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The Difference Between Native, Hybrid and Web Apps



In a World revolving around mobile phones, apps to a greater extent; are becoming a pinnacle piece of mobile technology. Web Apps are everywhere 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?

Accessibility. Every mobile phone nowadays is a smartphone, and, is filled with apps before you’ve even downloaded anything yet! Calendars, 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 lives.

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 can enhance their mobile experience. Although both types of apps are capable of doing the same, they’re also very different.


    1. What are Native Apps and their pros & cons

      2. What are Hybrid Apps and their pros & cons

        3. What are Web Apps and their pros & cons


        Author: Ahmed Fareed

        IT Consultant

What are Native Apps?

Native apps are apps that are developed specifically 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, and 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 the 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 separate language, making it much more difficult and expensive.


      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 function 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 has 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 utilize on native apps (push notifications, camera, microphone, Bluetooth), you won’t be able to 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 their discoverability. Rather than having to find an app from the app store, download it, and look through the app for what they need, users can 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 can 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.


                                        Development cost
                                          Platform independence


                                            No offline functionality
                                              Limited User Experience
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