Web App vs Native App vs Hybrid App
May 16, 2023

What Is In An App? Web App vs Native App vs Hybrid App

Mobile Application Development
Mobile Application Testing

Apps have quickly become the name of the game in today’s current digital landscape. Whether you are consuming content like news or gossip, playing games, checking your bank account, finding your nearest ATM, or a whole host of other everyday tasks — chances are you’re doing it through an app. 

But here is where things get interesting: What kind of app are you using? The differences between a web app vs native app vs hybrid app can be both significant and subtle. If you are an app developer, the primary motivating force behind which type of app you create is how you ultimately want to connect with your audience. 

In this blog post, we will examine what each type of app is, the differences between them, and the ways in which Perfecto can help you get the most out of your app no matter which type you choose. 

What Is a Web App?

A web app is a browser-based application that can provide similar features and functionality to an installable app. The design can relatively easily be mimicked to feel like a native or hybrid app. The major distinction is that it cannot be distributed in an app store. 

The other drawback to web apps is that the user will need continuous connection to the website. Unlike native and hybrid apps, which can typically function without an internet connection, users without internet access will not be able to interact with your app — an issue for areas and locations that do not have readily available internet. 

However, one positive aspect of web apps is that because they are not available in app stores, they do not have to work as hard to stand out among the millions of apps and provide a direct connection to a company’s webite. 

What Is a Native App?

A native app is an app specifically designed for an operating system. If one app is designed for Android, it will not operate on an iOS device, and vice versa. That means if you want your app to run on both platforms, you will need to design it twice for the respective operating systems. 

The primary advantage of native apps is that — because their design being tailored to the OS — they can easily incorporate itself with the functionalities of the device. This goes a long way in reducing errors or glitches within the app. 

Of course, as with each type of app, there is a drawback. As mentioned, developers will need to design the app twice if they want it to operate on both Android and iOS. That is not necessarily a bad thing, though — it can be helpful to test the app and its success with one platform before spending the time and resources creating again for the other. 

Ready to start testing your mobile apps? Try Perfecto FREE for 14 days, now available with Perfecto Scriptless Mobile. 

Start Trial

What Is a Hybrid App?

A hybrid app is an app that can operate on multiple operating systems. They are developed with a single code language and then adapted to fit the requirements of each respective OS. Plugins are often used to address device-specific interactions. 

As the name suggests, the primary advantage of hybrid apps is that they can be used across a wide variety of devices. This naturally expands the potential user base far more than web or native apps. Users will rarely be able to detect differences in the app based on device, and hybrid apps are a more cost-effective solution than developing numerous native apps. 

Yet, hybrid apps present their own complications. Testing them can be cumbersome and time-consuming if they feature multiple complex functionalities. This means upkeep and updating hybrid apps can be more costly. 

Web App vs Native App vs Hybrid App: Which One Do You Choose?

The type of app you decide to develop is based largely on its intended use, so you should be clear about your goals and objectives at the outset of project planning. Now that you know the distinctions between web apps, native apps, and hybrid apps, you have taken your first step in that planning process. 

The route you choose to take may also depend on the size of your team and the resources available to you. Native apps may be too expensive if you desire to appear on both Android and iOS devices. Yet hybrid apps may prove too difficult to manage if your testing team is limited. 

There are all sorts of considerations to make. But the best part? Once you have chosen the right type of app for your team, you get to start the process of making something you can truly be proud of. 

Bottom Line

A lot of time and effort goes into developing an app. You need to understand what your user is going to do with it and how you want to make that connection with the consumer. News, banking, entertainment, or other kinds of apps all require a level of planning that starts with determining whether to create a web app vs native app vs hybrid app. 

Luckily, Perfecto is adept at helping teams produce high-quality apps no matter the type. Our mobile testing platform is the most trusted in the industry for a reason. No other testing platform can offer all the features we do in a one-stop mobile testing shop — especially our unrivaled ability to test the most complex use cases. 

Get the most out of your app with Perfecto mobile app testing. Try a free 14-day trial today — now featuring Perfecto Scriptless Mobile.