After the emergence of mobile, even traditional websites have now become apps. A key consideration that developers need to decide at the beginning of an app development process is the platform and the app’s deployment.
You can choose between two principal options, respectively, the native apps or web apps. But in many countries with a predominantly small business population are embracing both web and native apps. Mobile App developers in India can offer great testimonies of the popularity of mobile apps among small business marketers.
Here in this post, we will discuss the differences between these two so that you can make the right choice for your next app project.
What Exactly is a Native App?
A native mobile app is an app targeting a particular mobile device and OS platform. Native apps are directly installed in the machine, and these apps are directly downloaded through online stores or app marketplaces like the iOS App Store or Android Google Play.
What Exactly is a Web App?
Web apps are mobile websites that rely on the internet browser, just like regular websites but offer several mobile device-specific functionalities and user experience. Web apps are mobile websites with device-specific and platform-specific user experience and can be accessed using mobile browsers.
Native Apps vs. Mobile Apps: Comparing the Benefits
Both mobile web apps and native apps have their value propositions and signatory user experience. Let’s compare their different benefits. Here we would like to take a look at the benefits of both.
Web App Benefits
- Round the Clock Availability: For users to access a web app through a mobile browser, there is no time constraint, and can be accessed at any moment. Accessing a web app doesn’t require downloading and installing the app.
- Compatibility Across Devices: A web app is compatible across all devices irrespective of the OS platforms and their multitude of versions.
- Wider Outreach: A web app opened through browsers allows easy sharing and search engine ranking to help with a wider outreach.
- Faster Update: Traditionally, web apps or websites are easier to update as any new changes involve only a few tweaks in content and app features.
- Flexible Access Without Commitment: Web apps remaining accessible through browsers are not downloaded and installed and cannot be deleted. A user can access a web app at any time without being committed.
- SEO: Users enjoy more scopes to find a website or a web app in Google search results or other directories allowing far better organic visibility and traffic access.
- Allow Transformation into Apps: Though a web app quintessentially is not an app, it can be easily tweaked into a hybrid cross-platform app with a more native user experience or a Progressive Web App (PWA), bringing a balance between the web and mobile app experience.
- Less Expensive: Web apps like responsive websites don’t involve critical technologies and affect significantly fewer development costs than mobile apps.
Mobile App Benefits
- Innovative Niches: Mobile apps overtime helped the emergence of many creative app niches, including mobile games, on-demand apps, interactive and streaming apps, etc.
- Bigger Scope of Personalization: When it comes to delivering a personalized user experience, mobile apps enjoy a more significant scope. Since mobile devices are highly personal, tweaking the user experience as per individual preferences and context is much more comfortable.
- The Potential of Analytics: Mobile apps make extracting user data, tracking user behavior, and getting user insights from user data much easier as mobile apps continue to stay active on a mobile screen, unlike the mobile web opened through browsers.
- Native User Experience: An app taking full advantage of the specific device features and native OS functionalities can provide a far better user experience by utilizing the operating system features, camera, sensors, etc.
- Offline Access: An app through powerful in-device caching can offer smooth offline access to content and certain features without requiring internet connectivity.
How to Build Native Mobile Apps?
Native mobile apps inherently platform-specific, and naturally, building and deploying them on each OS platform involves many technical challenges. This impacts the development cost and time for mobile app projects.
A mobile app needs to conform to each specific platform’s guidelines, design elements, and deployment attributes. There are certain cross-platform app development frameworks and tools that can ease the development process by reusing the code.
But suppose you choose to build a native app for one mobile platform at a time. In that case, you need to use particular languages and IDE (Integrated Development Environment) suitable for the target platform. For example, iOS apps require Objective-C or Swift programming language and XCode as the IDE. Android native apps need Java programming language. Android Studio and Eclipse are used as IDEs for the app projects.
How to Build Web Apps?
Considering the Development Cost
When it comes to the app development cost, obviously, web apps have an edge. In contrast, mobile apps, particularly native apps, can be highly expensive and involve considerable time.
To keep the development cost and time to a minimum, a time trusted approach is Minimum Viable Product (MVP), involving the development of an app with very basic and elementary features while remaining open to further value additions based upon feedback.
Both websites and mobile apps are invincible parts of digital marketing strategy. A business should plan for both systematically and gradually to make the maximum advantages of both.