What is the difference between a Native Mobile App vs a Web App?

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The simple answer is native apps are smartphone applications that can be used on a mobile device and the other is basically a website accessible on whatever device a user chooses to use apps run on a browser. There is a common misconception that native mobile apps and web apps are the same things. But actually, both are very different not only in the app users but developed and deployed apps are also different. Understanding the differences between applications is key to building a successful digital product. In this blog, we are going to learn the difference between mobile and web applications and gain insights that will inform your decision while developing the mobile or web app for your business. So let us take a look at the differences between a native mobile app and a web app.

What is a Native Mobile App?

A native mobile app is installed directly on a mobile phone and can work in most cases, with no internet connectivity depending on the nature of the app. Native Mobile Apps work on either iOS or Android, but do not work together. Native apps are installed through Google Play Store or Apple Store and a native android app will not work on an iOS device. In Native App for work on both systems, it has to be built entirely separately. Native App has access to system resources, such as GPS and the camera function.  For native app examples, an app like Twitter may appear the same across devices, but it has uniquely coded versions that run on either phone. 

Native mobile apps are built in platform-specific languages and Native app developers use Java or C++ for Android apps, Swift or Objective-C for iOS apps, and C# for Windows Phone apps. 

Benefits of Native Apps:

App Usage Speed - Faster than Web Apps

Offline Access and Updates - Can work without the internet based on the nature of the app

Higher Security - Increased safety and security because of being approved by the respective app store

Native App Developer Tool Availability - Developers can be easier to develop because of the availability of developer tools, interface elements, and SDKs

Downsides of Native Apps:

More expensive to build than web apps - Native apps come with a hefty price tag due to their highly specific nature and optimization by the device

Compatibility with different platforms - Designing and building the app from scratch (i.e. iOS and Android)

Costly to Maintain - Expensive to maintain and update

App Approvals - difficult to get a native app approved by the app store

What is a Web App?

Web Apps are not real applications that look and feel like native applications, but it is websites are accessed via the internet browser and will adapt to whichever device you’re viewing them on. Web apps need an active internet connection in order to run, and their operating speeds are dependent on the quality of the cell signal or the speed of the wi-fi broadband you are connected to. Unlike native mobile apps, web apps do not need to be downloaded, so users can access them through their browsers and Web apps will update themselves.

Web apps are built using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 and there is no standard software development kit for building web apps like mobile apps.

Benefits of Web App:

Build Speed - Quicker and easier to build than mobile apps

Easy to maintain - have a common codebase regardless of a mobile platform

No Download Barrier to Entry - no need to be downloaded or installed

Quick Launch - Do not require app store approval, so the apps can be launched quickly

Downsides of Web Apps:

Browser Access Only - Web Apps function in the browser

App Speed - Slower than native mobile apps, and less advanced in terms of features

Discoverability - not discoverable as native mobile apps as they are not listed in the app store

Security and Quality Concerns - not always guaranteed because Web Apps need not be approved by the app store.

Wrapping Up:

Everyone should know about the fundamental understanding of the native mobile apps and web apps and also know the differences between a native alternative for mobile and web. If you want to build the app for your business you should always consider which of the two technologies discussed best suits your target audience and consider the cost-effectiveness of your app project in relation to your goals.  Both a Native Mobile App and Web App have to face challenges in order to engage users and developing apps can be overwhelming at times. If you have an idea for an application but are unsure whether to choose between a mobile app or a web app, you can feel free to contact us. 

Hepto Technologies provides the best custom mobile app development services in React Native, iOS, and Android (Native platforms) of different complexities. We are the leading mobile app and web development company based in India, We would like to introduce our company has more than 10 years of experience in Web and App Development. We have an excellent track record for the best customer satisfaction and never compromising on the quality and the services given to our clients with the most cutting-edge technology at a competent price. We build custom web and mobile applications that match your business requirements in your desired niche on both Android and iOS platforms.