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Ultimate Guide on Types of Mobile Apps: Native, Hybrid, Web and Progressive Web Apps

Ultimate Guide on Types of Mobile Apps: Native, Hybrid, Web and Progressive Web Apps

Hemendra Singh 999 24-Dec-2020

There is no second thought about the fact that the world today is dominated by smartphones. People are glued to their phones almost throughout the day and to take your business to great heights amidst this competition, you need to develop apps.

How will you decide which type of app is best for you if you are not familiar with the complicated terminologies and the different types of apps? Don't worry. We will make it a cakewalk for you to understand the different types of apps and their features. 

There are four categories of apps - native, hybrid, web, and progressive web apps. Let us look at each one of them, along with their salient features.

Native Apps

Native Apps are specifically for a particular type of operating system. They are made to suit the needs of a single device or operating system. You cannot use them on any other device. For instance, apps created for Android devices, cannot be used in iOS. You can only access them from the respective stores meant for particular operating systems. For Android, you can get the apps in Google Play Store while for iOS you will get them on the App Store.


• They can easily use all the features of your smartphone.

• You can easily download native apps from the Play Store or App Store.

• Don't worry about speed. Native apps will never disappoint you.


• Since they are designed for a single platform, you cannot use them on other devices with a different operating system.

• Well, it is a bit expensive to develop a native app.

• The maintenance is not easy either.

• It is a daunting task to learn the languages used for creating these apps.

Hybrid Apps

You can use hybrid apps on any platform. It might be a cost-effective solution if you are planning to launch your apps on all possible platforms. They are designed with the help of technologies that can work on multiple platforms. Even cross-platform mobile app development frameworks like Ionic, Flutter, React Native development, etc are reformulating the performance and usuability. In a way, its minimizing hybrid app development time and benefiting us in a budget.


• You can quickly develop hybrid apps for your business.

• They have a decent speed.

• They offer a cost-effective solution for your business.

• Since there is only one code for all the platforms, it is also easy to maintain.

• Whenever there is a new update, it takes place smoothly without causing much trouble.

• You can get popular APIs like accelerometers and gyroscopes.


• They have several issues with performance.

• They are not fast. You can always get a better experience with native apps.

• Hybrid apps have poor optimization.

• The app does not look the same on different platforms. It might create a lot of confusion.

• You cannot access all the features of your device, unlike native apps. Certain features of your device will be inaccessible to native apps.

Web Apps

Web apps are quite similar to native apps. The only difference is that they work on browsers. You can code them with JavaScript or CSS. Users can install the app through an URL. If you are targeting users who prefer working online through a browser, web apps can be a good option for you.


• Web apps will not occupy a lot of memory on your device. All the data will be stored online on the server.

• You can access the data from any device. All you need is a good and uninterrupted internet connection.

• With a good network connection, these apps are super-fast and easy to use.

• You need a username and a password to set up a web app securely.

• Forget the hassle of updating your app regularly. Since the users will access it with the help of an URL, they will always get the latest and updated version.


• Since much of it depends on your internet connection, a low link will lead to a bad experience for the user.

• The user cannot access many APIs. There are only a few APIs like geolocation that you can access.

• There are some issues related to browser support. Not everyone uses the same browser. So the developer needs to ensure that the app works across several browsers.

• A web app will work at a slower speed than the one that is hosted locally.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps are a thing of recent times. With tonnes of apps on their device, users often feel disgusted. Progressive web apps take care to provide the most user-friendly experience. They are just like web apps and load in much the same manner. However, they also allow you to work offline and offer push notifications? Isn't that worth it? PWAs are improvised web apps that help you to get the experience of native apps.


• Don't have a stable internet connection? No need to worry. You can easily use these apps online.

• They are fast and convenient. Studies show that more than 50% of the users will not even bother to use a site if it does not load within a few seconds.

• There is no need to install the apps from the Play Store. For instance, when you are using the PWA of Twitter, you can visit the website and log in with your username and password.

• Forget about updates. You will get them automatically on your Progressive Web Apps.


• Though they are better than web apps, you can't expect them to do everything a native app does.

• You cannot expect a Progressive Web App to be compatible with all Apple devices. You can use them with the new ones, but as soon as you use a PWA on an older Apple device, it starts to create trouble.


If you are planning to take your business forward in the direction of progress, do not wait. Launch your app today. This comprehensive guide will help you to decide which type of app is best suited to your needs. Consider all the features before you make a decision. Bring out your app today if you want to stand out in the crowd and stay ahead in the competitive market.

My name is Hemendra Singh. I am Managing Director and co-founder of The NineHertz, top Mobile App Development Company. I am having a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies that are emerging in different domains. Being an entrepreneur in the field of IT sector, it becomes my responsibility to aid my audience with the knowledge of latest trends in the market.

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