Knowledge Base

A basic guide to Mobile Commerce for Magento merchants

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Hybrid app, web app and native app

M-commerce applications are computer programs designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices that serve the buying and selling of goods and services.

Popular M-commerce applications are mobile shopping apps of specific stores (amazon, ebay, etc...) that allow customers to search, view products and make purchase fast and easily. There are three types of M-commerce applications: native app, web app, and hybrid app.

What is native app?

A native app (native application) is an application program that is developed for particular platforms or devices. It is coded in a specific programming language, such as Objective C for iOS and Java for Android operating systems.

Users can download native apps via app marketplaces such as Apple App Store, Google Play store, it will install onto the device itself. Some apps can be used without an Internet connection. 

Because a native app is built for a particular device and its operating system, it provides fast performance and a high degree of reliability. It also has the ability to use device-specific hardware and software, meaning that it can take advantage of the latest technology available on mobile devices such as GPS, camera, notification system and it's able to work offline . However, this type of app is expensive to develop because it is tied to one type of operating system, forcing the company that creates the app to make duplicate versions that work on other platforms.

SimiCart helps Magento Store owners create best synchronized native app for Magento site. Their customers can download the built app ( to mobiles, search products, contact stores, make purchase in the fastest and easiest way. Store owners can also push notifications about new items, hot promotions.

What is web app?

Web Apps are basically internet-enabled apps that are accessible via the mobile device’s web browser. Web apps are not real applications. They are really websites that bring the look and feel like native apps. It is created in a browser-supported programming language, such as the combination of JavaScript, HTML and CSS) and relies on a web browser to render the application.

Web App can't be submitted to App store and Google play. When visiting a website that provides web app, download it and add it to Home Screen as an icon.

The ability to update and maintain web applications without distributing and installing software on potentially thousands of client devices is a key reason for their popularity, as is the inherent support for cross-platform compatibility. However, Web Apps can access only a limited amount of a device’s native features compared to native apps, only GPS, tap-to-call feature so far.

What is hybrid app?

Hybrid apps are written with web technologies (HTML5, CSS and JavaScript). They rely on HTML being rendered in a browser, with the caveat that the browser is embedded within the app. Thus, they allow cross-platform development and significantly reduce development costs.

Hybrid apps are more advanced than web apps since they can be published in app stores and can take advantage of many device features available.

However, they cannot compared to native apps in terms of speed, offline functions, user interface, etc...

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Related Terms
native app, web app, hybrid app

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