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Difference Between Native vs Hybrid vs Web Apps: What Sets Them Apart

Nov 22, 2022  |  Bakhtain Afzal

At the moment, mobile applications have a wide variety of choices available to them in terms of technology and modes of display. You have the option of selecting a solution that is both quick and low-cost. Or one that is feature-rich and intended to last for many years of usage, depending on the requirements of the company.

Since 2016, the number of mobile app downloads has grown steadily, and in 2019, it will exceed 200 billion. In the most recent year for which data is available, people downloaded 218 billion mobile apps. This is more than 50% more than they did in 2016 when they downloaded 140.7 billion apps. And, various mobile app development companies can now help you with an application for your business.

With so many new apps coming out each year, it's important to know the difference between native vs hybrid vs web apps.

Difference Between Native vs Hybrid vs Web Apps

Web applications are websites that are compatible with any device and do not need downloading from an app store to be used. Instead, you may access them using the browsers on your computer or mobile device, whichever you want.

Native applications are developed through mobile application development tools, specifically developed to be used on a single operating system. Therefore, they are quick and have greater performance than others. They are accessible by download from a variety of app stores, but browsers are unable to open them directly. Due to this, native applications have a far lower rate of code reuse than other app types.

Both web apps and native app components are combined to create hybrid applications. You may access applications of this sort on your phone either by downloading them to your phone or by using a browser on your phone.

Let's further take an in-depth analysis of the characteristics that create a difference between native vs hybrid vs web apps.

What Is a Web App?

A web application is a website that can be used on both a desktop computer and a mobile device. 

Given how common cell phones are, about 94% of people who visit a website judge it by how well it works on a phone. When compared to mobile apps, web apps are less expensive. They are also easier to build and take care of. Businesses that are on a tight budget tend to stick with web applications because they have a low development cost. Web apps are developed using a different method than mobile apps, and there is a big difference between testing web apps and testing mobile apps.

Frameworks Used for Web App Development

Ruby on Rails 

Ruby on Rails is one of the best frameworks for building web apps. It is faster than a standard Java framework and uses the Model-View-Controller architecture to make a web app with a database on the back end. 

Ruby on Rails is used by sites like Shopify, GitHub, and Airbnb.


Django is a popular framework known for its ability to make and support web apps that are fast, adaptable, flexible, and safe. The Model-View-Template architecture is what it is built on. Statista says that 14.99% of respondents around the world chose Django. 

Django is used by sites like Instagram, Quora, and Pinterest.


Google owns AngularJS, which is used to make large, efficient web apps that are also easy to maintain. 

AngularJS was used to make websites like PayPal and Netflix etc.

What Is a Mobile Application?

There are two kinds of mobile applications: 

Native Apps 

These are applications that have been developed to function properly on a certain operating system. 

As a result of this, there exist applications that are native to the Android, iOS, and Windows operating systems. It is not possible to utilize Android applications on iOS or Windows devices in this location, and the same goes for iOS apps. The instant messaging service WhatsApp and the music streaming service Spotify are two of the most popular applications that are exclusive to mobile devices.

Hybrid Apps 

Native app components and web app building blocks come together to form a hybrid app. These sorts of applications are popular among developers because they allow them to utilize the same code across a variety of platforms and operating systems with little or no modifications required to the script. 

Examples of Hybrid Applications are Instagram and Evermote.

Frameworks Used for Mobile App Development


Appium is a strong, open-source framework used to automate the testing of mobile apps. It is now a fast GUI-based desktop program that makes it easier to test web, native, and hybrid mobile apps.


Espresso is a powerful tool for automating the testing of mobile applications. It was made by Google and can be used to test both, the individual parts of an app and an app completely.

Hybrid vs Native vs Web Apps

Learning about hybrid vs native vs web applications will require you to research a bit. But, we tried to cover it all in one article. Here’s a detailed guide about the difference between native vs hybrid vs web apps. 

Hybrid Application


Hybrid apps are developed through mobile app development software so that they can run on more than one platform or operating system. Hybrid apps are made with a mix of HTML5 and other languages, such as Java.


