In the world of Mobile development there are three types of applications to develop your product on: Native Apps, Web Apps and Hybrid Apps.  At the Omaha Mobile Meet-up Wednesday, March 5th, sponsored by CRi and Agape Red, mobile experts discussed the benefits and drawbacks of each app.

Three Mobile expert panelists, Shawn Kretschmer, CRi, Hasani Hunter, Obsessive Software and Kevin Berry, RaceNote began the discussion by describing their backgrounds in Mobile and their stance on which app they preferred to develop products on.

The first Mobile Meet-up two years ago had a similar topic and discussion led by Berry and Hunter.

“In the past two years not much has changed.  There is nothing that clearly says which is the best one to use,” said Berry.

“Use the best tool for the right job,” said Kretschmer providing the example of how graphic intensive applications tend to lean more toward native.

Native and hybrid apps are installed in an App Store where as web apps look like applications but are actually Mobile optimized webpages.  Native apps also live on the device and are developed specifically for one platform while taking full advantage of the device features.

Hybrid apps are part native and part web.  They use the device features but rely on being rendered in a browser.

Though web apps are not real apps, they look and feel like native applications but are usually written in HTML.

“I look at what the customer’s expectations are.  Who is going to use this?” asked Hunter. He explained how the user experience plays a large role in deciding which application to use.

Right to left: Shawn Kretschmer, CRi, Kevin Berry, RaceNote and Hasani Hunter, Obsessive Software. Hunter asked,"Who is going to use this?"

Left to right: Shawn Kretschmer, CRi, Kevin Berry, RaceNote and Hasani Hunter, Obsessive Software.
Hunter asked,”Who is going to use this?”

Kretschmer followed up with Hunter’s user experience point by giving an example of how a hybrid application with a web view is slower which may deter developers from using hybrid, depending on the experience they are trying to provide.

Though that is a drawback of using a hybrid app, Berry pointed out that the two most used applications in the world are hybrid apps, Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Depending on the app, complexity and security will also play a role in deciding to use native, web or hybrid.  However, Berry and Kretschmer kept returning to Hunter’s question of, what is the customer expectation?

Native, web and hybrid all have their pros and cons but in order to decide which app is the best to use for developing a product, the user experience is key.