Do you have a great idea for an app? Aside from identifying its features and functions, one of the things you must decide on is the type of app you want it to be, that is, whether you want a Native, Web or Hybrid app. Among other things, the type of app you choose will determine the technology needed to build and run it.

Web, hybrid, and native apps

Mobile apps refer to apps that run only on mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones. They can run only on certain operating systems such as iOS, Windows, Blackberry, Linux, and Android. Some mobile apps are optimized for just one device such as the smartphone while others can run across devices. Examples are Duolingo, Memrise, Evernote, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Telegram. Here are the three types of apps:


Native apps

These apps are inherent or installed on the smartphone. They run even without Internet connection. They use the smartphone’s processor and run faster than non-native apps. They are built using languages such as Java for Android apps; objective -C and Swift for iOS; and C# for Windows. Examples are KeePassDroid on Android devices; Pokémon Go and Skype on Windows phones, and Safari on iOS smartphones and MacBook.

One of their advantages is that they use the device hardware such as the GPS, backlight, Wi-Fi, and processor to run. They feature superior user experience and user interface and are optimized and easy to use.

On the other hand, one of their disadvantages is that their content doesn’t show in search engines. They also run only on the platform for which they were created. For example, an Android native app won’t run on the iOS platform and vice versa.  This means you’ll need a different codebase for every platform if you want your app to run on multiple platforms.


Web apps

Web apps run on the cloud or remote server and through the use of browsers such as Firefox, MS Edge, and Safari. Examples are the web version of Memrise (a vocabulary trainer) and the Financial Times web app.

Their advantage is that they run across platforms or operating systems since they use a web browser. They are also inexpensive to develop, and they get automatic updates. On the other hand, their disadvantage is that their user interface and user experience are inferior compared to a native app.


Hybrid apps

Hybrid apps run both on the phone’s home screen and through the use of a web browser. Examples are Facebook and Twitter.

One of their advantages is that they run on multiple platforms such as Windows, iOS, and Android. They are inexpensive to develop and require minimal programming. In addition, they can be searched for in app marketplaces.

Their disadvantage, on the other hand, is that they lag behind the native app’s user experience. They also have a slower performance and have an unimpressive user interface compared to native apps.


Which one to choose – Native, Web, Hybrid app?

When you run a business and would like to engage an audience, you must choose apps that can help you engage them and that provide them with user-friendly interface and experience.  Before choosing an app, define your goal or what you want to achieve. Cost should not be your only reason for choosing apps. Choose quality over price, as your investment will pay off once you retain your users because of your apps’ engaging user interface and user experience.

Consider the following factors when choosing the type of app you want:

Build time

For example, if your technology partner says that It takes 18 weeks to create an app. Ten-week will be allotted for back-end development and eight weeks for front-end development. The longer the development time, the higher the cost.

Cost of hiring developers

You’ll need developers who have the necessary skills and expertise. Their geographic location also affects developer costs. If you need two apps for separate platforms, you’ll need developers who are skilled in those platforms.

Development-to-market cost

The more complex and functional an app is, the longer it is to build, and the more it will cost.


Each type of app has its own pros and cons. Each also has features that are unique from the others.

  • Choose a hybrid app if you want the benefits of both web and native apps and if you need multi-device sync and compatibility features. A hybrid app also allows you to benefit from push notifications, which enable you to send timed notifications to users. This leads to increased user engagement, higher user retention, and lower abandonment app rate.
  • Choose a native app if you want the benefits of push notifications; fast and responsive user interface/user experience; and multi-device sync and compatibility features. A native app is also the right type for you if you want an application that takes less storage space and if you want one that can access your mobile’s GPS, Bluetooth, camera, contact, and microphone. However, you should be ready to invest more in this type of app because it is costlier to develop than hybrid and web apps. It also takes more development time, especially if you will develop a separate app for each platform.
  • Choose a web app if you don’t want the app to be downloaded; if you want the benefits of automatic updates; if you need to monetize the app via advertisements and save on development costs; and if you don’t need the app to use your mobile’s camera, GPS, or contact.

Whether you want a native, web, or hybrid app, you can turn your brilliant idea into reality by working with the app development experts at ScioDev. We will help you determine the type of app for what you envision, and we have the experience and skillset needed for whatever platform and technology you choose for your app. Send us a message, will be happy to help you!

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