Mobile Apps or Web Apps! Which works best?
After you decide to build an application for your business, the next thing to consider is, should you go through the mobile app or a web app. Both of them are two completely different from each other from development to deployment. With better knowledge of the pros and cons of each will help you decide which to choose. It's not always a clear decision. The reason depends on your business and the nature of your app. This guide will explain about pros and cons of building mobile apps and web apps and help you decide.
Mobile apps vs Web apps
Mobile apps are software programs designed for the operating systems created especially for mobile phones and tablets. These apps can be downloaded from an app store, such as Google Play or the Apple store installed on the user's device. Apps are created to run on certain platforms, such as iOS for Apple iPhones and iPads, and Android for phones and tablets running Android operating systems those which have access to system resources such as cameras.
Similarly, web apps are accessed by a web browser and are highly adaptive to any device. Since web apps are not native to any system and are not required to be downloaded or installed, having a similar look and function to mobile apps creates a lot of confusion among the users.
Mobile apps are designed for a specific operating system and hold the native functionality of the mobile device providing unique capabilities. The development cost of mobile apps is usually more expensive than those for the web. The majority of the apps on your phone are mobile apps. You can install them on your device through Appstore or Google Play Store.
Native Mobile App
A native app is a software application developed specifically to run on a device at the operating system level. They are to be downloaded, purchased, or installed through a central distribution portal. It is based on a binary code that interacts directly with the underlying mobile operating system. Native mobile apps are built-in platform-specific languages. Since native apps are built for a particular device and its OS, they can use device-specific hardware and software. It offers the benefit of the latest technology such as a global positioning system (GPS), camera, and more.
Hybrid mobile app
Pros and Cons of Mobile Apps
These apps are much faster than web apps since they work with a phone's built-in features, like location services, microphone, and camera.
- It provides greater flexibility and functionality to the users.
- Allows you to send users reminders, which helps to increase engagement.
- Available to run in absence of internet.
- They are more secure and safe to use as app stores first approve the apps.
- Since mobile apps are created specifically for a particular operating system, they usually provide a better user experience.
- They are usually more expensive to build, maintain and update as it requires highly skilled manpower. Also, it is required to build two separate mobile apps if you want your app to be available on both platforms.
- It requires frequent maintenance updates for bug fixes, and security.
- It is compulsory to download and install the app on the user's device. Some users may not have any more space or may not want to install the app on their devices.
- The app may not always get approved by the app store.
A web app is an internet-based application that runs through a web browser, designed and developed for many devices, independent of the operating system. It is a responsive website that users can launch in the mobile device browser or on their desktop computer. Web apps are designed to look appealing on any device, including desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Since these apps rely on the browser, web apps function with any operating system, making them a faster and more cost-effective option. The web application can also be developed by a single user or can be the product of a team.
Unlike the software development kits for mobile apps, there is no standard software development kit for building web apps. Web app developers can use templates to speed up their production process. Usually, web apps are simpler and easier to build offering few features than mobile apps.
Pros and Cons of Web Apps
- Easy for maintenance, with a single codebase, developers need to make only one set of updates.
- Web apps provide access to users on a wide range of devices, through the browser.
- They are displayed in search results like Google, so are visible to everyone.
- It's less expensive to develop web apps as it requires a small amount of development time required as web app runs on all operating systems.
- Your website visitors are directly sent to your web app on mobile devices since downloading the app is not required.
- Web apps don't need to be approved by app stores and marketplaces, so it is faster to get them to the market.
- A web browser and a strong internet connection are necessary to use a web app.
- Web apps offer limited ability to access a mobile device's native features like camera and location services.
- Available features might be limited to coding constraints.
- Web apps are dependent on the internet to run, so they are not available when a user does not have internet access.
- Users won't find the app on marketplaces and are required to be searched manually, so they might not be aware of its availability.
- They are not having a specific app store, thus the quality and security can't be guaranteed.
Whether you decide to develop a mobile app or a web app will depend on the goal and objective of your project/business. There are many factors to consider when deciding which type of app is best for your business. Whether you choose to build a web app or a mobile app, it is important to keep your objective in mind and provide the most valuable and best experience possible to the users.