Mobile App vs Web App – Which one is best for you?

MObile App vs web app

It has been noticed that the average time spent on mobile devices is estimated to go beyond the time spent watching Television. And is the appropriate reason for developing a targeted app for your business. Developing an application for your business is considered as the fastest route to accelerated development.

As technologies for both web and mobile applications have developed rapidly, organizations fall into the problem of selecting the right medium to reach target customers. There are situations in which organizations can develop web applications or a mobile application because of budget constraints.

However, most business people don’t know the difference between them, and the impact on their business while picking the one. Thus, the task of evaluating the appropriate one for their business is on-to them. This turns into a ‘Mobile App Vs Web application’ situation for them.

What is a Mobile App?

Mobile Apps are a part of our daily schedule and there are very few who live in an isolated world away from Mobile applications. Any application that can run on a handheld or mobile device (like a smartphone or tablet) with a function of providing a service to its users is categorized as a mobile application.

iOS and Android are leaders in the Mobile App domain, trailed by Microsoft. Many organizations focus first on developing applications for iOS and Android and target the rest of the platforms when these catch up. This is because of the broad user base for Android and iOS in the worldwide market, both covering around 75.85% and 22.87% respectively. A broad distinction of Mobile Apps can be made into Native and Hybrid mobile applications.

You can also know the best mobile app development trends at- Best Mobile App Development Trends.

Native Mobile Application-

Mobile applications that are developed for targeted platforms using the platform-specific SDK are classified into Native Mobile Apps. Most Native mobile applications are targeted towards Android development (built using Android framework) or iOS development (using Xcode or Swift). In the case of Native mobile applications, performance and compatibility with the basic hardware are the basic focus.

Hybrid Mobile Application-

Hybrid Mobile applications are developed on platforms that will provide you code that is good with all available operating systems. Because of the use of a single code-base, Hybrid Mobile applications are more popular among Startups and Small and Medium Enterprises for having their applications developed in a single go. The most well known Hybrid application development platforms are – Flutter, React Native, and Ionic.

Also know the advantages of using Flutter in mobile app development at Using Flutter In Mobile App Development.

When not to go with developing a mobile app?

  1. If you do not have a viral promotion strategy for your app.
  2. Just because you have a great idea and no plan.

What is a Web App?

Web Application is self-supporting software that totally runs on the web browser. The web application doesn’t need to be downloaded and installed on the local machine of the end-user. The web applications can span over various pages or be limited to a single page.

The advantage of building a web application is that it can be used across web browsers regardless of the underlying platform. They don’t need to be custom-built for a platform or hardware. Thus, it reduces the development efforts required as opposed to writing code that needs to be migrated over various platforms.

The GSuite from Google and Office 365 from Microsoft are examples of web applications that can be put to daily use.

When you can go with the web apps?

  1. The Webpage layout provides a better interface for your application.
  2. Your target customer market prefers using browsers rather than a mobile.
  3. You want to apply dynamic updates to the entire application.

When you should not go with a web app?

  1. You need to communicate with the server even in offline mode.
  2. The application consists of multiple functionalities and interfaces

A major challenge most organizations predict is language compatibility of Web applications. Is it true that we should build a completely unique application catering to each major language or be dependent on standard translators?

Mobile apps vs Web apps-

Mobile Apps vs Web Apps

Native mobile applications are built for a specific platform, for example, iOS for the Apple iPhone or Android for a Samsung device. They are downloaded and installed through an app store and have access to system resources, for example, GPS and the camera function. Mobile applications live and run on the device itself. Snapchat, Instagram, Google Maps and Facebook Messenger are some examples of famous mobile applications.

Web applications are accessed by means of the internet browser and will adapt to whichever device you’re viewing them on. They are not native to a specific system, and don’t need to be downloaded or installed. Because of their responsive nature, they do indeed look and function a lot like mobile applications — and this is the place the confusion starts.

Let us consider the Yelp native application vs the Yelp.com web application. If you install the Yelp application on your mobile and, then access Yelp.com by means of the browser on your phone, you’ll notice that the web application has been developed to look and feel like the native mobile application: it turns your browser bar red, and when you scroll down, locks the search bar.

While the designs are the same and follow similar fonts and colour scheme, these are basically two different products. Web applications need an  active internet connection so as to run, while mobile applications may work offline. Mobile applications are fast and more efficient, but they do require the user to regularly download updates. Web applications will update themselves.

Most importantly, mobile applications and web applications are designed and built in an unexpected way. To further differentiate between the two, it helps to understand how each is developed.

Progressive Web Apps – A middle ground to Web and Mobile apps-

Progressive web apps

PWAs were introduced to provide the properties of a mobile application over a web browser. Using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JS, Progressive web applications provides the experience of using a Native Mobile application.

The term ‘Progressive Web Apps‘ was introduced by Chrome Developers – Alex Russel and Frances Berriman at Google. Their vision focused on creating better experiences across devices by using a single codebase. The focus is towards developing web applications that look and feel precisely like native applications, without having the users to download and install any software.

Know the best frameworks/tools for building progressive web apps at- Top 7 frameworks/tools for building progressive web apps.

Mobile apps vs. web apps: The pros and cons

We know the main difference between mobile and web applications, we can recap the advantages and disadvantages of each:

Native mobile apps

Pros:

  • Greater functionality as they have access to system resources
  • Faster than web apps
  • Can work offline
  • Safe and secure 
  • Easy to build due to the availability of developer tools, interface elements and SDKs

Cons:

  • expensive to build, maintain and update as compared to web apps
  • Compatibility with different platforms (i.e. iOS and Android) usually means designing and building the app from scratch
  • It may prove difficult to get a native app approved by the app store

Web apps-

Pros:

  • Do not need to be downloaded or installed- web apps function in-browser
  • Easy to maintain- they have a common codebase regardless of a mobile platform
  • Will update themselves
  • Quicker and easier to build as compared to mobile apps
  • Do not require app store approval, so can be launched quickly

Cons:

  • Don’t work offline
  • Slower than mobile apps
  • May not be as discoverable as mobile apps as they are not listed in a specific database, such as the app store
  • Quality and security is not always guaranteed- web apps don’t need to be approved by the app store

Final Words-

For choosing the right medium to host your services it is important to know these crucial differences. Considering the user volume that your application would service and potential of expansion of features you can decide on the correct channel to have your application created.

If you are still confused about choosing the best between Mobile Apps and web apps, consult with Solace experts. We have a proficient developer’s team to give you the best solution as per your requirements. Connect with Solace to develop an efficient mobile app or web app that will surely give the spike to your business. We will be happy to help you.

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