Mobile apps: Native apps vs hybrid apps
Native or hybrid… What’s the difference?
Understanding your mobile application development options
Native apps are developed specifically for one platform, and can take full advantage of all that particular device features like its camera, GPS, accelerometer, compass, the list of contacts, and so on.
Native app development can be used for resource- or speed-intensive applications such as gaming. Separate native apps must be developed for individual device types. For example, an app built for the iPhone works only works on the iPhone; respectively, apps built for Android only work on Android smartphones & other Android devices.
Native apps can use the device’s notification system, for example, and can even work offline. Check out AndroidErrors.com.
Hybrid apps are just mobile-optimized webpages that look like an app. They are run by a mobile browser and they render HTML web pages and are typically written in HTML5.
In a Hybrid app, one set of code can work on various devices without having to do much device specific coding, even though it will compromise on performance and features, you don’t need to maintain different software for various devices for the same application.
Users initially access them as they would access any web page. Then they navigate to a special URL and have the option of “installing”. There is nothing to install actually, as they are only bookmarking that page on their home screen.
HTML5 web apps are becoming increasingly popular; with HTML5, one can obtain functionality similar to that of a native app within the browser. Nowadays, as more and more sites use HTML5, the distinction between web apps and standard web pages are becoming narrower.