Different Types of Mobile App - Part 2

4 May 2021

This is a sketch . It might be rough, incomplete or without context.

Some clarification around different types of mobile apps. The app types aren’t really on a single continuum, it makes more sense to represent them on a chart of app type against technology.

App types.

Web app

Built with web technologies (HTML, CSS, JS) and viewed in a browser. This is the only app type that isn’t installed natively.

Hybrid app

Built using a combination of web technologies and native or cross-platform native technologies. This at the web end of the app-type axis.

Cross-platform hybrid app

Built using a hybrid cross-platform framework. This sits somewhere between the web and native experience.

Native with web views

Built using a combination of native or cross-platform native, and web technologies. This can sit anywhere between the web and native experience, depending on how much of the app is built natively, and how much relies on web views.

Cross-platform native app

Built using a native cross-platform framework, such as Flutter, React Native or Xamarin. It is very slightly more towards the web end of the app-type axes, because of the extra layers between the platform framework it’s written in and native, e.g. the javascript bridge etc.

Fully native app

Built with native technologies, and the most native experience.