The difference between Native, Hybrid & Web Apps.


In a World becoming more and more revolved around mobile phones, apps are becoming a pinnacle piece of mobile technology. Apps are everwhere these days. Shopping, music, social media, TV, video games, the list goes on for days. Mobile phones in this day and age would not survive without apps, so why is that? What makes apps so important?

Accessability. Every mobile phone nowadays is a smartphone, and smartphones are filled with apps before you’ve even downloaded anything yet! Calenders, calculators, clocks & alarms, messaging, all these basic apps are what billions of people rely on, and without them, everyone would struggle in their day-to-day life.

Things go further when you start to incorporate native, hybrid and web apps. User created apps, that people can download off the app store in seconds that can enhance their mobile experience. Although both types of apps are capable of doing the same, they’re also very different.


What are Native apps?

Native apps are apps that are developed specifcally for a certain platform, like iOS or Android. iOS apps are written in Swift or Objective-C, while android apps are written in Java.

Native apps are brilliant because they’re able to utilize all the features of the device it’s built for, allowing the app to use the camera, microphone, push notifications, GPS, as well as cater to the user experience by having the app fine tuned to fit the OS of the device.

However, building native apps is quite expensive, according to this article, Native apps cost around 15-20 percent of original development costs to maintain!

Not only are they expensive, but Native app languages are uncommon, so finding a team to build your app could be difficult. Not only that, but if you plan to build a Native app on multiple platforms, you would need another team able to code on a seperate language, making it much more difficult and expensive.




  • Speed
  • Offline functionality
  • Better User Interface
  • OS-Specific features



  • Expensive development
  • Uncommon languages
  • Maintenance costs
  • Longer development time




What are Hybrid Apps?

Hybrid apps are apps built for cross-platform usage, meaning they’re built to fucntion on both iOS and Android. This is handy, because it takes the place of building two separate Native apps, saving you a lot of time and money. Unlike Native apps, Hybrid apps are more flexible when it comes to development, and are written in HTML, CSS or Javascript.

Hybrid apps are essentially half native, half web app, thus the name. You’ll find lots of examples of these types of apps on the app store with big names like Twitter, Instagram, Gmail and Uber are all being hybrid.

While developing hybrid apps have the benefit of killing two birds with one stone because of only needing to understand one language, hybrid apps have less functionality than native. With features you’d able to utilise on native apps (push notifications, camera, microphone, bluetooth), you won’t be able to with hybrid.



  • Cheaper development costs
  • Quicker development time
  • Cross-platform functionality



  • No offline functionality
  • Limited User Experience
  • Slower performance
  • Limited functionality



What are Web apps?

Web apps aren’t technically apps, they’re just websites that function like apps. Unlike native and hybrid apps that run on an OS, web apps run on a website server, which is then accessed through a web browser.

The great thing about web apps is its discoverability. Rather than having to find an app from the app store, download it and look through the app for what they need, users are able to just search the web like normal, find what they need via search engines, and voilà!

Not only that, but web apps are much easier to access. Hybrid and native apps are required to download through the app store, while with web apps, you’re able to use them via web browsers (both mobile and desktop), however functionality is limited as you’ll need to be connected to the internet to use a web app.


  • Accessability
  • Discoverablity
  • Development cost
  • Platform independance



  • No offline functionality
  • Limited User Experience
  • Slower performance



So now you know the different types of apps, what’s next? Our team at TechChaps can help you build your new app idea.

CLICK HERE for a free consultation!


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