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What's the difference between Native vs. Web vs. Hybrid Apps?


Human language:

A mobile app (or mobile application) - is a software application developed specifically for use on small, wireless computing devices, such as smartphones and tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers.

In today's world, people increasingly use mobile devices that replace stationary computers. We see hundreds of new apps in the market every year, and the demand for mobile application development continues to increase. With more and more users, the range of mobile technology applications also increased. Let’s take a look at the types of mobile applications and what makes them so different.

There are three different types of mobile apps available:

  • Web apps

  • Hybrid apps

  • Native apps

Web Mobile app - in fact, is the website opened on the smartphone or tablet with the help of the mobile browser.

These apps can run on desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets with web browsers. But you don’t need to install them on the hardware. All that they need is a device with a browser and an Internet connection. Another characteristic of web-based apps is adaptability. Responsive versions can adapt to any screen size, be it a computer, laptop, or mobile device.

The most common technologies to build a Web Mobile application are:

C./ C++/ CSS/ HTML5/ Java (for code portability)/ JavaScript/ Perl/ PHP/ Python/ Ruby/ TypeScript.

A Web Mobile app differs from other types in the following aspects:

  • The Web Mobile app does not require an installation;

  • No storage space problems;

  • Easy to update and maintain;

  • Accessible via any mobile browser;

  • Easy to develop.

All these features are aspects of Web mobile applications, while the disadvantages include:

  • Need web internet connection;

  • Limited functionality in comparison with Hybrid and Native Apps;

  • Google Play and App Store don’t support the redistribution of Mobile Web Apps.


Hybrid Mobile app - is the application, which has been developed to use as regular mobile applications and separate websites at the same time, therefore, it combines the capabilities of a native app and a web app.

Unlike native apps, hybrid apps have cross-platform compatibility. They are not bound by a specific operating system. The most common technologies to build a Hybrid Mobile app are:

JavaScript/ React Native/ HTML5/ Appy Pie/ AppMakr/ CSS/ Flutter/ Ionic/ Objective-C/ Phone Gap, Apache Cordova/ Swift/ Wrap-Up/ Xamarin.

A Hybrid Mobile app differs from other types in the following aspects:

  • Cross-platform functionality;

  • Offline mode capabilities;

  • Easy distribution, more cost-effective in comparison to the Native App.

All these aspects are advantages of Hybrid Mobile applications, while the disadvantages include:

  • It works not so fast as Native App;

  • Limited access to hardware features;

  • Graphics are less accustomed to the operating system in comparison to Native Apps.


Native Mobile app - is the application, which has been developed specifically for one platform (Android, iOS, Ti zen, Windows 10, etc).

This means that this type of application work only on one specific mobile platform or operating system (OS). To build apps on specific operating systems, app developers use various programming languages. The most common are the following:

C++/ Java/ Kotlin/ Objective-C/ Python/ React Native/ Swift.

For example, native applications for Google’s Android operating system can only work on Android mobile devices. Similarly, a native app on the Apple iOS operating system can only work on iPhones and iPads.

A Native Mobile app differs from other types in the following aspects:

  • Better performance speed;

  • Native app works offline;

  • Smoother native device UI;

  • Push notifications can be used for users alert;

  • It can use all features of its device.

All these aspects are advantages of native mobile applications, while the disadvantages include:

  • Native app programming languages are not easy;

  • that the native mob apps are expensive to build in comparison to Mobile Web apps;

  • it requires high costs for maintenance.

Life example:

Let's take a look at the example of these types of mobile applications:

Example 1: Web Mobile app

One example of a Mobile Web application is the website Nike: https://www.nike.com/ We can open a web browser on any device, and launch this website on it, but we do not have a particular application like 'Nike' that builds for our device, which we can upload from the market and launch.


Example 2: A Hybrid Mobile app

One example of a Hybrid Mobile application is eBay. We can open a web browser on any device, and launch https://www.ebay.com/ on it, or open the mobile application eBay.


Example 3: A Native Mobile app One example of a native mobile application - is Maps, where the iOS operating system has Maps native mobile app built on the iOS operating system while Android used Google Maps native mobile app, which build on the Android operating system.

Conclusion:

So, if you are asked at an interview: What are cookies? What types of mobile applications do you know? The best way to answer is: There are three different types of mobile apps available:

  • Web apps

  • Hybrid apps

  • Native apps

Web Mobile app - in fact, is the website opened on the smartphone or tablet with the help of the mobile browser. Hybrid Mobile app - is the application, which has been developed to use as regular mobile applications and separate websites at the same time, therefore, it combines the capabilities of a native app and a web app. Native Mobile app - is the application, which has been developed specifically for one platform (Android, iOS, Ti zen, Windows 10, etc).

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