Desktop Applications vs Web Applications – Which one is better?

desktop apps vs web apps

These days, most businesses have their app to deliver the best service to their users. Not only businesses but we all use different apps for meeting management, photo editing, online food delivery, data analysis, edit programs, and so many daily tasks. Probably each of us uses both desktop and web applications to perform those tasks. And here starts the confusion of desktop applications and web applications. Do you know when to use each type of program? And which way to choose when you are going to develop an application? Each kind of software has its own advantages and disadvantages. Before we dive into the difference between desktop apps and web apps, let us see desktop applications and web applications separately.

Desktop Application-

Desktop Application

Simply, a desktop application means any software that can be installed on a single computer (laptop or a desktop) and used to perform specific tasks. You can install it with data storage service or download installation from the internet. The desktop app operates as stand-alone software, which means it can be used offline without the need of an Internet connection. Some of the examples of desktop applications are graphical applications, word processors, spreadsheets, web browsers, media players, and so on. Know the top 10 necessary questions to ask before you develop desktop app at- 10 Necessary Questions To Ask Before Start Desktop Applications Development

Web Application-

A Web application is a software app stored on a server and run via the internet using a web browser. Web applications request the content server and quickly create documents for their users. These apps are accessed by web browsers and hence the format of these web documents is standard so as to provide the support by all browsers. Simple examples of web apps are- message boards, e-mail programs, project management, video editing, computer-aided design, and so on.

For web applications, web browser is necessary- it interprets and run all the scripts and displays the look and feel of the application. It differs from the website by interactivity. Websites are generally focussed on content with static layouts and links, web apps are about dynamic and interactive that recognizes its users and allows them to change the interface and data. 

Difference Between Desktop Applications and Web Applications-

Simply, a desktop application is a computer program that runs on a computer device locally. Desktop applications need to be installed on a computer before it can run. You should purchase it in physical format (CD) or download it from the internet. You don’t need an internet connection to work on a desktop applications.

Whereas, web apps requires internet connection to access it on demand by using a web browser. You can use online databases to store the files instead of your computer’s hard disc. 

Advantages Of Web Applications-

1. Easy access-

Web applications are easily portable and worldwide accessible. Your location and device doesn’t matter here. You can access it with any PC and the internet connection and anywhere you can reach your application. For instance, You are not at home, and you need a document that you made a month before. Web apps are there for you. These days, internet cafes are everywhere and you can access the file by transferring them manually and carrying them on a flash drive.

2. No need of upgrades-

Web apps don’t need upgrading. Updates are applied to the server, hence whenever a user launches the app, they always get the latest version. Sometimes, there is an option to keep the old version  but leads to the annoying notifications, and needs extra time to process.

3. No need to install-

There is no need of an installation process for web applications. And they don’t hold extra space to your hard drive. URL, username and a password are just a necessary things for web apps.

4. No need to think about system requirement-

There is one more benefit with web apps, as system requirements are just not important in this case. You just need a good internet connection to work with it. For instance, most of the people don’t use Adobe Photoshop because their computer shows problems while running it. As such time, they use an easy and a good working option to edit their photo in two minutes.

5. Cost-efficient-

Web apps offer a subscription type of payment. When you want to use it, you can pay only for a specific project or for a certain amount of time. You can also pay for a week.

Disadvantages Of Web Apps-

1. Need Of Internet-

It is true that, these days, Internet is widespread but it could not be available at all places. But it is essential to run because there all data and business processing logic are stored. Hence web applications are of no use without internet access.

2. Security Problem-

One big issue with web apps is security. When all files, programs and data are kept on site, can you say that they are protected? The answer is- No. You don’t have physical access to hardware and you are not controlling its security. When you share data with client using web apps, hackers can target and hack your data. If you are using web apps, there are some necessary tips to improve internet safety- Lock your computer when not in use, limit the employee access to customer data and keep up with upgrades.

3. Performance-

Web applications are slower than desktop applications because of internet connectivity. When you send data through internet, each time you request an HTML document performance goes down. If you need to send a large amount of data via the internet and your connection is not fast, in such a case long waiting can be boring.

4. Browser Reliance-

There are multiple versions of browser. Along these lines, while having the option to work on any computing platform, web applications run within various browsers, which they must be compatible with. Availability of multiple browsers means you must be sure that they support your app. You are dependent on the way browser support particular functions and features. If this will not consider, may result in difficulties to run an application. 

Advantages Of Desktop Apps-

1. No Regular Cost-

Generally, use to pay monthly or annual charges to use web applications to cover costs for expensive servers. When you use desktop applications, you don’t need to worry about losing the entrance because you haven’t paid the bill. When you buy an application, it is on your computer and it is completely yours.

2. Performance-

As desktop applications are not reliant on internet connectivity, performance is better than web apps.

3. No Dependent To Internet-

Desktop applications are not dependent to internet and hence do not face any difficulty for connectivity. Hence the performance of desktop apps are better than web apps.

4. Customization-

Another important factor is possibility to customize the software according to requirements. Desktop apps can be easily customized than web apps. If there is a need to change the interface or any other customized needs for unlimited real time interaction with data, desktop applications are more suitable than web apps.

5. Security-

With regards to protection issues, users are sure about storing their data on their PC, not on the web. Generally, people consider the web as a place, which is easy to access for anyone with the use of the Internet and where there is a risk of hackers. The data on PC is not absolutely protected, if you make your choice considering this feature, desktop apps are the winners.

6. Cost-efficient-

Desktop application development requires less hosting costs. Desktop applications are purchased one time and there is no need of recurring charges. 

Disadvantages Of Desktop App-

1. Need of installation-

Desktop applications need manual installation and some space on hard drive. You need to spend some time for installation process which is sometimes boring. Generally desktop apps require multiple updates to continue the seamless functions. If you don’t use the updated version of the desktop app, to ensure your productivity levels remain the same.

2. Cost-

Desktop apps need to purchase the initial version and also require extra fees to update its version. Some desktop applications need higher capabilities of your device and this can be challenging.

3. Lack of portability-

Desktop applications are restricted to your computer and hence are not portable. If you move from one computer to another, you need to reinstall the app and start everything from the start.     

Final Words-

These are just some basics of web apps and desktop apps. Both of these have their own benefits and weaknesses. Both kind of apps will exist a long time.  The selection of a best one will depend on business needs. If you are still confused to choose the best one consult with solace experts. We are here to help you through consultation and development. You can hire desktop app developers and web app developers of a solace team to develop the best application. Connect with solace and get a free quote for app development. We will be happy to help you. 

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