Web vs Native vs Hybrid: Which is best for your App?


Ovwighose Marykate By Ovwighose Marykate


March 27, 2019


Building the best app is every business owner’s top priority. But when asked what type of app will give you the best app for your business and trying to figure out if web or hybrid or native apps are you building for your business can get overwhelming and especially when you don’t know what they are and why they are important.

That’s why we have written this article. In this article, we will take you through the three kinds of apps and how you can decide the best kind of app for your business.

Before we look at what is native apps and why native apps, you must note is that there is no best type app for all business, so deciding on which kind of app to build for your business is muchly dependent on your overall goals or business objective. So although it will be more effective to build a web app for another business, it might be less effective to use a web app for your business.

Now Let’s look at what web, native and hybrid app and which is good for your business.

Native Apps

Most apps on our smartphones are native applications, and they are built for a specific device platform Android, iOS or Windows and written with on a specific programming language.

If you are specific on the platform you want to build your app for, then developing a native app might be a good choice to consider.

Android is built with Java or kotlin while iOS is built with swift or Objective-C, and C# is used to write for windows.

Examples of Native apps are Google Maps, LinkedIn, Twitter, Telegram, PokemonGo.

pokemon go app

Advantages of Native apps

  1. Native apps are Fast and responsive
  2. Internet connection not needed, although depending on the functionality
  3. Better user experience
  4. Interact with device’s functionality
  5. Native apps can send Push Notification

Disadvantages of Native apps

  1. More expensive and time-consuming to build
  2. Different codes for different platforms
  3. Not the best option for simple apps

Building cross-platform native apps

Building native apps means building multiple apps for multiple platforms, changed in the last few years. Several alternatives was released to help build for different platforms without building two different apps.
Two of such platforms that allow cross-platform development are Xamarin and React Native.
Xamarin made by Microsoft, allows you to build one app that works on multiple platforms in C#, while React native created by Facebook, which allow you build apps for iOS and Android on one platform using JavaScript and react. Examples of apps built with react native are Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, Uber eat, Wix, Skype.

Web apps

Web apps are apps that are accessed by a web browser over a network called the internet. They are majorly written in Html5, CSS and JavaScript, but unlike hybrid apps, web apps cannot be downloaded from app store, but run on browsers like chrome, safari, opera mini, etc
Although it looks like a website, web apps are different from websites in terms of added functionality and increase interactivity.
If your business is on a budget and doesn’t require complex functionalities or access to operating system features, then building a web app can be the least expensive option.

Advantages of Web Apps

  1. Cheaper and quicker to build
  2. Easy to maintain
  3. Build one app for cross platforms

Disadvantages of Web Apps

  1. Need a browser to run
  2. Slower than Hybrid and Native apps
  3. Does not have access to devices functionality
  4. Less interactive than native apps
  5. No icon on the user’s device

Progressive web apps

A significant disadvantage of web apps is the lack of access to device functionality like sending push notifications. But in recent years, they have been few improvements to web apps, making the apps to have access to device’s functionality; these are called Progressive Web Apps. PWA is good for Android but not so good for iOS as the support is limited. Examples of PWA are Aliexpress, Twitter lite, Forbes, Olx and Pinterest.

forbes - example of PWA

Hybrid apps

A hybrid app is a combination of native and web apps features. Hybrid apps combine the benefit of native and web apps. They are built with Html, CSS and Javascript which enable them to work on multiple platforms, and are wrapped with native features enabling it to be downloaded on play store.
They are essentially not time-consuming and costly as native apps. Business owners can use it to test an app idea in the market. And also use for quick release for your app. Examples of hybrid apps are Gmail, Pacifica, Evernote etc.

Advantages of Hybrid apps

  1. Cheaper and quicker to build than native apps
  2. Have access to the device’s features like camera, location, audio etc
  3. Require less maintenance

Disadvantages of Hybrid apps

  1. More expensive to build than web apps
  2. Slower than native apps
  3. Less interactive than native apps
  4. Requires internet to function

Summing up

The best for your business depends on your business goals and what you aim to achieve with your app. If you want to build an app that provides information to people once in a while and you have limited time and budget, then you can consider starting with a hybrid or a web app.
If you are not still sure of the types of app you need for your business, you can speak with any of our mobile experts to help guide you through the development process.


Ovwighose Marykate By Ovwighose Marykate

Content marketer at Sprinthub Mobile.

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