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Native Apps, Hybrid Apps, and Web Apps – A Comparison

Native applications, web applications and hybrid apps are the three different applications that are ruling the software application development industry. Each has its own pros and cons and are defining the future of the industry. It is essential for anyone who wants to develop an application to know exclusively about all the three. By knowing about it, one can easily choose which of these will suit their requirements.

Native Application:

A Native application is developed for a particular platform or device (such as Apple, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry). They can take the full advantage of all the features available on mobile devices such as GPS, camera, address book, etc. A native app can be installed directly on a mobile device or it can be installed from a public or private app store.

iPhone and Android app are the most used platforms. iPhone apps are written in Objective-C or Swift while Android apps are written in Java.

Pros of Native Apps

* Aspect Ratios – One size fits most of the Aspect rations. Apps may behave differently depending on the device you are using. If you are on phone or tablet then it will be portrait or landscape respectively.

* IDE – Android provides Android studio and iOS provides XCode. These tools provide everything from design to testing. With these tools, we can track the performance of the app, analyse and trace, etc.

* Usability – Native app makes more efficient on that platform, we can expect specific functionality as well as design patterns like zoom and multi-touch. Also, back button location varies according to the devices.

Cons of Native Apps

  • Native apps are costlier to develop and maintain compared to a hybrid app, separate developers are required to create both Android and iOS apps individually.
  • A codebase has to be managed for every platform launched.
  • Approval in the app stores takes too long and is not guaranteed too.

Hybrid Application:

A hybrid app has the elements of both web and native applications. A hybrid app is a mobile app that uses the web view to run the web application within the native app. The hybrid apps are distributed through the app stores just like a native app.

A hybrid app is built using the HTML 5 and Javascript, it is easier and faster to develop than a native app and also require less maintenance. Hybrid apps completely depend on the speed of the user’s browser.

There are seven popular cross-platform app development tools are available, they are, Xamarin, NativeScript, Appcelerator, Kony, Sencha Touch, PhoneGap, React Native.

Hybrid App development frameworks

Pros of Hybrid Application

* Scaling –  Hybrid apps are quite easy to scale and develop compared to native and web apps.  Hybrid apps are cross-platform and developers can reuse the code for multiple platforms.

* Availability – Hybrid apps are available for different platforms. (eg. Play Store for Android, App Store for iOS, etc.)

* Offline Support – Saved date offline, reducing the app response time by access the data in offline mode and in low network bandwidth.

* Cost-effective – Single code base across multiple platforms. This reduces the development time and cost and there is no need to develop individually for different platforms.

* Uniformity – Single code base across multiple platforms helps in maintaining the branding and user experience(UX). With a single update, we can fix the app for different platforms.

Cons of Hybrid Applications

  • Hybrid apps are lower performance than the native app.
  • Takes a lot of time and work to make app works faster and efficiently on different platforms.

Web Application

  Web apps are not an application, they are websites written in web code so it feels like an app on mobile devices. With web apps, we can’t access native APIs and distribute through app stores.

A web app is one of the best for a product that requires minimal native gestures and also doesn’t require feature from the mobile device like push notification. A web app is the most inexpensive option. Progressive web apps is another updated technology in which the app acts similar to a native app but can be accessed through the web browser on your mobile. 

Web apps have become really popular when HTML5 came around and people realised that they can obtain native-like functionality in the browser. Today, as more sites use HTML5, the distinction between web apps and regular web pages has become blurry.

Pros of Web Apps

  • A single operating system used when developing web apps. Their development is cost-effective.
  • Ease of Access. The user can access them anywhere and anytime they need.
  • Web apps are more secure as compared to the simple websites.
  • The user can easily customise the web apps.

Cons of Web Apps

  • Size is too large.
  • Low performance compared to the native apps.

Thus we have seen the Pros and Cons of all types of apps. Choosing a method to create an application depends upon the need of the particular application, time and monetary constraints. By knowing the pros and cons of all these methods helps you to choose the method to best suit you.

Android Team
Mallow Technologies.



  1. selvagnapathi

    ionic framework also available for develop hybrid app.Built on top of Angular.js and Apache Cordova.opensource also.

    the lovely one is,Titanium has mixed development environments provided by Xamarin and PhoneGap. All apps are written in JavaScript but you must use a cutom XML and Appcelerator’s API to supports some native features. This framework is cross-platform with full support for Android and iOS, but it is not included with CSS and HTML

  2. Dai software

    Thank you for sharing such a nice and informative Blog.
    multi vendor ecommerce website

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