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          Mobile Apps - Native, Web or Hybrid


          Web apps are not real applications; they are actually websites that open in your smartphone with the help of a web browser. Mobile websites have the broadest audience of all the primary types of applications.

          • Example − Tutorial Point

          • Benefits −

            • Easy access.

            • Easy Development − Developing responsive design and restructuring the content to be properly displayed on a smaller screen/hardware will make any desktop website mobile friendly.

            • Easy update − Just update in one location and all the users automatically have access to the latest version of the site.

            • No installation required, as compared to native or hybrid app.

          • Downside −

            • Mobile websites cannot use some of the features. For example, access to the file system and local resources isn’t available in websites.

            • Many existing websites don’t support offline capabilities.

            • Users won’t have the app’s icon on their home screen as a constant reminder. The website needs to be opened in a web browser only.

            • While native and hybrid apps appear on the App Store and Google Play, web apps won’t. So redistribution is not that sensible.


          A native app is developed specifically for one platform. It can be installed through an application store (such as Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store).

          • Example − Whatsapp, Facebook.

          • Benefits −

            • Native Apps live on the device and are accessed through icons on the device home screen.

            • They can take full advantage of all the device features − they can use the camera, the GPS, the accelerometer, the compass, the list of contacts, and so on. They can also incorporate gestures (either standard operating-system gestures or new, and app-defined gestures).

            • Native apps can use the device’s notification system and can work offline.

            • Publishers can make use of push-notifications, alerting users every time a new piece of content is published or when their attention is required.

            • Native Apps maintain UI design of each operating system, thus they offer the best user experience. For example, a Native App can have a left-aligned header in Android and a center-aligned header in iOS.

            • Redistribution is easy, as it is found in app store.

          • Downside −

            • High cost for building the app : Native apps developed for one platform will not run on another platform. An App built for Android will not run on iOS. We need to build a different App altogether for iOS. Because of this reason, we need to maintain multiple versions of the App.

            • Even though you might publish native Apps, you’ll want to keep the mobile website well maintained, as mobile brings more traffic. So maintenance is higher.


          Hybrid Apps are a way to expose content from existing websites in App format. They can be well described as a mixture of Web App and Native App.

          • Example − Instagram, Wikipedia.

          • Benefits −

            • Developing a Hybrid App is cheaper than developing a Native App. It can be built for cross-platforms, i.e., reduced cost for App development.

            • Maintenance is simple, as there are not many versions to be maintained.

            • It can take advantage of a few features available in the device.

            • It can be found in the App Store, which makes the distribution easy.

            • It has a browser embedded within the app only.

          • Downside −

            • Graphics are less accustomed with the operating system as compared to Native Apps.

            • Hybrid Apps are slower than Native Apps.

          Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com

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