A Brief Comparison Between Web, Native & Hybrid Apps

Today, we will be going over three specific types of mobile applications that exist. We will also make a comparison from the standpoint of a company looking to build or hire someone to build a mobile app. Making this decision is a considerable choice and could make or break your business. Therefore, we will be going over web, native and hybrid applications so you can make the right decision.

There are three types of mobile apps. The top three are web, native and hybrid apps. So, we will be going in-depth about each one of these and see which one will be right for you.

Web Apps

Web applications are mobile websites and are built using standard site technology, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They run inside a standard web browser such as Firefox and Safari. They are built and hosted just like any web application on the internet. The difference is that they’re built to look good and function well on mobile devices. This typically means that they’re responsive and designed with a mobile-first approach. Furthermore, web apps focus on the mobile view, but also make it work for the desktop as well.

Advantages of Web Apps

As mentioned before, they are built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Therefore, you don’t need to learn difficult languages like Java or Swift. Any web developer can create a simple web app or mobile website. Web apps also make the app very easy to host and maintain. You just need to upload the website to a hosting account with a domain. If you’re building a static HTML site, you can host it anywhere.

Another advantage is you can use any web technology and stack that you want. If you want a laravel app or python, or nodejs, you won’t have any limitations in that aspect. Furthermore, web apps are the cheapest utilized. Lastly, with web apps, you’re able to build one application for all platforms such as iOS and Android.

Disadvantages of Using a Web App

The biggest disadvantage is that it needs a browser to run. This means the user has to type in the URL to go into the app. This can result in poor user experience. Web apps are also typically much slower than native and hybrid apps. The reason for this is that native apps are created for that specific device. Native apps are also optimized to run on that specific device.

Web apps are less interactive and intuitive. The buttons don’t have the same kind of interaction as a native app does. Lastly, web apps cannot be submitted to the app store. So, you would need to turn your web app into a hybrid app.

Native Applications

Native apps are the most popular kind of mobile app. When you search the app store and download an app, it’s most likely native. Native apps are built for a specific platform. For more clarification, Android is coded for Java, and it uses the SDK for that platform. The same thing goes for iOS and Swift. With that said, native apps are very fast, and that’s due to them being built for that specific platform.

Advantages of Native Apps

Native apps are also easily distributed into app stores. Whether it’s the apple store Google Play, native apps get approved quickly. Your app will run much smoother as far as user input. They can also easily interact with almost any feature of the phone. Native apps have an extensive API that can work with any part of the phone’s hardware.

Disadvantages of Native Apps

The first one is that they are built for a single platform. If you make a Java app on Android, then it will only work on Android. If you wanted an app that worked on both Android and iPhone, you would have to treat each one as a separate project. Native apps are also much harder languages to learn. Hiring developers for these languages can become very expensive when compared to your standard web developer. In addition to a single platform harder to create, they are also harder to maintain.

Hybrid Applications

A hybrid is a combination of a web app and a native app. It does use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, it usually runs through a framework. Therefore, on the surface, it can be perceived as a native app.

Advantages of Hybrid Apps

They are built on web technology, so this makes them much easier to build. They are also much cheaper than a native app. So, if you’re going to hire developers, it’s significantly less expensive than a Swift developer. Another significant advantage is that you only need a single app for all platforms. If you use a technology like Cordova PhoneGap, which is a wrapper for hybrid apps, you can use that one codebase for iOS and Android. Therefore, you will have one codebase to maintain, rather than multiple apps.

Additionally, hybrid apps have access to internal APIs, and they can access features such as the camera, geolocation, and storage. A lot of this does depend on the framework you use since there are numerous kinds of frameworks. Hybrid app development is also quicker than native app development because you do have a single codebase and easier languages to work with.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are typically slower than native apps since apps are built for specific platforms. Hybrid apps have a middle man to go through, and they may feel a little more clunky. However, that has become better as more mobile frameworks progress. Although hybrid apps are cheaper than native apps, they are more expensive than your standard web-based app. This is because of the wrapper framework you have to work with and maintain.

In Conclusion

Unless you have unlimited resources and highly skilled programmers in Java and Swift, hybrid apps are the best solution. Native apps are going to perform the best. However, practicality and pricing can be a deterrent for some businesses. If you’re in need of an app development company, Ecodelogic is the best solution.