Native Apps, Web Apps or Hybrid Apps? What’s the Difference?

Native Apps, Web Apps or Hybrid Apps? What’s the Difference?

Native Apps, Web Apps or Hybrid Apps? What’s the Difference?

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There has always been a discussion between clients and technology partners as to which type of technology we should built the mobile app with so that the development is quick, easy and the code requires less maintenance.

There are different types of apps possible:

  • Mobile Web Apps
  • Native Apps
  • Hybrid Apps

In this post, we will see these different types of apps and understand which one should be used.

Mobile Web Apps

Web apps are apps that are built using HTML/CSS and Javascript, build like a regular website. The design of the app is made according to the mobile and then for other platforms. The mobile app looks like a website. It runs in the browser with a URL.

Advantages of web apps:

  1. Easy to built
  2. Easy to maintain
  3. Cheaper than native and hybrid apps.
  4. Run-on every platform just needs a browser.
  5. Too smaller in size and does not consume storage and ram as all the process is done by the server.

Disadvantages of web apps:

  1. Web apps are slower than native apps
  2. To run the app, one browser is needed on mobile
  3. Internet connection is mandatory
  4. Web apps are not secure
  5. No access to the hardware device

Native apps

Native apps are apps that are built for a single platform with specific languages. Native apps are built using Java and Kotlin for Android and objective C and swift for ios. There are different tools for the different languages i.e Android Studio for Android and Xcode for IOS. These apps are costly in development as the developer has to code for each platform. The code reusability of the code between the platforms is nil as the languages are different.

Advantages of native apps

  1. More Secure as they are built with java and objective C. These are secure languages and the encryption of these languages is very strong.
  2. Native apps are fast and responsive as the app depends on the device’s processing speed
  3. Full access to the hardware device

Disadvantages of native apps

  1. Native apps are costly as the developer has to code differently for different platforms
  2. Native apps take more time to build as the developers have to code differently for different platforms

Hybrid apps

Hybrid apps combine both native and hybrid apps. Hybrid apps are used for cross-platform development. Hybrid apps are easier to built and maintain. In this, the developer has code once for every platform. Hybrid apps are build using HTML/CSS and javascript.

Advantage of hybrid apps

  1. Easy to built and maintain as the developer has to code once for all platforms.
  2. Faster than the web apps.
  3. Full access to the hardware device as the web apps do not have.
  4. Less costly than native apps as the developer has to code once for all platforms.

Disadvantages of hybrid apps

  1. Slower than native apps
  2. Less secure than the native apps
  3. Features are set according to platforms so that all platform supports the same features

Difference between native vs hybrid vs web apps

Feature Native App Hybrid App Mobile Web App
Development Cost Highest Lower Most economical option
Maintenance Cost High Lower Most easy to maintain
Time-to-market Slow Faster than Native Apps Fastest
User Experience Best Good Suboptimal
Access to device hardware Complete access Complete access No access
Security Highly secure Good security Prone to security threats
Network access Internet connection is not mandatory for the operation Internet connection is not mandatory for the  operation Requires internet connection for the operation
Single codebase No Yes Yes
Suited for long-term investment Most optimum Optimum Not suitable
Channel Hosted in the OS Hosted on the web Hosted on the web
Update Need to download from the marketplace. No need to update the app as it is updated on the server. No need to update the app as it is updated on the server.

Conclusion:

Now we know the advantages and disadvantages of these apps we can make a decision as to which app we should build.

If you’re new with no mobile app development experience and with a smaller budget and want to develop a demo application, the mobile web app will be the most affordable option for you.

For businesses that have a large budget, a native app is probably the best choice as they promise high performance and a consistent user experience.

And if you are a startup or a small business with a team to work, desiring visibility on the app marketplace while also not wanting to go through the hassle of building two different applications for iOS and Android, a hybrid app will meet your needs.

The above article is authored by Abhishek Aggarwal, Co-Founder and Delivery Head at SpeckyFox Technologies.

 

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