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Native vs Hybrid phone apps

I'm looking into having a basic phone app to be built. I've been told that native is the only way to go; however, I've been sent a proposal with a hybrid app. Here are the specs that I need in my photo app:

Android and iOS
1. Camera function
2. Reverse the camera function
3. Confirmation of successful upload of photo
4. Flash settings
5. Access photo library so user can select an existing photo (found on lower left of interface)
6. Close app

Essentially, I need to have users take photos using our app. The photos will be in a repository so I can access them and put them into a slideshow. Having the photos in real time is essential.

I'm a complete novice when it comes to this, so if someone needs further explanation then please let me know

35 Replies

Jason Hofsess
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Jason Hofsess Entrepreneur
Should I go with native or is hybrid ok.
Chris Ledden
5
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Chris Ledden Entrepreneur
As an mobile app developer for 4 years in both large and small companies, you should definitely go native to get the advanced controls of the camera.

In my experience, the amount of time you spend dicking about with PhoneGap and the like, you could have written the native app, and know it will run optimally on the target device.

hit me up if you want a quote...

Chris
Michael Brill
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Michael Brill Entrepreneur
Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products
How critical is multi-platform support out of the chute? For basic apps, native vs. hybrid is about the same amount of work if the developer is familiar with both (or if you are outsourcing). Native will always look better and as your app complexity increases, the level of effort on the hybrid approach increases faster.

Fahad Siddiqui
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Fahad Siddiqui Entrepreneur • Advisor
Startup Founder
Hybrid should be able to do what you want, but I've built an app with pretty much the same requirements that you outlined below, and based on first hand experience, i can say that the UX absolutely sucked.

Every tap on the screen would take a fraction of a second to register. For simple tasks it was not noticable, but when doing things like scrolling though a list of pictures, the experience was a disaster.

Depends on what you really want. If all you want is an MVP to test out the concept, then go with hybrid, since you can test on all platforms with barely any code change, and javascript is a much easier language to pick up from scratch. If it is a proven concept, then stick with native.

Use sencha touch if going the hybrid route, since they have a good MVC architecture, and you only need to program in javascript for the most part. But again, don't expect miracles in terms of performance.

Check out apps like xero accounting, snappette, iwishfor. These are hybrid apps. And then compare then to native ones like instagram, tumblr, and you'll quickly know the difference.
Jonathan Vanasco
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Jonathan Vanasco Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder at Aptise
FYI, Aviary.com pivoted from web-based-photoshop to web / and native mobile SDKs. they might offer a lot of the camera and photo editing features you may want.
Duane Nickull
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Duane Nickull Entrepreneur • Advisor
Chief Marketing Officer, Co-Founder at Cheddar Labs
Having worked at Adobe I agree with Chris and would heavily recommend going native on both. I can write a cross platform app that can do this but the performance in PhoneGap of Flex will be not as good as native. Please contact me off line if you would like a quote as my company can build this quite quickly.

Also - I wrote this white paper on the considerations of going native vs cross platform. It may be useful to read:

http://www.technoracle-systems.com/white-papers/Mobile-Application-Development.pdf

Duane Nickull
Jonathan Bond-Caron
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Jonathan Bond-Caron Entrepreneur
Founder at GOL Network
If you go hybrid, make sure it's an experienced team that has built 'hybrid' apps before. Ask for a demo.

The great irony is that while Google pushes for HTML5, Android fragmentation and cheap devices make it hard to create a good experience (require at least Android 4.0+).

Besides Windows 8 pretty much shows Apple & Google how JavaScript & HTML5 should be done (an api that talks native).







Dru Nelson
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Dru Nelson Entrepreneur
Advisor & Founder at BrightRoll
+1 with Fahad above,
Witht the hybrid approach, if you are just doing basic functionality, you can get away with it. Plus, you can get on Android a lot easier. I've done both IOS and Android. Native on both is vastly different.

However, just as Fahad mentioned, if you need to scroll through photos... forget it. You will need some serious native work.
Ryo Hang
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Ryo Hang Entrepreneur
Do More
It just has too much overhead on the "hybrid" app. Why not go native? In a long run, native is more cost efficiency. You wouldn't scratch your head with some weird bug....

That's just my opinion.
Gaurav Garg
0
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Gaurav Garg Entrepreneur
Jason I am in the process of building a mobile application for healthcare market. Based my experience, it comes down to the user experience. If you want to provide slick app, you should go with native app. If you want to save some cost, you will have to compromise on the user experience. Case in point is LinkedIn. They started with a hybrid app and the. Switched back to native iOS app. I am sure other members have their own preferences and experience. Regards, Gaurav Garg
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