Native Apps vs Web Apps vs Hybrid Apps [Difference + Examples] – Which Is Best Choice For Your business?


Written by Hemendra Singh on March 03, 2017 | Updated on: December 24, 2021


Native Apps vs Web Apps vs Hybrid Apps [Difference + Examples] – Which Is Best Choice For Your business?

Mobile app development is a field that is rapidly expanding all over the world. To say the least, deciding the type of mobile application to design for your company might be difficult.

Which is better: Native vs Hybrid vs Web apps? This question’s answer is somewhat controversial. It truly relies on what your company hopes to achieve by having a mobile app in the first place.

Before doubling down on one type consider the following questions:

  • How soon do you need a mobile app?
  • What budget you have set aside for the app development project?
  • What specific functionality do you require from the app?
  • In what ways will the app help you achieve your business goals?

While asking these questions is beneficial, but it won’t help you much if you don’t understand the differences between the various types of mobile apps and why they matter.

Therefore, we’ll go through with each sort of Native Apps vs Web Apps vs Hybrid Apps, the pros, and cons of each, as well as examples and what these distinctions mean for your company’s mobile app development project.

Hybrid Apps

The so-called “golden mean” between web and native apps is a hybrid app. They’re made with JavaScript, React, Dart, HTML, and CSS, and they’re backed by a Hybrid Application Development environment (Ionic, Apache Cordova, etc.). Using customized plug-ins, you can access practically all of the features of a native platform.

These products are also accessible in apple app stores and can be loaded on a user’s device. However, the distinction is that Hybrids must run through WebView and be hosted in their own app, which acts as an external shell.

The utilization of a single code base for multiple platforms is one of the main benefits of hybrid apps. Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid apps in more detail.

Pros of Hybrid Apps

  • One codebase to deal with: All of the benefits of hybrid app development derive from the notion that instead of creating two apps, you create one and adapt it to work on both platforms. With a hybrid app, you only have to deal with one codebase.
  • Saves time and money: As you only have to manage one codebase, you’ll probably require half the number of developers two native apps would have required. Or, with the same number of developers, a hybrid app could be published in half the time. In addition, hybrid app developers are often less expensive than native application developers.
  • Easier to scale: Hybrid apps are easier to scale to a new platform. You can easily launch your app on another platform, like Windows Mobile, once you’ve built it for one.

Cons of Hybrid Apps

  • Poorer user experience: Hybrid Application Development often results in poor usability, as apps built for many platforms don’t always take advantage of all native features on all devices. Additionally, they are frequently slower than native apps.
  • Customization challenges: The more changes an app requires, the more probable native coding for each device is required. This increases the time and cost of development while reducing the benefits of hybrid app development.
  • New feature delays: Developers need to wait for the cross-platform to provide support to new features that are released natively.

Technology Stack of Hybrid App Development

The following are the three most common frameworks for hybrid application development.

  • React Native: Facebook produced this open-source, cross-platform compatible software. It has a simple user interface, high performance, and faster development times.
  • Xamarin: Microsoft maintains and firmly supports this open-source framework. Xamarin is a good way for basic apps because it is straightforward to maintain. For business-related initiatives, it is frequently the best way.
  • Ionic: Ionic uses technologies like JavaScript, CSS, and HTML to create mobile apps. It’s simple to use and learn, but it might be difficult to keep up with. Ionic’s lustre has dimmed after the introduction of React Native.

