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 with the purpose of serving the buying and selling of goods and services.

Popular M-commerce applications mobile shopping apps of specific stores (amazon, eBay, etc...). Not only because of their brands, but these applications are also popular because of its convenience and speed. Currently, there are three types of M-commerce applications: native app, web app, and hybrid app.

What is a native app?

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

Users can download native apps via app marketplaces such as Apple App Store, Google Play store and it will install onto the device automatically itself. Some apps retain their functionalities even when without Internet connection. 

Because a native app is built for a particular device and/or an operating system, it provides fast performance and a high degree of reliability as well as stability. 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 to 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 purchases in the easiest and most efficient way. New products and hot/trending promotions can also be effectively pushed via phone notification by store owners.

What is a 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 that of a native app. 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. It is recommended that users should download and add the Web App to Home Screen for future uses. 

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 App has the downside of its accessibility to a device’s native features. This is something that’s getting better with days and so far, its accessibility is limited to only GPS and tap-to-call.

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 of the browser is embedded within the app. Thus, they allow for cross-platform development and significant reduction of development costs.

Comparing to web apps, hybrid apps have the advantage of its availability on app marketplaces and cross-platform uses. 

In terms of speed, offline functions, UI and other aspects, however, it’s not comparable to that of native apps.

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Related Terms
native app, web app, hybrid app

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