Web Apps vs. PWA vs. Hybrid vs. Native: What's the Difference?
In this post, we will discuss the four fundamental concepts of mobile app development - Responsive, Progressive (PWA), Hybrid-Native, and Native Apps, and which ones can be built with Bubble.
TL;DR, here is a video:
Main app types
Responsive Web Apps: Responsive Web Apps are basically websites or web applications that are designed to be responsive on any device, whether it's a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. They are typically accessed through a browser and can adjust to different screen sizes. An excellent example of a responsive web app is Twitter.com. A responsive Web App can be built with Bubble without any additional tools.
Hybrid Apps: Hybrid Apps are web apps that have been put into a native shell using a web view. Essentially, they are websites rendered in a browser, which is part of an app. They can be downloaded from the app store and have access to different native features, such as payments and push messages. Examples of hybrid apps include Instagram, Discord, and Twitch. Hybrid apps can be built with Bubble plus a third-party tool like thebdk.com or buildnatively.com
Native Apps: Native Apps are platform-dependent and are specifically developed for iOS or Android using their respective native programming languages. They have full access to native features and can be downloaded from the app store. Examples of native apps include Spotify and WhatsApp. Native apps can’t be built with Bubble.
Updating applications: Web apps, PWAs, and hybrid apps can be updated easily (e.g., deploying your bubble app), while native apps require resubmission and reapproval from the app store.
Offline capabilities: Native apps can function fully offline, while web apps and PWAs are limited in their abilities.
Push notifications are available for hybrid and native apps but are currently limited to Android for PWAs. iOS should be available soon, however.
Payments can be made via Stripe or other payment services for web apps and PWAs, but hybrid apps and native apps require in-app purchases through the app store.
Native features can be accessed to some extent from web applications and PWAs, but hybrid apps and native apps have full access to all native features.
In conclusion, understanding the differences between these four concepts is crucial for developers, entrepreneurs, and users alike. Each type of app has its advantages and disadvantages, and choosing the right one depends on the specific needs and goals of the project.
That’s it. Keep it simple!