Examples of Hybrid apps

Some of the popular hybrid apps are:

  • Instagram: Instagram is an excellent example of a hybrid software that is both beneficial and useful. This software tracks user activity on a daily basis and is one of the most popular social networking apps. It’s the ideal place to share photos and videos. This program is HTML5-based, and it has the capacity to store both offline data and rich media, the best example of which being its characteristic short films.
  • Uber: Uber is another hybrid app and the most popular online application that runs on m.uber.com. It doesn’t need an introduction because it’s already well-known among users as a taxi-booking app. It is an excellent hybrid app example, with a clear and intuitive user interface combined with simple navigation. The app runs quickly on a variety of devices and offers dynamic features to both Android and iOS users.
  • Amazon Store: The Amazon App Store, which is powered by HTML5 and redefines the user experience when accessing it, is another example of a hybrid app. It features an excellent user interface that distinguishes it from other apps and makes the app incredibly engaging.
  • Gmail: When discussing some of the most prominent hybrid app examples, it appears impossible to overlook the Gmail application. Google takes advantage of HTML5’s capabilities by limiting the Gmail app to reimagine the user experience with outstanding features and functionalities, etc. Google has successfully integrated both native parts and HTML into the programme, making it more substantial with a smooth performance.
  • Twitter: Twitter is another well-known social media app and one of the best hybrid app examples that only a few of us are aware of; it has seen a significant amount of traffic. It resolved all setbacks and delays of a hybrid app, which was heavily talked about for performance difficulties. Twitter has changed users’ perceptions about hybrid applications, increasing the demand for these apps among enterprises.

Also Read: Native Vs. Cross-Platform Development [Pros & Cons]

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Native Apps

Native Application Development is the most frequent type of mobile app development. Native apps are created for specific platforms and are written in platforms-specific languages. Java and Kotlin are popular languages for developing native Android apps. Swift and Objective-C are used in iOS app development for native app development.

Furthermore, native mobile app development is carried out using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for certain operating systems. Apple and Google, for example, give their own programming tools, interface elements, and standard developer toolkits (SDK).

Because there are numerous advantages to developing a native mobile app, many businesses prefer to do so. Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of native apps.

Pros of Native Mobile Apps

  • Fast and Responsive: Native apps provide users with the fastest, most dependable, most seamless experience.
  • Easy to tap into wider device functionality: Native makes it simple to use the camera, microphone, compass, accelerometer, and swipe motions. It is still feasible to use the alternatives, however native app development is the most convenient.
  • Match app UI/UX to platform conventions: You’re more likely to gratify your users because you can match the UI/UX of each app to the platform conventions. There are numerous UI/UX distinctions that help users feel at ease. You don’t have to make compromises with UI/UX that you hope will be user-friendly across all several platforms if you create native.
  • Single Customized CodeBase: Coding native apps are easier and more streamlined because the developer is simply coding for one platform at a time rather than attempting to use one code base across many operating systems.

Cons of Native Apps

  • More than one codebase: iOS apps will not run on Android and vice versa, you will need to develop for each platform separately.
  • Native Apps cost more and take longer to build: Native apps are more expensive to produce than hybrid ones. Because most developers specialize in one platform (Android or iOS), having your software development on both platforms will necessitate two independent developers (or teams), which adds time and money.

Technology Stack

Native Application Development in Android and iOS necessitates the use of separate frameworks.
iOS uses:

  • Objective-C: A programming language with a fantastic development experience and a plethora of available libraries. It also works with other programming technologies.
  • Swift: Swift is Apple’s new programming language that replaces Objective C. It also outperforms Objective-C in terms of performance. Swift is now used by all of the most recent applications due to its enormous capability and ability to produce a smoother user experience.

Android uses:

  • Java: This programming language is utilized not only for mobile applications but also for desktop and online development. It gives developers access to a compelling library that allows them to utilize the many Android OS functionalities.
  • Kotlin: This programming language was created specifically for Android to work with Java. Kotlin is supported by Google for Android development and is available as an alternative to the Java compiler in Android Studio. Kotlin shortens the programming time necessary for app development.

