Native Apps vs. Web Apps: Which one to choose & why ?

May 18, 2017

Have an awesome mobile app idea? Or are you simply planning to come up with an all-new mobile application for your business? Whatever the case may be, here is all that you need to know and learn about, before you take the plunge into the development of your mobile app. The stages of development that a typical mobile application goes through, include: idea generation, planning, application designing, development and deployment of the application to the desired devices. Even before your application enters this development cycle, there’s one critically important you need to make that can play an important role in the app success. This decision is about creating your mobile application as a native app or a web app. In this article, we will cover all the factors you need to consider for deciding whether a native app will be more impactful for your business or a web based app.

So, the question now arises as to how are native and web applications different from each other? What are the advantages of opting for each one? Why and under what conditions should one of these be preferred over the other?

Native Applications

A native app remains native to a specific device platform. This implies that it is meant to be developed for a specific mobile device which is installed on that device itself. The native apps are written in the language that is accepted by the specific platform. For example – Android native apps employ JAVA and the iOS apps use Objective-C. Such apps are usually downloaded from the app stores such as Google Play store, Apple App Store etc. For example: Instagram’s versions for both Android and iOS are native to these platforms respectively. (An example of a native app is the Camera+ app for Apple’s iOS devices.)

Web Applications

A web application can be accessed by the web browser of a mobile device. These are mainly written in JavaScript. Such applications are powered by the internet and need to be accessed by downloading o the mobile devices. For example: Safari browser is a mobile web application.

Having understood the nitty-gritties of both the types of applications, let us come to the very reason we started this discussion. Choosing one of the two types for your application mainly depends on what all matters more to you for your app. Here are the factors you might want to consider:

  • Do you want your application to support multiple devices and multiple mobile platforms?
  • Is it important for your application to be internet-powered?
  • Does it matter for your application to have a set of device-specific features?
  • How important is the speed and performance of your application to you?
  • How much is your budget, i.e. the estimated cost of application development for you?
  • What would be the revenue model of your application, if you plan to monetize it some time?

It will be a great idea to compare both the types of applications based on these aspects and choose the one favoring most the factors that matter more to you or your business or that are more business-critical for you. This is how you can take this critical decision for laying the foundation of your mobile application development success. Want to learn in details about the mobile development stages and the approach we follow to make your application cutting-edge? Contact us or leave us a comment.