When we talk about apps, we generally speak of application programs for mobile devices. These offer the user a certain added value and thus support him in a wide variety of areas. There are apps that makes it easier to complete certain tasks. This shows that users mostly differentiate according to the app function and category. The variety of areas is extremely high, which means that almost all user needs are met. The spectrum of apps ranges from games to entertainment and communication applications.
With programmers and developers from mobile app development company, the apps are differentiated even more than just with regard to function and category. Rather, the focus here is on the various types of apps and their properties. Here, we make distinctions between web apps, hybrids and native apps.
Web apps are pure online apps, i.e. websites that are recognized by a wide variety of end devices. These apps are also known as HTML5 apps, which mainly run in the browser and are platform-independent. This is made possible by the progress made in smartphones, as each of these devices now has an Internet browser. It is important to know that the corresponding content of the app must come from a web server. In addition, web apps can be used independently of the operating system and are both faster and cheaper to implement than other types of apps. However, the problem arises here that smartphone functions, such as the camera or in-app purchases, cannot yet be used. In addition, the web apps can hardly be used in offline mode, because the capacities for offline use are only very limited here. If you still want to create an appealing design with a native look and feel for a web app, this can only be achieved with a very high level of effort.
In addition to the term web apps, mobile websites can also be mentioned. Basically, these are to be equated with the web apps when you consider their functions. But there is still a small difference. While web apps are loaded as app containers using a mobile browser, mobile websites are accessed via the respective browser app on the end device.
Advantages of web apps
• Long range as it is independent of the operating system.
• A lot of developers, providers.
• Visibility in Google Search.
Still, there are some drawbacks to using hybrid apps. Since they are based on web apps, the hybrid apps are not as close to the operating system of the respective end device as the native apps. As a result, both the look and feel and the interaction design of the individual platforms can only be considered to a limited extent. In addition, there is the option of longer loading times when using a hybrid app, since the web browser is always used as an “intermediate layer”.
Advantages of hybrid apps
• Large parts of the source code are the same for all platforms.
• Lower development costs for multiple platforms.
• Access to system functions.
• Visibility in app stores.
Native apps are specially developed by app development companies for a platform and are therefore also adapted to it, which means that they can only be used on the corresponding target platform. Since each platform has its own specific programming language, the programming and development effort for the native apps is quite high. As a result, a native app has to be developed individually for each end device. However, the native apps are the most convenient for the user and offer the greatest advantage compared to other apps. This means that platform-specific hardware and software (GPS, microphone, camera, files) can be accessed and these apps work without an internet connection.
Advantages of native apps
• All system functions can be used.
• Optimized for a specific operating system.
• Usual look and feel.
• Visibility in app stores.
• Web apps are pure online apps.
• Web apps can be implemented quickly and inexpensively.
• Hybrid apps are suitable for simple applications that hardly differ on different platforms.
• Best performance and hardware compatibility with native apps.
Choosing the right technology for a mobile app
The form of the app you ultimately choose should not primarily depend on which technology you want to use. Rather, it is important to decide what benefits the app should bring and for which project it should be developed. In addition, both the budget and the purpose of the app must be determined. Which technology is then available will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
If you are not sure which type of app you want, there are a few criteria that can be used to make the choice of a particular form easier:
• Performance: The native apps are clearly ahead here. Due to their specialization on one platform, they only have a small load on hardware resources, so that the app speed does not suffer. Since speed is one of the most important criteria when it comes to app rating.
• Usable offline: Both the native and the hybrid apps can be used independently of the internet connection.
• Access to native functions: This criterion is the most important argument in favor of a native app. Because with these apps, the specific functions of the operating system can be accessed (push messages, GPS, camera, etc.).
Anyone who would like to have an app developed at a comparably cheap and fast rate that is suitable for multiple platforms can definitely opt for a hybrid app. Web apps, on the other hand, are used when access to native functions is in the background and you want to focus more on being able to act platform-independently with the app.
However, native apps clearly stand out in terms of performance, usability and hardware compatibility. They are suitable for many different app categories, including social networks, entertainment or navigation applications. If you are interested in a high-quality app in which all hardware functions of the device can be used, which has a high range of functions and offers clear added value, then the choice is more likely to be a native app. App developers can assist you with the development of excellent mobile app.