Examples of Native App

  • WhatsApp: WhatsApp, which was created as a native app for iOS and Android phones, is a widely used messaging service in most part of the world. This platform was the fourth-most downloaded app globally in Q3 2020, with over 140 million downloads. As a result, this native app example is a viable option for business communication tools in the workplace.
  • Pokemon Go: Pokemon Go is an augmented reality mobile game that was named the App Store’s breakout hit of 2016. The game, in particular, streamlines the gameplay arena by transforming the real world into a game map and making players the controller. The goal of this native app example, with players going out to catch the balls, is to inspire users to travel about the actual world.
  • Waze: Waze is a GPS navigation app that has received excellent comments from drivers all over the world. This native app example is compatible with GPS-enabled smartphones and tablets. The app, in particular, assists users in navigating by offering turn-by-turn directions, route details, and user-submitted journey times. Another advantage of Waze is that it is completely free to download and use.
  • SoundCloud: SoundCloud Pulse is a React Native Application Development that allows producers to manage their accounts and interact with their audiences. During the developing process, SoundCloud met numerous issues. The team, in particular, was unable to locate iOS developers. As a result, the software development company decided to experiment with React Native. They quickly discovered that React Native was the best option. It was also straightforward because the React Native testing environments looked and acted identically to the native ones, making comparisons between the two superfluous. Most importantly, SoundCloud could now grow its infrastructure by adding new web libraries.
  • Magento 2 POS: The Magento 2 POS (Point of Sale) is a prime example of a React Native application in the eCommerce industry. It, in particular, enables competent control of many physical stores built using a single software on their Android or iOS devices. Furthermore, because your cashiers may use the app on their tablets, this Magento 2 React Native app will give them a user-friendly experience.

Also Read: Native Apps Vs Progressive Web Apps

Web Apps

Web applications are essentially websites with interactivity comparable to that of a smartphone app. Web apps are developed in HTML5 and/or Javascript and run in a variety of browsers, including Safari and Chrome. If your firm is on a tight budget and does not require complicated functionality or access to operating system tools, developing a web app may be the most cost-effective alternative. Web apps, on the other hand, can be slower, less intuitive, and unreachable through app stores.

Furthermore, your customers will not have your web app’s icon immediately downloaded to their home screens, so they will not be reminded to utilize your app on a regular basis.

Pros of Web Apps

  • Easy to Maintain: Web apps are exactly as quick to construct and update as conventional websites because they employ standard website development coding.
  • Development is significantly faster and more cost-effective: Only just one set of code is required for all devices, development expenses are reduced, and the development process takes less time and needs less specialized knowledge.
  • Improved speed to market: Web Application Development can be created more quickly. They may also be published to the market more quickly because they do not need to be approved by app stores and marketplaces.
  • Accessibility: Web apps are accessed through a browser, they can be used on any device, independent of the operating system.

Cons of Web Apps

  • Internet connectivity required: Web apps cannot be accessed unless the user has access to WiFi or cellular data.
  • Instability: Web browser differences and modifications can cause problems while running a web app. These frequent updates will necessitate larger maintenance spending.
  • No app store and marketplace access: Users are accustomed to exploring app stores and marketplaces for apps, and because web apps aren’t listed there, they may struggle to find the app.

Technology Stack

The most popular techs for Web Application Development are as follows.

  • Bootstrap: A set of CSS and JavaScript templates for designing interface components. Its primary purpose is to improve responsiveness and support the “mobile-first” web development paradigm. It’s worth mentioning that this framework’s major focus is on web pages, not online apps.
  • Foundation: A trio of specialized frameworks for websites, applications, and e-mails. It saves time for front-end developers since it includes a set of effective HTML, JS, and CSS components focused on responsiveness and a “mobile-first” strategy.

