Data from the website Oberlo said that around 50 percent of Internet traffic happens through mobile phones. This is likely the reason mobile app downloads rose to a whopping 218 billion in 2020, according to startup and technology news website TechCrunch. This is up from 205 billion back in 2019. While the usage of desktops and laptops continues to decline – falling below the usage of mobile in 2021 – several people still rely on web apps, whether for business or personal use.
To define each of the two, web apps are apps that are available online and can be used on various devices, while mobile apps are apps that only work on mobile devices. We will learn about the differences between the two.
And, when you are ready to develop a mobile app or a web app for your business, the best way to take it is to hire the services of a custom application development company. These companies have the tools and the skills to create the best apps for your business.
Now, let us head over to our discussion.
Mobile App Vs. Web App
Individuals use their mobile devices to get access to information – more than ever before. That means that if your business is not yet accessible on mobile, you are pushing yourself behind the competition.
However, reaching out to your users or customers on mobile channels is not as easy as it sounds. You need the right strategies so you can determine the best approach by which you can connect with your users. The best way to make this possible for many businesses is via an app.
When it comes to developing and deploying apps, there are two various approaches: native and web apps. Before fully investing in the development of your app, you need to find out which type of app best suits your budget, goals, and requirements. This will help you in your decision about whether you should go for creating mobile apps or creating web apps.
Therefore, the question is: Should you invest in creating a mobile app, or should you instead shift your focus towards building a web app that is also fully mobile-responsive? This sparks the classic mobile app vs. web app debate.
Other Kinds Of Apps
Then, you also have alternatives, namely hybrid mobile apps and progressive web apps. To get the entire picture, let us take a glimpse at what each of these are.
Hybrid mobile apps are ideal when you want to reach wider audiences. Being “hybrid,” they have web and mobile apps features, making them the perfect alternatives to many popular mobile applications.
Progressive web apps, on the other hand, are also great alternatives. They are gradually gaining recognition as among the most widely used mobile apps. These apps do not need to go through a store since users can download them directly from browsers.
Additionally, progressive web apps can utilize a device’s many native features. These apps can even be utilized as Windows phone apps. Interesting, isn’t it?
Is A Native App Similar As A Mobile App?
The terms “mobile app” and “native app” are often interchangeably used. But, in reality, these two are different. Mobile apps pertain to any application that people can use on their mobile devices. This can include mobile and web apps.
Meanwhile, native apps are smartphone apps coded with specific development tools and in a certain programming language, such as Java, Swift, and more. Also, many of these apps are crafted for a specific operating system, such as Android or iOS, though some use cross-platform technologies, enabling them to work across various OS.
Such apps can be directly installed onto these specific devices, and users of these apps can usually download them from stores like the Google Play Store and App Store. Remember, though, that ultimately, mobile apps live on users’ devices, which is, at times, an even more vital factor.
The fact native app development is for certain platforms results in a high degree of reliability and fast performance, though it also depends on the device hardware used. A powerful device will provide a seamless user experience, while a not-so-powerful one may lack the capability to run a native app properly if it is too heavy.
Moreover, apps native to a device can access particular device-specific features that web apps cannot. Some of these features include accessing the phone’s camera, address book, and the use of push notifications. There are even native apps that allow users to use these even without an Internet connection.
What Are Web Apps?
Web apps are designed to be fully functional and accessible on any device a user prefers because they run on browsers. Mobile or desktop browsers and web applications tend to operate equally well. In other words, when discussing the compatibility of these web apps, you are confident they can function easily on any device, provided that the usage is correct.
Sometimes, the differences between a web app and a mobile website can be downright confusing. But to clarify, web apps are essentially websites designed fluidly in such a way that they are suitable to respond when viewed on mobile web browsers. Also, the processes when building web apps have some differences and similarities with the processes of building mobile apps.
Unlike mobile applications, web applications need not be downloaded, so users can start using these apps via their browsers. But web apps usually fall short regarding user experience, unlike native apps.
Mobile Apps Vs. Web Apps: Explained
To further add up to the discussion so far, native mobile applications are created for particular device capabilities, and they run on devices like smartphones and tablets. Meanwhile, web applications are accessible via browsers and will adapt to the device the user has. Unlike native mobile applications, web applications are not native to any particular device or system, so users do not need to download or install them.
The best characteristic of web applications is that they are responsive enough to the devices they are used on, so much so that often, they can function like mobile apps.
However, a point of difference between these two kinds of apps is that web apps always require an Internet connection in order to work, whereas mobile apps can often work even while the user is offline.
Also, mobile apps tend to be more efficient and faster than web apps. But, in order to maintain this functionality, users should regularly update these mobile apps. Web apps usually update themselves.
Wrapping It Up
There you have it, the discussion on the differences between mobile and web apps. So, what should you choose for your business? Well, the decision on whether you should have a mobile app or web app built depends on your overall goals. For instance, games and other self-contained programs might be better suited for mobile apps. However, if you want to reach a wider audience, choose to develop web apps.