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How native Mobile Apps differ from Web Apps?

Published on 16 October 16
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How native Mobile Apps differ from Web Apps? - Image 1
The rising use of portable digital devices like tablets, smartphones and iPads have not only totally diversified common modes of interaction among people but also transformed the manners of customers to interact with businesses and commercial service providers. Irrespective of the size and nature of their products or services, entrepreneurs are now considering to launch a mobile app to connect with their clients all the time. App development is no longer remain associated with big brands only, small setups like beauty salons, coffee shops and clothing stores are also spending money to create a suitable app to facilitate their customers.

You might be thinking to develop a suitable app for digital devices to get in touch with your customers 24/7 on the go. The moment you take this decision, you will be bombarded with technical jargons you might never hear before this. Understanding the meanings and key differences between these terminologies is inevitable to take the right decision. They can be subdivided into two major categories native mobile and web apps. Here I am defining and discussing the key differences between these two to help entrepreneurs looking for a suitable mobile app development.

Native Apps
They are mostly freely downloadable from Google Play or Apple App Store. Having been specifically designed and developed for specific device platforms like Android, Apple, Windows and BlackBerry, they optimise the user experience. The only disadvantage is that if you want to promote your app on other platforms you have to design and develop it specifically. They can either run on a standard operating system of the device or new app-defined gestures. Their ability to use device notification and offline access and functionality have made popular among customers.

Web Apps
They are actually not real applications, rather they are like websites but look and feel like native applications. They are based on the platforms like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript that can run on browsers like Chrome and Safari on all kind of digital devices. No setup installations are required to use them. Users can simply access them like they log on to any site. Internet connectivity is mandatory for their functioning.


What is the key difference between the two?

Functionality differences
Although both of the services perform same functions, web models have few limitation as compared to regular or native versions. They essentially require an internet connection. Besides this, they can’t utilise device features like gyroscope or accelerometer and don’t give good results for graphical animations. In contrast to that native apps can efficiently utilise all the hardware features and functionality of the device on which they are installed.
Design variations
If you want to make your services available on all devices from iPhone, Android and Windows phones, you will need to get it developed separately for each platform. Whereas web apps can efficiently work throughout the different devices on standard browsers. Irrespective of the device brand and size, they adjust themselves accordingly. However, a good developer also includes the platform specific coding for better performance. Whether it is running in Safari on iOS or in Chrome browser on Android device, it can efficiently work like a native app if it is run from a home screen shortcut.
Distribution and monetization variance
App stores like Google Play on Android or Apple App Store offer paid and free options to entrepreneurs to distribute their app to prospective clients. If you choose paid version app store will sell your app and keep the percentage of each sale. If you want to offer it for free you can select the ad-supported versions. On the other hand, web apps are mostly free, as users don’t need to download or purchase it from the app store. They can simply access it via standard browser on a device connected to the network. Although, they may include advertising.
Summary: Understanding these basic differences between Native Mobile and Web Apps is mandatory to select the right kind of technological platform to support business growth.


How native Mobile Apps differ from Web Apps? - Image 1

The rising use of portable digital devices like tablets, smartphones and iPads have not only totally diversified common modes of interaction among people but also transformed the manners of customers to interact with businesses and commercial service providers. Irrespective of the size and nature of their products or services, entrepreneurs are now considering to launch a mobile app to connect with their clients all the time. App development is no longer remain associated with big brands only, small setups like beauty salons, coffee shops and clothing stores are also spending money to create a suitable app to facilitate their customers.
You might be thinking to develop a suitable app for digital devices to get in touch with your customers 24/7 on the go. The moment you take this decision, you will be bombarded with technical jargons you might never hear before this. Understanding the meanings and key differences between these terminologies is inevitable to take the right decision. They can be subdivided into two major categories native mobile and web apps. Here I am defining and discussing the key differences between these two to help entrepreneurs looking for a suitable mobile app development.

Native AppsThey are mostly freely downloadable from Google Play or Apple App Store. Having been specifically designed and developed for specific device platforms like Android, Apple, Windows and BlackBerry, they optimise the user experience. The only disadvantage is that if you want to promote your app on other platforms you have to design and develop it specifically. They can either run on a standard operating system of the device or new app-defined gestures. Their ability to use device notification and offline access and functionality have made popular among customers.

Web Apps

They are actually not real applications, rather they are like websites but look and feel like native applications. They are based on the platforms like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript that can run on browsers like Chrome and Safari on all kind of digital devices. No setup installations are required to use them. Users can simply access them like they log on to any site. Internet connectivity is mandatory for their functioning.







What is the key difference between the two?

Functionality differences

Although both of the services perform same functions, web models have few limitation as compared to regular or native versions. They essentially require an internet connection. Besides this, they can’t utilise device features like gyroscope or accelerometer and don’t give good results for graphical animations. In contrast to that native apps can efficiently utilise all the hardware features and functionality of the device on which they are installed.

Design variationsIf you want to make your services available on all devices from iPhone, Android and Windows phones, you will need to get it developed separately for each platform. Whereas web apps can efficiently work throughout the different devices on standard browsers. Irrespective of the device brand and size, they adjust themselves accordingly. However, a good developer also includes the platform specific coding for better performance. Whether it is running in Safari on iOS or in Chrome browser on Android device, it can efficiently work like a native app if it is run from a home screen shortcut.

Distribution and monetization variance App stores like Google Play on Android or Apple App Store offer paid and free options to entrepreneurs to distribute their app to prospective clients. If you choose paid version app store will sell your app and keep the percentage of each sale. If you want to offer it for free you can select the ad-supported versions. On the other hand, web apps are mostly free, as users don’t need to download or purchase it from the app store. They can simply access it via standard browser on a device connected to the network. Although, they may include advertising.

Summary: Understanding these basic differences between Native Mobile and Web Apps is mandatory to select the right kind of technological platform to support business growth.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations , Digital Media & Games and Mobility Community

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