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Do you know the difference between your apps?

Nowadays, millions of people spend time on some kind of application almost every single day. Whether it’s for fitness, gaming, social media, keeping up with the news or literally anything else, it’s impossible to say that apps aren’t directly influencing the lives of countless users across the globe every second. So, how exactly do the kinds of app we are relying on work? And how do they differ from each other? Here we’ll take a look at the three main kinds of app and how they are suited to their purpose.

Native Apps

Mobile applications are classified by the technology used to create them and which platforms they can operate on. Native apps are run on popular operating systems like iOS, Android and Windows. They are known as native apps as each one is developed exclusively for the chosen operating system, meaning it can only be used on a particular platform or device. To put it simply, you can’t download a Windows app to your iPhone and vice versa. Native apps are the ones you can get hold of from app stores. You probably have tons just sitting on your phone waiting to be opened right now. The most useful thing about them is that developers can create native UI to achieve the ultimate user experience. There are few limits to the kinds of apps that can be created and downloaded straight to your device. Whether that’s the latest news, innovative ways to count calories or to play the best free mobile slots games, native apps put an unprecedented range of possibilities at your fingertips.

Web Apps

Mobile web apps offer a similar experience to native apps but work in a very different way. They can be opened on both mobile devices and PCs on a variety of operating systems but they require a web browser to run. Once opened, the app will often offer the option to install and create a bookmark to the page so the user can be easily redirected. All the user’s data is stored on a server which can be accessed whenever there is an internet connection. The drawback to this is that whenever a connection is poor or lost entirely, the app can’t run properly. This can have a knock on effect on user experience. Finally, these kinds of apps are most commonly written in HTML5, JavaScript or CSS. Another drawback compared to native apps is that there are fewer Application Programming Interface (APIs) options, so what developers can achieve with web apps is more limited.

Hybrid Apps

These kinds of apps are a combination of both native and web applications. The greatest thing about hybrid apps is that they draw on the best aspects of the other two. For example, they are more similar to web apps when it comes to structure — usually being written in HTML5, CSS and Javascript — and are built using multi-platform technology.  However, they are found and downloaded from app stores alongside their native alternatives. While Hybrid apps often keep costs down for developers as they are faster to create and easier to maintain, there are some drawbacks. Performance and optimization are often worse in comparison to other apps. It’s also more difficult to design one app that will look great across all platforms.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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