There’s a common misconception that web apps and mobile apps are two parts of the same game. There are many things in common between the two. But, the functionality and coding structure is very different. An app development company will be able to explain before building.
As the technology continues to evolve, companies have fallen into the dilemma of choosing the right medium for their targeted audience. There can be situations when a mobile app is suitable for you or when a web app can offer you the most ROI.
All in all, it is very crucial that you first understand the key difference between a web app and a mobile app and then decide which one is the most suitable for you. Afterward, consult with an app developer. Let’s take a look at the basics.
What is a Mobile App?
A mobile application is also simply referred to as an app. It is a type of software designed to run on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet. These apps are part of our everyday life and serve different functionalities based on our needs.
Because of the limitation of hardware, Mobile app developers have to work in an integrated environment with limited functions, still manage to offer the best quality of service. Android and iOS are the leaders in this domain, followed by Microsoft Store.
How are mobile apps built?
Because these apps are platform-oriented, mobile app developers have to follow a complete content-driven strategy from design to the development phase. A broad distinction of mobile apps can be divided into 2 categories:
Native apps are created for the targeted audience using a specific Software Development Kit (SDK). Mobile Apps for Android OS are written in Java. They are built using either Eclipse IDE or Android Studio. Mobile Apps for Apple devices run on iOS. So it either uses Xcode IDE, Swift or Object-C.
Google and Apple, in particular, have their own Integrated Development Environments (IDE) that developers can use to build native apps.
Hybrid apps are not platform-oriented and are built with compatibility in mind across all platforms. Due to the use of single code, developers can use a port to run the same interface across different devices. When using a hybrid app it’s much easier to develop mobile apps for both mobile platforms (IOS & Android) at the same time.
Although developers have to perform some tweaks along the way, most of the time the development structure is the same. The most popular development platform in this category includes Ionic, Flutter, and React Native.
What is a Web App?
Website Applications are self-sustaining software that runs on a browser. There is no need to downloaded or install A Web application. Instead, they run on internet! Web apps can also span multiple pages. They can also feature a lot of different functionalities based on user requirements.
The main benefit of a web app is that it can run on any platform. Meaning that you can use it on your computer, mobile phones, tablets, and other hand-held devices. Mainly because they don’t have hardware requirements to run. A web app functions depend only on internet connection.
Microsoft Office 365 and Google GSuite are the perfect examples of web applications that we normally use on daily basis.
How are web apps built?
Web Apps vs Mobile Apps: Pros and Cons
- Responsive and Faster than web apps
- Great functionalities, what users really want
- Can work both online and offline
- Safe and secure
- Better Monitoring and data management
- Expensive to build compared to web apps
- Compatibility issue across different platforms, if Native app
- Expensive to maintain and support
- Do not need to download or install anything
- Easy to maintain and manage
- Quicker and easier to build compared to mobile apps
- Does not require any standard approval
- Development requirements are easily followed
- Only works online
- Can be slower than mobile apps
- No built in support from major platform
- Quality and Security is dependent on developers skill
Progressive Web Apps - A Perfect Middle Ground
In the light of recent mobile and web app development, a lot of new technologies are entering the market. One of the worth mentioning names is progressive web apps that fall somewhere in between mobile and web apps.
It addresses most of the cons we’ve seen in a web and mobile app. For instance, it can work offline and can load at a fast speed. They also don’t require any download or installation and can often follow a single codebase across devices. The focus of PWA is to create an environment that feels like native apps, without having the user download anything.
This concept is actually already in use by major companies such as Pinterest, Forbes and Twitter. It’s still not quite as common as mobile apps and web apps.
Which one is best for you?
Once you fundamentally understand the difference between a web app and a mobile app, things try to get a little simpler. However, understanding the difference is just one part of the game. Next is to identify the best direction for your goals.
The best way to figure this out is to answer some basic questions like:
- Does your target audience use web apps or mobile apps?
- How often do they think they will use your app?
- Are they looking for convenience or more features?
- Do you want to collect data that can better serve your audience?
- Does your business require features like using camera or location services?
Once you make a list of all possible questions. You will have a better idea of the right fit for you. If you’re still unsure about this, opt for an app development company such as Pure Code Digital Agency. They have a dedicated team of mobile app and web app developers’ that can understand your requirements and can help you make the right decision. No matter if you need an android app or an IOS app.
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