Difference Between Hybrid Apps, Native Apps and Progressive Web Apps

Hybrid Apps vs Native Apps vs Progressive Apps

In the world of app development, different types of apps are trending; and the big three, as they currently known, have taken the stakes. These are Native, Hybrid and Progressive web apps. The most important part here is to look at each of the apps in their individuality and how they rate against each other.

Native Apps

This type of application comes in the form of a software or program. They have been built to perform on a specific platform and environment with clearly identified tasks. The operating system for their function is also quite specific, and these are either Android or iOS.When the app is being marketed to users of different types of devices, the app developers often create a distinct app version for each of the devices.

For businesses investing in this type of app, it is important to know that they have designed to operate on mobile OS. You then get an app that responds to and works with features that are already inbuilt in the device of use. This feature could be a camera or GPS. Naturally, because of their design, native apps have the ability to offer performance that is not only fast but reliable as well.

Hybrid Apps

Designed to perform on multiple platforms, hybrid applications are made to function with a single code. The apps have the capacity to run on both iOS as well as Android in one go. Performance is achieved by use of native plugins which are designed for specific types of operating systems. The apps are downloaded via an app store.

Glaring differences between Native and Hybrid apps is found in the fact that:

  1. Hybrid apps are designed with the use of web technologies such as HTML and Javascript, unlike native that is built and meant to operate on specific platforms; for instance, Java meant for Android, while Swift for iOS.
  2. When it comes to the access of native features such as camera, mic or GPS, only native plugins are used for Native apps. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, can function and perform on multiple platforms with a single code.

Progressive Web Apps

Progressive Web Apps are in essence websites that have been built to respond and give functionality to users of mobile devices. The functionality in these apps is enhanced by the fact that they load just like the normal web pages and websites. The apps are less costly and they offer a way out and functionality across both the web and mobile devices. Performance is done in one go.

Their other advantage is that they give a right to use for push notifications; this is great for users who easily get offline updates. Progressive apps do not need installation, and this is helpful for devices that are often short on memory space.


Offering their own unique functions, these apps are not entirely without drawbacks. Here are some of the disadvantages of each of the applications.

Native Apps

– The greatest disadvantage of the Native apps is that they are costly. The fact that they are made to function on specific platforms, any deviation means that clients will have to part with a lot of money for restoration.

– To be able to build and maintain the same application on each platform requires a different set of skills, which is absolutely expensive.

– It poses challenges to release same features on all platforms and at one go, because of the existing difference in the code base.

Hybrid Apps

– Although these apps do function on multiple platforms, they still are dependent on native plugins. It can be challenging if a new device does not possess features that function with native plugins.

– There is a variation in the look and appearance of hybrid apps that makes it unresponsive to some devices.

Progressive Web Apps

– The drawback with these apps is that they can only function when there’s internet connectivity. This is not good for businesses who do not have a constant and active network.

– These applications are not preinstalled and configured on play store; this, therefore, means that they cannot take advantage of app monetization, hence losing out.


Having worked out the major differences and drawbacks of the three apps, the decision for each business to choose depends on their goals, priorities as well as aspirations. Each of these apps has their own strengths, and their drawbacks; but the nature and platform of functionality can always work as an influencing factor in the final choice.