Examples of Web App

  • Netflix: One of the most popular video-streaming platforms is also a web app. Netflix allows paying subscribers to watch movies and TV series on-demand with no restrictions. And, like other online apps, it’s compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems. Netflix exemplifies how web apps are perfect as content platforms. The company also has a mobile app.
  • Trello: This web tool substitutes colorful post-its with a digital solution for task organization and tracking. Trello facilitates team collaboration for more effective project management. Collaboration is one of the most prevalent features of online programs, allowing numerous people to collaborate on a single dashboard.
  • Basecamp: This well-known web app is used to manage projects, communicate with clients via messaging and keep tasks on track. As it’s a web app, so it’s quite simple to invite people to projects without worrying about their device or browser. It’s also accessible as a desktop and mobile app for power users.
  • Google Docs: One of the most notable collections of web apps is Google Workspace, which is part of the Google office suite. Google Docs is a tool for creating and saving documents collaboratively and automatically. It also has the advantage of being able to be used without an internet connection, with synching enabled once the connection is established. This web app works on any device and works on any operating system. Google workplace apps are also available as mobile apps.
  • Microsoft Office: Originally, the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and so on) had to be installed on your computer, with files saved on your hard drive. Microsoft Office, like Google Workspace, is now a widely popular online suite of tools, with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint available as web apps. Users may safely work on shared files online, making collaboration simple, and collaborative technologies such as Teams are now included in the package. Yes, you can download a desktop and mobile app in addition to the web app version of Microsoft Office.

Also Read: 40+ Web App Ideas In 2022

How Are Apps Built?

An app can be constructed in a variety of methods, depending on whether you’re creating a web app or a native app, as well as the platform for which the app is intended.

Web apps are perhaps the simplest to create because they do not necessitate the use of any specialised tools or systems. Web apps are created using a coding language – there are numerous books and tutorials available to help you learn to code, making web apps a much more accessible option to mobile apps.

There is no ‘standard’ code used to create web apps; instead, it is often JavaScript, CSS, HTML, or a combination of any or all three. Templates for each coding ‘language’ are available, either in the developer’s personal library or as an internet download.

Mobile apps are far more precise, which makes them more difficult to develop apps and more expensive. They don’t have to take longer, but they do necessitate specialised knowledge or even a distinct set of developer tools.

IDE’s

If you want to build a native app, you’ll need an IDE, or Integrated Development Environment. Don’t be turned off by this; it’s not as complicated as it appears.

An IDE will be platform-specific — it’s a development environment that’s been integrated for usage with a specific operating system, such as iOS or Android. Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is a fantastic (and free) option.

Apple apps are created using the coding languages Objective-C or Swift, as well as an IDE called Xcode. Android apps are written in Java (as are some web or hybrid apps), however there are several IDEs available for Android apps. IntelliJ is a well-known example.

Remember that designing an app entails more information than just writing code. To truly construct a long-lasting SaaS app, a team is required, and each team member contributes only one piece of the puzzle. It is beneficial to begin thinking about your branding. This may already be in place, and it will undoubtedly play a role in your SaaS app.

UX Design

UX stands for User Experience, and it is the foundation upon which your app’s users navigate. The role of user experience is multifaceted. It can urge a specific behaviour from your user just by its style and composition; even the text or copywriting can have this effect, all of which falls under the umbrella of UX. Don’t expect a UX Designer to be able to copywrite, although copywriting will play a role in building user journeys.

It can also consider ways to make things easier and more intuitive for your users, resulting in pleased consumers that return again and time again.

UI Design

The UI design, sometimes known as ‘The Design,’ of your software is the layer that sits on top of the UX. Consider your app’s UX Design to be the skeleton, and the UI Design to be the skin. Again, UI design can encourage user activities, but it is strongly reliant on the user research and knowledge that UX provides. Your brand and visual language are also respected and understood by the UI design.

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Native Vs Hybrid Vs Web App: Which Should You Choose?

With each option having pros and cons, the argument over which development strategy to use continues. Many elements will influence your decision, including existing finances and time frames. Your future product’s functional complexity and security requirements will be high as well. Define the business objectives you wish to achieve and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each strategy.

The mobile app development business can produce a solution that maximizes your return on investment. Although there is no universal solution, we provide the best alternative for your company with quality assurance!

As we’ve tried to demonstrate, each of these sorts of apps has pros and cons. Let us now summarise the difference between Web, native and hybrid apps.

