Native, Hybrid or web apps? What kind of app do I need?

The demand for creating an app for mobile phones and tablet computers is growing. Have you ever thought about making an app? There are many different ways to do this. Not everyone knows that there is a big technical difference between developing different types of apps (a native app, a web app or a hybrid app). This drastically affects the price of having an app made.

There are many forms of technology for developing mobile apps, but the three main groups are a native app, a web app and a hybrid app. Below is a brief description of these three, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a Web app?

This is essentially a mobile version of a website. This website is specially designed for the screen size of a mobile phone or tablet (responsive). It uses HTML, CSS and Javascript.

What is a Native app?

Roughly, a platform-specific version of an application for a smartphone. These applications are distributed through a central store, such as the Apple Store or the Android Store. A native app can use different sensors and services on the phone.

What is a hybrid app?

The hybrid app is the best of both worlds. The base is built like a native app, and some of the content is filled in by a website (and your CMS). This gives you the freedom and flexibility of a web app and the power and convenience of a store.

The advantages are the combined power of a native and web app, flexibility and minimal extensions without a real release to the store. The disadvantages? Hybrid can be a reason to reject in-store placement. And maintaining two environments can cost more in the long run.