Native vs Hybrid vs Web App: Which Should You Choose

Posted By : Satish Thakur | 24-Nov-2018


In order to make the right choice, it’s important to understand the differences of each application option and so you can head in the right direction. Let’s take a look.



Quick Summary:

As we move into a mobile world, many companies considering mobile apps are facing a common challenge i.e. which should we choose? Should we build a native app, web app, or hybrid app?

The answer depends on your company’s priorities and many factors such as:

  • Speed of app.
  • You can develop any part by your own or in-house.
  • What you want to accomplish with the app
  • Budget for app development
  • Features you need



Native Apps:

Native apps live on the device and can accessed through icons on the device home screen.

Native apps are installed through an application stores such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store).

Native apps are build for specific devices, in a platform specific programming language. For instance, Objective C or Swift is used for iOS Phones, Java or Kotlin is used for Android Phones and C# is used for Window Phone.

Native apps offers the best user experience and fit perfectly the mobile environment, adapting 100% to the hardware components of the phone as the camera, GPS, contacts, messages, calls, gestures, mic, etc… They are also able to use the notification system of the device.

The most prominent feature of the native app is that they are not dependent upon any other external connection to perform and doesn’t requires network connectivity for their functioning. They utilities inbuilt device properties to perform the required task e.g. camera app, certain games, music, etc.


Web Apps:

Web apps or mobile web apps are applications that behave similar to the native applications but are not really an applications, they are web pages that have an adaptive design and development which helps us to see the same content both on a computer and on a phone without having to raise the project price a lot. They run on a browser (such as Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge,etc.) and are mostly written using HTML5, JavaScript or CSS.

Web apps can accessed in a similar way as a website and all the app data are stored in the servers. Users can access application by just using his browser and internet connectivity.


Hybrid Apps:

Hybrid apps combines the elements of both native and web apps and it consists of two parts:

  1. Back-end code can be done using web app-friendly languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript.
  2. A native, downloadable “shell” that loads the code up using Webview(a browser).

So, we can say that, a hybrid app is really a web app loaded inside of a native app.

Hybrid apps can be distributed through the app stores just like a native app, and they can incorporate OS features. Hybrid apps can also use cross-compatible web technologies like web apps..

The user experience is better than a Web App and it offers lower cost compared to a Native App, but it is still not 100% integrated, designed and developed as a native.

Advantage and Disadvantage

Before going to choose anyone have a quick look on their features: 


Application Type



Native App

  1. Very fast and responsive
  2. UX/UI Match with the platform
  3. Ability to use Push Notification
  4. Highly Interactive
  5. App Store Visibility
  6. No primary requirement for internet connection
  7. Direct access to device hardware
  1. Can be expensive
  2. Long development time
  3. Need for different Codebases for each platform
  4. High maintenance cost

Web App

  1. Easy development
  2. Wallet-Friendliness
  3. Usable on all platforms
  4. Share ability and reach of a classic websites
  1. Respond later than others
  2. Less Interaction Ability
  3. No icons on the screen
  4. Ad-blocking can be damaging

Hybrid App

  1. Work on both iOS and Android devices
  2. One codebase needed
  3. Fastest to develop or update
  4. Cost - effective to build
  5. Interactive components
  1. Low performance
  2. Poor UX/UI



Key differences between Native, Hybrid and Web apps

When should you use each kind of app?

  • Native apps: should always be your primary choice if you want to improve your mobile experience and results.
  • Web apps: some users will inevitably go to your URL from their mobile devices, a web app is a good auxiliary channel to have in addition to a native app.
  • Hybrid apps: useful when you try to test out your new ideas, so it’s more suitable for other businesses like Games and Artificial Intelligence than e-Commerce.


Final Thought

Finally, it is all about budget, development time and the features provided by each option. To find the one that suits your needs then just choose the one that have more advantages and remove the others that have too many disadvantages. So, what is your decision?



For better understanding, you can also refer the links:

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About Author

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Satish Thakur

Satish is working as a Mobile Application Developer. He is eager to learn about technologies and never neglect the opportunity. He believes in "Don't only dream, Work for it".

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