The Difference Between Apps



You’re excused for being appsolutely (excuse the pun) confused when it comes to understanding what’s what on the app scene!

It’s all very confusing to say the least, so we’ll try and explain the differences between the four:

Web App

The web app is basically a responsive website meaning it adapts to all screen sizes and is run on a browser in the same way as any other website but, as it adapts to fit the device it is being displayed on, it is more user friendly than a normal website. You need an internet connection to run the web app.

If you want to check if your website is responsive and mobile friendly, you can do this on the google mobile friendly test site

Native App

Also known as “mobile app” the native app is an application which is run directly on the mobile device and must be downloaded to the device via their respective platforms, i.e. iOS, Android and Windows.  Once installed some apps can be activated without the need for an internet connection.

The downside of native apps is the need to develop more than one app if you want to reach the audiences of both Android and Apple devices, bringing with it an exuberant price tag.

If you would like to make your own native app without any coding then you could try Appy Pie with a high customer satisfaction rate.  It has a free plan and also reasonably priced paid plans.

Hybrid App

The hybrid app is basically a combination of both the native app and web app..  Just like the web app it is written in html, css and javascript but the hybrid app does not rely on a web browser but rather relies on the Webview which is like a browser inside of the mobile app allowing the display of web content.

As with the native app, the hybrid also has to be downloaded via the Apple or Android platforms.

Progressive Web App

PWA’s are being called the apps of the future and the next big thing in web development and we think this is rightly so.  These apps give mobile app like experiences but this without any need to download them from an app store, and they work on all platforms.

Some other significant benefits are:

  • when compared to native apps, the setup process for users is much easier as it gets instantly installed on their home screens, no need to visit an app store
  • PWA’s are accessible offline  via the home screen icon and when connected new data is automatically synchronized.
  • because files are cached locally this makes them faster than standard web apps
  • they can also feature push notifications, cameras, GPS

Like to build your own PWA? then follow the instructions here or, alternatively you can use this free WordPress plugin Super Progressive Web Apps