reduce the cost of app development. One such measure is adopting a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) approach, which involves developing the app’s core features first and adding more features in subsequent iterations.

Thanks to the MVP development approach, businesses can also launch their app faster and at a reduced cost. Moreover, this allows them to gather user feedback and fine-tune the app over time.

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Written by
Juned Ghachi is the CEO of IndianAppDevelopers, a professional mobile app development company in India for full-cycle mobility solutions. Having 10+ years of experience in the digital marketing field, he excels at offering the best technical advice to clients.

Do you want to develop an app or website? Talk to Raza and get started!

Raza is a tech entrepreneur with an experience of working with 500+ clients. His key expertise is around tech consultation, where he guides people on how to successfully build digital softwares for their businesses.


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