A webapp is an application that runs on a browser, correctly sizing to your mobile device. I say “mobile device” instead of “phone” because even with a single brand, perhaps apple – there are many dimensions to consider.
In a webapp – you’re essentially running a website in your browser, that happens to be able to take advantage of some of the things your mobile device can do, like geo-location.
Native Apps are the ones you get from the app stores – what’s different with them?
Native apps run on your device directly. They aren’t required to have wireless access unless they need to see data that lives on a server somewhere.
iOS is Apple’s flavor. Droid is the other guys. They’re both fine computing devices delivering productivity enhancing tools.
Either way – when you decide to go Native – you’re committed to writing code in the required language for each device. In the case of Apple – it is Xcode running swift, objective C, etc. Droid has another set of language requirements. They’re not consistent .
The most consistent thing between the two – other than data is data – is the term Constraints. That’s a discussion for another day!
A Hybrid is when you write a webapp and then it acts basically as a frame to a browser. It looks like an app (you can download it from the App or Play store) – but all it does is serve up the website on a device. Again, those have to be approved by the Play and App stores.
So what am I supposed to do?
Well, it depends. But generally speaking, you’ve got to have a web presence anyway. So it makes sense to start with a webapp. And then if you need access to some of the more advanced features native offers, connecting directly to camera, altering the wifi structure, using the IR sensors, operating offline (eg airborne like foreflight.com – you go Native.
It costs more. A lot more. In the case of Apple – getting on the appstore isn’t a given. You’ve got a “review board” that can easily block your business from being on the App Store. Check this.
But What am I supposed to do?
Ask us. That’s what we do. We put you in the best spot possible. We all have families and when we go to get a loaf of bread or pound of hamburger meat, we’re looking for the best value possible. We’ll treat your interests with the exact same focus.