Even though hybrid apps are slower than their native counterparts, how they work depends on how the user interacts with them.

Time and cost 

It costs less to make a hybrid app than a native one. Maintenance is much easier because multiple versions of the same application can be made from the same codebase.


Both native and hybrid apps go through testing for things like screen, network, compatibility, gestures, etc.

Native Apps 


Native apps are made to run on a specific operating system. Java, Swift, and Objective-C are used to make native apps.


Due to native apps’ high performance, users generally have a great experience with these. Due to this reason, native apps are fast and have UIs that are easy to use.

Cost and Time 

 A native mobile app development project is more expensive, especially if the same app needs to work on more than one operating system. Native mobile app development also takes a lot of time.

Web Apps 


Web apps are responsive websites that are dependent on browsers, not operating systems. HTML5 is usually used to build these kinds of apps.


Web apps are quick to respond to, but they are not as easy to use and are much slower than native apps.

Cost and Time 

Web apps are the cheapest to develop and take the least amount of time. Due to this, companies with a small budget and a short time frame choose responsive web applications.


Web app testing involves UI testing, checking battery usage, detecting connectivity issues, and tracking bottlenecks caused by advertisements.

Which Is Better, Native or Hybrid Mobile Development?

The development of hybrid apps is typically simpler and quicker than that of native app development, which is one of the advantages of hybrid app development. They also need less upkeep than other options. 

Nevertheless, the speed of your hybrid app will entirely be determined by the speed of the browser that the user is utilizing. In the end, this indicates that hybrid apps will rarely have the same level of performance as native apps.

What’s the Difference Between a Native App and an HTML5 App?

An HTML5 application runs on a web server, often in a web browser. The primary distinction between HTML5 applications and Native Apps is that HTML5 applications are web-based. A native application can be bought or downloaded from app stores that are specific to the operating system that a device uses, such as Android or iOS.

The goal of HTML5 was to handle the wide diversity of feature combinations that were offered by different browsers using different standards. In addition to that, it intended to fix the many syntax problems that were present in pre-existing online publications. Furthermore, it works toward the goal of defining a single markup language that can be authored using either the HTML or XHTML syntax. It is also compatible with earlier versions of HTML, known as backward compatibility.

Native apps, on the other hand, are application programs that have been designed specifically for usage on a certain platform or device, such as Android or iOS. These applications are not compatible with other platforms or devices. Native apps have the benefit that they can communicate with and make use of the capabilities of the operating system as well as the software that is native to that specific platform.

What Is the Best Type of App for Your Business?

You can take your app in many different directions, each of which has its pros and cons. You will always have a limited amount of time or money that will force you to make a choice.

Before you start developing an app, it's important to take your time, think and lay down a solid strategy.

Apps cost enough that you might only get one chance to get it right. Read as much as you can about the different kinds of apps and how they are made.

If you can, talk to people who have built each of these kinds of apps. They will be able to tell you what you should do.

The commercial success of smartphones and tablets, on the other hand, shows no signs of slowing down, so you can expect billions of people around the world to get their first smartphone in the next few years. Still, there are more ways than ever to get your app into the app store and the hands of millions or even billions of people. If you want to get an app for your business, there's a list of top mobile app development firms that can help.

Can HTML5 Be Used for Mobile Apps?

The creation of mobile applications using HTML5 allows for "write once, run everywhere" functionality. They are a collection of websites that have been optimized for mobile devices and provide sophisticated capabilities for streaming video and audio data, managing graphics and animation, and giving support for use even when the device is not connected to the internet.


We hope that at this point in the blog, you have gained an understanding of the difference between native vs hybrid vs web apps. Plus, while there are numerous benefits of mobile applications, this is high time your business should opt for this option too. 

Now that finding the best one out of a list of the best mobile app development companies is a time-consuming process. But, Distinguished can help with that. A B2B service providing a platform where you can avail of top mobile app development services from a list of top mobile app development experts. Avail mobile app development services that help you connect better with your customer and grow your business today.

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