Types of Mobile Apps Native, Web and Hybrid Apps

Types of Mobile Apps: Native, Web and Hybrid Apps

We are living in a digital age where there is a mobile app for everything. From entertainment to productivity and essentials, we can achieve everything on our mobile phones through mobile apps.

As per a statistic by Statistica, the number of apps that were available for download on Google Play Store was around 2.46 million by the first half of 2019. The number on the Apple App Store reached up to 1.96 million.

What’s common in all these apps is that they belong to only 3 types, when looked from a developer’s perspective – Native Apps, Hybrid Apps, and Web Apps. If you are looking to develop your first breakthrough app, read this article to have a better understanding of what these 3 type means –

Native Apps

Native apps are ‘native’ of one of the operating systems. It can either be Android or iOS, Windows, Blackberry, Symbian. You can choose only one operating system for which you would build your app. Once developed, your app will run on only that OS and not on any of the else. Putting it in simple words, you won’t be able to use your iOS app on an Android phone and vice-versa.

So, if you want to run a native app across different OS, you have to create individual apps for specific OS. You would also require separate support and maintenance to run your apps efficiently. All these efforts also require a greater amount of money to gather all the resources.

You must be wondering why anybody would take so much pain of creating a native app and then build its duplicates. There are a lot of advantages for app developers in building a native app. Native apps provide a much more satisfying user experience. Native apps are fast and high performing as you can only use native UI to develop the app. Developing a native app also gives access to an extensive range of APIs so that you don’t have any limitations on app usage.

Web Apps

Web Apps are a kind of pseudo-application that looks and like a native application. We are calling web apps pseudo-application as they run by a browser and are usually written in HTML5 or JavaScript. 

However, they are different from the native application as they only target browsers and can run across different OS. Moreover, they can also work on a PC web browser. Another pro of web apps is that they require the least of the device memory.

But web apps come with their set of cons as well. To effectively run a web app, you have to have a good internet connection. Moreover, developers have access to only limited APIs. Geolocation is one of the significant API, without which app developers have to suffice while developing a web app.

Some of the best examples of Web Apps are Flipkart, Twitter Lite, Pinterest and OLX.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid Apps, in a way, are hybrid of both the native and web mobile apps. 

Like a web app, hybrid apps can run across different OS and written in languages like HTML5, JavaScript and CSS. To make this happen, hybrid apps are integrated with a browser of its own.

Like a native app, the hybrid app can also have access to an extensive range of APIs and device features.

The most attractive thing about hybrid apps is that they are easy to develop. This makes it a favorite among new developers. The app can be built on a single code base which makes its maintenance low cost. 

However, in blending native and web apps, hybrid apps have to compromise on the performance and they are not as fast as compared to the native apps.

The best examples of hybrid apps include Gmail, Uber, and Instagram.

These are the three types of mobile apps as far as a developer is concerned. However, if you look at it from a user’s perspective, there are different categories of mobile apps that a user can use. The categories include gaming apps, business apps, educational apps, lifestyle apps, entertainment apps, and utility apps. Every app that is available across platforms can be roughly categorized into these six categories.

However, if you want to build a native app for any business, Natifi is the development tool for you. Natifi makes the native app development easier and even a non-techie with no prior experience can build an app efficiently.