There’s often a debate between which is better? Hybrid or native? With everything else in life everything in life it’s not a clear cut.
Let’s start with the pros of hybrid. Hybrid has the promise of “Code once run everywhere”. This meaning that you only have one single code base where everything is written. The benefit of this is that one developer can code for both android and iOS at the same time. With this one developer can code “two” apps at the same time cutting your development time in half if you only have one developer and if you already have two developers, they both can work on the same at the same time so that there are no discrepancies between android and iOS.
Build times on hybrid platforms such as Ionic and React Native is lightning-fast. Like CTRL(CMD) + S fast and it’s done. This is a huge contrast to native developers who have to wait for their builds to run on a hybrid it’s near-instant saving tons of development time
Platforms like Ionic and React Native have one incredible advantage. They’re based on web technologies that allow them to have access and use an extremely large number of libraries that were created before the platform was even released or wasn’t intended for it to begin with.
Hybrid platforms also allow you to use your browser built onto your machine as a test device. Eliminating the need for lugging around or keeping valuable phones and devices with you. Everything is in your browser and doesn’t take any hard drive space, unlike emulators. Now let’s talk about the not so great parts about hybrid development. Hybrid development has the promise of “Code once run everywhere” but in reality not so much. Often time developers would still be forced to write native code because the functionality or library they’re using is only available to them natively and no plugin exists in the current framework. This requires a developer to not only know one platform but three (android and iOS too).
With this, most developer-only know two of the three platforms, that is Ionic/React Native and either Android/iOS. This would require you to have another developer to cover the technology stack that one developer cannot. Defeating the purpose of needing only one developer to code for both android and iOS. Because Ionic/React Native is built on top of web technologies and web packages they’re often vulnerable to those packages and to whatever malicious code is in those packages.
Hybrid apps on average are much slower than Native apps as Hybrid apps run inside of a custom browser and it’s not compiled to machine code. Unlike native apps, who generally have very well backward compatibility with deprecated code, updated versions of hybrid frameworks often cause breaking changes at the least and at work a complete rewrite of the app to handle the new changes.