Key differences among mobile apps – web, hybrid and native
Until you don’t know the basic differences among web, hybrid and native mobile application development, going with particular one could be wrong move. For any mobile application development project, we have three approaches – web, hybrid and native. Depending on the requirement, all approaches are in trend.
Let us begin with a web based mobile application development. A web based application opens into browser. Users can use any browser in their smartphone or tablet. The big feature of a web app is that end-users need not to download anything on their devices. All they need are a web browser and access to the Internet.
Web apps should not be confused with mobile websites. A mobile website is quite different. It is not a program and not intended for any type of computing purpose. It is only a digital presentation of information. In simple words it is digital catalog customized to show up on mobile devices. But when it is created for a computing purpose, such as for buying or selling products, it becomes mobile based web app.
Then we have hybrid mobile application development technology. Hybrid as its name itself suggests, is the blend of two technologies – web and native. Hybrid app is generally a web app but wrapped in native container. A native container is a tiny app that can be created using native programming technology and submitted on app stores. For different app store, developers need to created different native containers. The native containers use the browser engine of a device to access internet and show up the web app. Depending on type of app, a hybrid app may or may not have offline functionalities.
Now we come to native application. In order to run native mobile software, users need to download it on their smart phone or tablet. The entire software is saved on the device itself. It makes the functioning easy and simple. There are many other differences between native and web applications. Here they are-
Users can purchase any type of native app on stores like App Store (iOS), Google Play (Android), Windows Phone Store (Windows), etc. Same is the case with a hybrid app as its half part is still a native app. Web apps are often not created around the purchase concept, but in case it is a paid app, the purchase is made via subscription, or some type of pay store on the app itself. Developers need to make so many efforts when it comes to sell/market web based mobile software while they need not to take care of the same portion if it is a native app.
A native app cannot run on all platforms. Mobile developers either need to create different codes or port one to all. Same is the case with hybrid app. Developers need to create different native containers for different platforms. But, a web app is compatible to run on all mobile devices.
Each update to native app matters to end-users because they need to download complete/ or a part of application once again. It costs data and money. It sometimes bothers users. But a web app does not require any update at end-user devices because in case of a web app, there is actually no app at user-end. It is in the cloud.
User Interface and Internet
Native apps deliver much richer user experience. They can use all the features of a device. Hybrid apps too can mimic most of features of native apps. On the other hand, web apps can use limited resources. Many native apps do not use the Internet to perform an operation while apps cannot even load without the Internet access. Slow network can affect their functioning.
Functionality and Features
Native mobile software can use all the features of device while hybrid apps can also use many of them. On the flipt side, web based software cannot use camera, accelerometer, GPS, calling and texting. It cannot also send message and access photo, video, contacts, calendar and email.
These differences are brought you by experts in mobile application development.