Differences Between Web Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Apps

Hybrid App vs Native Apps vs Web App


In today’s digital world, businesses are considering various options when developing mobile applications. Web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps are the three most common types of applications available. It is most important to choose the best type of app for your business to meet your common goals and provide your target audience with the best user experience. 
Which way to go – Hybrid App vs Native Apps vs Web App? If you are confused and searching for all these answers, then this article is for you. This article covers the differences between web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps and which type of app is best suitable for different business requirements in detail.

Now let’s get started :

Web Apps

Web apps are application programs that are designed as browser apps or software apps that run on web browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari which are commonly used web apps. They are stored in the remote server and are delivered all over the internet through a browser interface. These apps are developed mostly using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript and can be assessed through Desktop or the mobile browser.

Benefits and drawbacks of Web apps

Benefits web apps include:

  • Web apps are available on any compatible devices with a web browser and internet connection, making them easily available where multiple users can get access to the same version of an application.
  • No downloads are required as Web apps do not need to be downloaded or installed, making them available for users.
  • They are cost-effective since Web apps are generally less costly to develop and maintain compared to native apps.
  • They are very easy to update. Web apps can be easily updated in real-time without involving users in downloading a new version.

Drawbacks of web apps include:

  • Performance: Web apps are much slower than other native desktop apps as they are directly connected to a web browser and can function slowly. 
  • Poor Internet connection: Web apps require an internet connection to function properly, which can be an issue in some areas with poor internet connectivity.
  • Low performance: Web apps may have low or slow performance compared to native apps, especially when they process large amounts of data.
  • Security hazard: Web apps can be unsafe to security hazards, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks.

Best use cases for web apps

Some examples of use cases for web apps include:

E-commerce web application: E-commerce websites are popular nowadays. Web apps can be used for online shopping websites, which allow users to browse the category and purchase different types of products through their web browsers.

Social media: Many social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, have web apps allowing users to access their accounts and post feedback updates from their respective web browsers. This use case is widely used nowadays.

Content management system: It is one of the easiest types of web applications to learn in detail since it doesn’t need any technical knowledge. They are used for managing website content, such as creating, and editing blog posts, uploading images with videos, and managing user comments.

News and media web apps: Web apps can be used for news and media websites to bear up-to-date information to users through their web browsers.

Education web apps: Web apps can be used for online learning platforms, such as educational websites and virtual classrooms. These are a type of E-learning platform that helps students secure digital role learning digitally.

Native Apps

Native apps are software applications developed for mobile operating systems, which run only on specific mobiles, such as iOS or Android, using the programming languages and development tools promoted by those platforms. Native mobile app are installed on the user’s device and can be accessed through an app icon on the home screen, and most apps do not require internet connections. Some popular examples of native apps are WhatsApp and Spotify.

Benefits and drawbacks of native apps

Benefits of native apps include:

  • It has great performance on the basis of speed and working features.
  • It has the ability to access some device features, such as a camera and microphone.
  • It has a connection to app stores for easy discovery and circulation
  • it consists of a Higher level of security and privacy which is mostly secure.

Drawbacks of native apps include:

  • Higher development costs and longer development time
  • native apps need separate versions for different operating systems
  • The approval process for app stores can be demanding and time-consuming

Best use cases for native apps

Some examples of use cases for native mobile app include:

  • Gaming apps that require high performance and graphic prospects are best developed as native apps.
  • Apps like cameras, microphones or GPS that require access to devise hardware are best developed as native apps.
  • E-commerce apps that require secure transactions, push notifications, and access to user data are best developed as native apps.
  • Social media apps that require real-time updates, user engagement, and collection are best developed as native apps.
  • Streaming media apps such as Netflix and Spotify are best developed as native apps for better user experience and performance.

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are a combination of both (web apps and native apps) which work on multiple platforms. Hybrid app development is developed using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript and then protected in a native container, which allows them to get downloaded and installed like native apps. Similar to native apps, they live in an app store and Like web apps, they await HTML being accomplished in a browser.

Benefits and Drawbacks of hybrid apps

Benefits of hybrid apps include:

  • Faster increased time and low cost compared to native apps
  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • Access to device features such as camera and GPS
  • Ability to work offline
  • Easy to update and maintain

Drawbacks of hybrid apps include:

  • Less enhanced performance as compared to native apps
  • finite access to device features compared to native apps
  • Highly affected by some feature updates and changes

Best use cases for hybrid apps

Some examples of use cases for hybrid mobile app include:

  • Similar to the Apps with content-based features such as news-based apps, e-commerce apps, and social media apps.
  • Apps that work offline but need to be frequently updated with new content
  • Apps that require cross-platform unity and a faster development time

Comparison of Web Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Apps

When selecting between web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps, it’s important to compare their features and prospects. Some key factors include the following:


  • Native apps contribute to better performance than web and hybrid apps, as they are built correctly for a particular platform.
  • Hybrid apps can have a similar kind of performance to native apps if they are designed and developed well, but they may have some limitations due to the use of web technologies.

User experience

  • Native apps provide the best user experience (UX), as they are designed specifically for a particular platform and can gain full advantage of its features and agreement.
  • Hybrid apps can provide a good user experience, but they may not be able to take full advantage of particular-specific features and may have limitations in terms of interest and speed.
  • Web apps may have limited performance and approval compared to native and hybrid apps, but they can be accessed from any device with a web browser.

Development cost and time

  • Web apps are generally the low-priced and quickest to develop, as they use web technologies that are universally available and can be developed on any platform.
  • Native apps are generally the most expensive and time-consuming to develop, as they require definite skills and abilities for each platform they are developed for.
  • Hybrid apps can be less expensive and quicker to develop than native apps, as they use a single codebase that can be expanded to multiple platforms.