Parameters Native Apps Hybrid Apps Web Apps
Cost Native development costs more. The cost rises further if the software must be developed for various platforms. The cost is less than that of native apps developers, but it necessitates more expertise. Cost less than Native or Hybrid apps.
Performance A native software may access device capabilities, elements, and so on for immediate use, resulting in a faster reaction rate. The application primarily serves as a conduit for downloading data from the server. As a result, performance is slightly worse when compared to native apps. The speed is determined by internet connectivity and browser performance.
Distribution Channel App is hosted in the App store of the operating system. This enables the app to take use of highlighting features and ranking. App is hosted in the App store of the operating system. This enables the app to take use of highlighting features and ranking. Are not kept in the App Store and are only accessible over the web.
Device Feature Utilization Has access to all device APIs and can take advantage of all device functions Some device APIs support hybrid apps, but there are some functionalities that hybrid apps cannot access. Only a few device functions, such as location, are accessible.
User Interface Apps for the device are created to be more user pleasant and close to the operating system. Due to cross-platform operability, the app has some limitations, however, some apps can be configured to have a reasonably close to native appeal. Due to cross-platform operability, the app has some limitations, however, some apps can be configured to have a reasonably close to native appeal.
Code Maintenance A single line of code cannot be used to support all devices. The cost of code maintenance is also on the upper end of the spectrum. The codebase is portable across all main platforms. The usage of a single code structure also reduces maintenance. Any browser that supports code can be used. The cost of maintenance is also inexpensive because the same code base is used across multiple platforms.
Recommended Uses In the case of an application designed for a single platform App that necessitates a high level of efficiency and a native UI feel. Apps that must be accessed over a wide range of devices Apps that must be offered in the app store. Applications that have limited resources and funds Apps that don’t require to be featured in app stores.

Cost Factor for Native Vs Hybrid Vs Web App Development:

It’s crucial to think about the cost of each app development method. However, you should not rely on your decision only on cost. In terms of app development, a rich user experience is a key to success.

As a result, you should think about user experience before deciding on a development strategy. This will assist you in deciding which technique to take.

Conclusion

By now you should have a pretty clear understanding of Native apps vs Web apps vs Hybrid apps, as well as the difference between Web, native and hybrid apps.

A native app is probably the best option for businesses with a huge budget since it ensures high performance and a consistent user experience.

A web application is the most cost-effective option for a startup or small firm with a limited budget.

A hybrid app will fulfill your demands if your business is somewhere in the center, seeking visibility in the app store but not wanting to go through the hassle of building two different apps for iOS and Android.

Regardless of whatever you select Native vs Hybrid vs Web apps, your company should strive to provide the best possible customer experience. Otherwise, all of your effort and money spent developing the app will be useless if your users don’t enjoy using it.

Are you ready to create your own mobile app, whether it’s a web, hybrid, or native app? If so, then get in touch today to hire a mobile developer from The NineHertz.

FAQs on Creating Tutoring App

Which is better to have a hybrid or a native app? So it’s a question of whether you want to compromise functionality for accessibility across multiple devices. There are benefits and drawbacks to both hybrid and native apps. Depending on your project’s needs, functionality, and scope, you’ll need to choose the best decision on a case-by-case basis.

The simple answer is that a native app is created using the phone operating system’s code, while the other is basically a website. A native mobile app is one that is installed directly on the smartphone and, depending on the nature of the app, can run without internet access in most cases. A web app runs on a smartphone’s web browser and requires either a cell signal or wi-fi to function.

A hybrid app like Facebook is an example. You may access Facebook from your computer (web app) or from your phone (mobile app). Hybrid apps like Twitter and Evernote are also available.

Native apps provide a considerably superior user experience than web or hybrid apps. Because of the distinct UI principles and standards of each mobile operating system, the flow appears more natural to the user. A native app must be approved by its operating system in order to ensure quality, security, and device compatibility.

A native app installed on a phone enables users to view their data anytime they want, even while they are offline (if the program supports it), but a mobile web application requires access to the internet.

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