Last Updated: September 21, 2017
· corysimmons

Different Types of Apps

You might be confused about the specific differences between apps, so I've put together these definitions to help clarify.

  • Native App - Native apps are apps built directly in the device's specific language. For instance, iPhone's is Objective-C, Android is Java, Windows Phone is C#.

  • Web App - A web app is an app built with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, that works on any device. Usually these are accompanied by a responsive design.

  • Hybrid App - A web app that has the look and feel of a native app but is still built with HTML/CSS/JS.

  • Compiled App - A compiled app is a web or hybrid app that you've ran through PhoneGap's Build service to create "native" apps.

I made up the last one, but I felt there needed to be some sort of way to differentiate non-native apps from native apps that were built by running a JS app through a service.

4 Responses
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Why would you make a distinction between "Web App" and "Hybrid App" if they're technically the same? I don't see a clear line between them, the "look and feel" is a subjective matter. What would you call Gmail web interface? A Web App or a Hybrid App? What apps would you call Web Apps but not Hybrid Apps?

I would call a "Hybrid App" what you call a "Compiled App" and eliminate the latter. IMHO it makes more sense cause then it justifies the word "hybrid" - those apps are hybrid because they're put into a native wrapper for specific platform(s) that can also provide extended access to OS functionality but the app itself (i.e. not the wrapper) is still written using open web technologies - HTML/CSS/JS.

over 1 year ago ·

@dpashkevich I don't think the differences between something that looks like Bootstrap and something that looks like a native app (http://moobilejs.com/demos/latest/ios/moobile-simulator/index.html).

From a visual standpoint, I'd call the GMail UI a web app.

TBH I see your point, but in day-to-day office use, it just became too confusing to refer to everything as a native, web, or hybrid app. I suppose because our workflow revolved around PhoneGapping everything and there wasn't a clear way to say, "Hey, this is the PhoneGap'd version and this is the pre-compiled version."

over 1 year ago ·

There are different types of Apps:
Web App
Native App
Hybrid App

(Native App) has been developed for use on a particular platform or device.
(Web App) stored on a remote server and delivered over the internet through o browser.
(Hybrid App) are like native apps, run on the device, and are written with web technologies (HTML5, CSS and JavaScript).

That's all. Here more info http://www.buzinga.com.au/buzz/how-many-app-types-are-there/ http://erminesoft.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-develop-a-taxi-app-like-uber/

over 1 year ago ·

The different forms of cross-platform applications are as follows:
Cross Platform app development, widens the reach of the app into multiple platforms. This is achieved by tools like Xamarin, Cordova, Titanium, Phonegap, HTML5 etc.
Hybrid cross-platform solution includes mobile websites and native app shell for individual platform.
HTML5 mobile websites which uses HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript for the purpose of building their mobile products.
Read also: How to Choose a Mobile Development Platform https://artjoker.net/blog/how-to-choose-a-mobile-app-development-platform/

over 1 year ago ·