Native App vs. Mobile Web App

Native App vs Mobile Web App

The mobile app industry is thriving with the rapid increase in smartphone usage. In the foreseeable future, mobile app developers will work on building various types of apps- Mobile web apps, hybrid apps, native apps, and progressive web apps.

The decision of whether to make your mobile application native or web-based is always crucial. Nevertheless, cross-platform development is becoming more popular.

Almost 88% of mobile app users spend most of their time using apps running on multiple platforms. App developers, publishers, and development agencies all want to know what kind of apps people are using.

Users like to download an app only if they find it useful. It’s like everybody gets hungry but a restaurant owner must know exactly about the dishes which people would like to order.

Before building an app, it is important to gather information about the preferences of the masses. In terms of native app development, Android apps are used by more users than iOS apps, but that doesn’t mean that iOS isn’t popular.

As a result, this post compares native mobile apps with web mobile apps. This will help you make a more informed decision. Let’s start by understanding the terms – a native app or mobile web app in detail.

What is a Native App?

Native apps are built for a specific mobile operating system. These apps are installed onto the device (iOS or Android smartphones or tablets). These apps are available in app stores such as Apple App Store, Google Play Store, etc. The app store optimization of native apps is a must.

Native here means a dedicated operating system. That is a native app built for iOS will not work on Android phones and vice versa.

A native app is directly installed on the device hardware and most of the time can run using device features. Once a native mobile application is installed, it can run offline.

  • Advantages of Native Apps

The bigger picture of native apps is their capability to run independently of the web. It can access specific hardware like GPS. In some smartphones, the app can control devices and act as a controller itself. Some of the advantages of native apps are listed:

    1. Native apps have fast speed.
    2. Native apps can access system/device resources such as a GPS, Google maps, or camera.
    3. In most cases, no internet connection is required.
    4. Offer more security and approved by Apple Store.
    5. Many developer tools, interface elements, and SDKs are available to develop native apps.
  • Disadvantages of Native Apps

    1. The development cost of native apps is more than web apps.
    2. Time taking and specific platform restrictions limit its usage.
    3. Maintenance cost is higher and only skilled developers can make the changes.
    4. Getting approval for the native app is difficult.

What is a Mobile Web App?

Web Apps can be accessed through the mobile browser on different platforms. Web apps are developed as web pages in HTML and CSS, and interactive parts are developed in JQuery, JavaScript, or similar language. The single web app can be used on most devices capable of surfing the web.

Web Apps can be accessed through the mobile device’s Web browser, and do not need to be downloaded and installed.

  • Advantages of the Mobile Web Apps

    1. Web apps run on web browsers therefore users need not download them.
    2. Mobile web apps are easily maintainable as they have a common codebase regardless of the operating system.
    3. The apps have an auto-update feature therefore maintenance cost of the apps is less.
    4. Web Apps development is easier and faster.
    5. Web Apps do not require App store approval therefore launching a new app is easy.
  • Disadvantages of Mobile Web Apps

    1. Web Apps require internet connectivity to run.
    2. It is difficult to discover web apps since they aren’t hosted in a specific database like an app store.
    3. As far as security is concerned, web apps are less secure.

Difference between Native App and Mobile Web App

The UX/UI of the apps is similar however they differ in their features, and functionality. Here’s a detailed comparison between native and web mobile apps on the various factors.

  • User Interface

Some companies like to develop both – native and web apps to boost their online business and reach global audiences. Facebook and Linkedin are the best examples of having native and web apps working simultaneously with an almost similar look and feel. Both work with a single motive of delivering a great user experience that is consistent over a period.

  • Application Development

Native apps are developed using languages like Objective-C, Swift, Kotlin, etc. with the standard SDK environment. These apps are developed for a specific platform. For example, a native iOS app will run on Apple Devices. However, mobile web apps are developed using web languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, and other web development languages.

  • Device Support

Native apps can incorporate the device’s features like information, and hardware (camera, accelerometer, etc.) whereas mobile web apps can access limited device features, especially media and geolocation features.

  • Development Method

A native mobile app is stored on the mobile device and it runs as a standalone application. However, a web app is stored in an unknown place and does not require the installation of an app or any other new software to run. Since there is no app store for the Mobile Web, it can be harder for users to find your app.

  • Versioning of the App

Native apps need regular updates with the changing versions of the OS and sometimes due to the added features in the app. Some users find it difficult to update the app For them using native apps with outdated versions becomes difficult. They prefer to use web apps for which the update is not an issue. All the users are using the same version and it is updated on the server side.

  • Features and AppStrengths

Native apps are faster to run and available for download on the App Stores and google play store. Web apps, however, are available on different marketplaces.

Native apps are built keeping a platform in mind and using the device’s features. These apps are built with high -quality and cater to the need of the specific customer base. Tools, support, and standard development best practices of native environments allow for faster development of apps. On the other hand, if you already have a web app, you can retrofit it with a responsive web design.

  • App Approval

Native app approval is a must which sometimes costs more development costs. Once the app is approved, maintenance of the app is easier and affordable.

On the other hand, mobile web apps do not require any approval. They are launched with general functionality and the changes are updated later on on the user’s feedback. However, they require much attention from developers as they are built using various platforms.

Considerations While Choosing a Perfect Strategy to Develop an App

Mobile apps are now a vital part of any business. A great app can make or break a business. Team RedBlink has collected some expert advice from mobile app developers to help you get started.

If you have an idea for a mobile app- native or web app, the first thing you need to understand is the market, customer demand, and trends.

    1. Building an app keeping target audiences in mind will help the app become popular and it will help you to generate more revenue.
    2. Management, App Design, App Architecture, App Development Methodology, App Testing, Enhancement, and finally App Deployment- Consider these stages of the development cycle of any mobile application.
    3. Think out of the box to develop featured apps using advanced technologies.
    4. Keeping the app development budget in mind always allows you to build a smart app.
    5. An app must have higher efficiency, user-friendliness, data management, battery usage, and security.

Above all, an app with a greater user experience will help you reach target audiences. So, for native or web apps, the focus is on developing apps that can withstand market competition, and are budget-friendly.

Tips to Choose the Right Mobile App Development Company

Once you’ve researched your target market and put together a plan to launch an app, the next thing to do is find a developer with the right development talent. Finding the right mobile app development company can bring tremendous value in more ways than mere development. There are several essential points to look for to make the right decision for your app and business.

  • Evaluating the portfolio, and checking testimonials will help you find the right mobile development agency.
  • Finding a team of mobile app developers with excellent technical skills is always a plus. For native apps, hire native app developers and for web apps, hire web app developers.
  • Once you choose to develop a native or web app, make design a top priority.
  • Choose a mobile app development company that understands your business. Think of the entire package, not just the coding.

How can RedBlink help you in Mobile App Development?

Two questions to ask yourself as you embark on building your mobile app and making the right decision:

  • What’s your timeline? How fast does the app need to be live?
  • What features are you intending to have on your app?

At the end of the day, your users need to be provided with a seamless and beneficial user experience, no matter what app type you build. you can also opt to develop a hybrid app.

If you’re a startup or looking to expand to new markets, the RedBlink mobile app development team can help you develop native or web mobile applications.

We are a top-rated mobile app development company, working with startups and enterprises across the globe, in creating native applications and web apps. For a brilliant app idea execution, you can consult our mobile app development team.