Greg Micek
June 4, 2021
HTML5 Apps vs Native Apps vs Hybrid Apps – What is The Difference?

When talking to a developer or learning about apps, you may hear the terms “native app” or “hybrid app” or even “HTML5 app”. If you are not a developer, these terms may confuse you. If app development wasn’t confusing enough, these different types of apps can be difficult to wrap your head around. No worries, this article will help clear up any confusion you have between HTML5 apps, native apps, and hybrid apps.

What is an HTML5 App?

Out of all the different apps, HTML5 apps may sound the most familiar. This is because HTML5 is one of the most common web development tools out there. HTML5 is used to create structure for web pages and provides a skeleton for the web page, while CSS creates the styling of the web page, and JavaScript allows for user interactivity. HTML5 apps use these markup and programming languages to develop apps designed to be viewed in the web browser.


  • These can run cross-platform, anywhere a browser is supported
  • Development time can be faster and development cost can be cheaper


  • These may not have access to all the hardware sensors on some mobile devices

What is a Native App?

The next type of app is called a native app. These applications are developed for a specific operating system and run directly on the device. Therefore, some applications are only available on one operating system and not the other. Some common operating systems would be iOS and Android. Some apps can only be downloaded on one operating system, which is most likely because they are native apps, developed only for one specific operating system.


  • These have access to all the hardware sensors available on the device


  • These are not always cross-platform, and you may have to develop different apps for different hardware platforms (e.g., iPhone vs Android)
  • Development time and cost can be greater
Native App

What is a Hybrid App?

Now that you understand the difference between HTML5 and Native apps, it is time to move on to Hybrid apps. Hybrid apps are applications that use elements from both HTML5 and native apps. Most commonly, you will see hybrid apps as HTML5 apps that are put into a native shell. This allows the developer to deploy their HTML5 anywhere without having to write more special code for a specific operating system.

Hybrid Apps
App Vectors by Vecteezy

What App is Right for You?

When deciding which type of app is for you, it is important to think about the end user. What will the user be doing on this app? What device is the user most likely going to use the app on? What operating system(s) will my users be using? These are all questions you need to ask yourself before deciding on a definitive answer. If your users are most likely going to be using your app on a computer or web browser, an HTML5 app would work just fine. If your users are going to be on either an android or iPhone, a native app would work well. If your users are going to be on multiple devices and operating systems, you may need a hybrid app.

How Can I Get an App?

This article can give you the basic rundown of what app is right for you, but everybody has different needs. The best way to get your own app and choose the right kind is to speak to a software specialist about your needs. Octaria Software can help you decide which type is right for you, the requirements, develop, and deploy your new app. To get more information about which type of app would be right for you, click here to speak to a specialist.

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