  • Web apps are handy from any device with a web browser, making them the handiest option.
  • Native apps are only reachable on the platforms they are developed for, limiting their accessibility.
  • Hybrid apps are accessible on multiple platforms but may have limitations in terms of functionality and acceptance.

Platform support

  • Native apps are developed especially for a particular platform, so they can take full advantage of its features and prospects.
  • Hybrid apps are developed for multiple platforms using a single codebase but may have limitations in terms of specific features and capabilities.
  • Web apps can be penetrated from any device with a web browser but may have limitations in terms of functionality and acceptance.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Web Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Apps

 Factors to consider when choosing between web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps include:

Business goals and requirements

  • Identify the specific goals and demands for your app, such as increasing revenue or improving customer commitment.
  • Determine how the app will support your overall business strategy.

Target audience

  • Identify the statistics and behaviours of your target audience, such as their favoured devices and operating systems.
  • Consider the different needs and choices of your target audience when choosing the type of app.

App functionality

The functionality of the app is another crucial factor to consider. If the app is necessary to access device hardware like a camera or GPS, a native app may be the best choice as it can access the full functionality of the device after all if the app does not require access to hardware and needs only basic functionality, then a web app may be a more worthwhile solution.

Budget and resources

Budget and resources are applications when choosing the type of app to build. Native apps are commonly the most expensive to develop as they require more functional knowledge and tools. Web apps, on the other hand, are less expensive to develop as they use standard web technologies. Hybrid apps somewhere require both web and native development knowledge.


The timeline for developing the app is another crucial factor to consider. As mentioned earlier, Web apps are commonly the quickest to develop as they use standard web technologies that are familiar to most developers. On the other hand, Native apps can take longer to develop as they require specialised knowledge and tools. Hybrid apps somewhere require both web and native development knowledge.

Best Practices for Developing Web Apps, Native Apps, and Hybrid Apps

User-centred design

User-centred design refers to focusing on the needs and weaknesses of your target audience when designing your app. This involves organising user research and creating user identity to understand your user’s needs and weaknesses. Designing your app with your users in mind can help ensure that your app is emotional and user-friendly, which increases user engagement and satisfaction.

Consistent branding and UI design

Consistent branding and UI design are considered for creating a united look and feel for your app that coordinates with your brand identity. This involves using consistent colours and graphics throughout your app, as well as following best practices for UI design to ensure that your app is intuitive and emotional to use.

Testing and optimisation

Testing and optimisation refer to testing your app for bugs, and errors, handling issues, and continuously improving your app based on user feedback. This involves organising usability testing, alpha/beta testing, and A/B testing to identify and fix issues with your app and improve your app’s performance and user experience.

App Store optimisation

App Store optimisation is the best practice for optimising your app’s clarity and discoverable in app stores. This involves creating a fascinating app description, using relevant keywords, optimising your app’s icon and screenshots, and using user ratings and reviews to boost your app’s clarity and prospect.

Security and privacy

Security and privacy refer to ensuring that your app is secure and protects your users’ private and personal data. This involves implementing security measures such as encryption and two-factor authentication, as well as approving important privacy laws and regulations such as GDPR(General data protection regulation).


Understanding the differences between web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps is necessary when selecting the right type of app for your business. All these three have their own benefits and drawbacks, and components such as business goals, target audience, app functionality, budget, and timeline should be studied while making a decision.

Developing a user-centred design, maintaining consistent branding and UI/UX design, testing and optimisation, app store optimisation, and assuring security and privacy are some of the good practices to follow when developing web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps.

Wolfmatrix can support your app development requirements by providing skills in all types of app development and following best practices to deliver high-quality apps that meet your business goals

Should I choose web native or hybrid development?

When choosing between a web app, native app, or hybrid app, it’s important to consider aspects like the app’s functionality, target audience, budget, and timeline. Native apps provide the best performance but are more costly to develop. Web apps are quite easy to develop and maintain but may not offer all the functionality and requirements needed. Hybrid apps maintain a ratio between the two, making them a popular selection for many businesses.

Are hybrid mobile apps the same as web apps?

Hybrid mobile apps are not the same as web apps. Generally, hybrid apps are built using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript. They are protected in an essential container that allows them to be downloaded and established like native apps. This gives hybrid apps pass-to-device features such as the camera that are unavailable to web apps.

What are the three 3 types of mobile applications?

The three popular types of mobile applications are native apps, web apps, and hybrid apps. Native apps are built for a platform such as iOS or Android and are installed directly on the device. Web apps mainly run on a web browser and are accessed through a URL. Hybrid apps combine elements of native and web apps, providing them to run on multiple platforms

What are two examples of native apps?

Two main examples of native apps are Instagram and Spotify. Instagram is considered a social media app that allows users to share pictures and videos, while Spotify is a music streaming app.

Is WhatsApp a web-native or hybrid app?

A native app is developed for one platform. Therefore, WhatsApp is a native app available for both iOS and Android devices and can be installed through the play store. It is not a web-native or hybrid app.

Is Facebook a hybrid app?

Facebook is not a type of hybrid app, but it does use some features of a hybrid app, as you can download Facebook on your desktop web app or app on your phone. While the app is mainly a native app, some parts of it are built using web technologies.

Which popular apps are hybrid?

Some popular apps that are hybrid include Instagram, discord and Twitter. These apps can be downloaded on multiple platforms like Android and iOS.

How do I know if my app is hybrid or native?

To determine if your app is hybrid or native, just look at its code. If the code is written in native programming languages such as Swift or Java, then it is a native app. If the code is written using web technologies such as HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript, then it is a hybrid app.

Do hybrid apps need a browser?

Hybrid apps do not require any browser to run. They are built using web technologies and are collected in a native container that allows them to run on a device without the need for a browser.

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