Web App vs Mobile App: A Detailed Comparison

For a common man, web and mobile apps are the same. People who have little knowledge, often use these terms as synonyms but the truth is that they are completely different. Not only are they distinct for users but the way they are developed and deployed are also contrasting. 

In simple terms, web apps are accessible via web and mobile browsers with a good internet connection without any need to install it on the device. On the contrary, mobile apps are built for a particular mobile device and are installed from the app store. 

Still not clear about the difference? Well, we have differentiated the two on the basis of 5 key points. Go through them to comprehend the difference between web and mobile app development services. Here we go:

How are web apps built?

Web apps are built using frameworks like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. There is no standard software kit to develop web apps, unlike mobile apps. However, web app developers have access to templates to create the platform which makes the process faster and easier along with simple features as compared to mobile applications. People prefer it as it requires less effort and time while ensuring features that are easy to understand for users. 

How are mobile apps built?

As mobile apps are platform-specific, deploying them across multiple devices or operating systems can be expensive and time-consuming. The developers have to start the designing and development from scratch every time taking care of all the guidelines of each platform. Yes, there are some cross-platform tools that can make the process simpler but it will demand a huge budget. However, these apps are faster with more advanced features and functionalities than web applications.

The native mobile app development involves the use of specific languages and IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that vary according to the intended operating system. For example, Apple devices operate on iOS and use either Objective-C or Swift development with Xcode as IDE. Similarly, the Android apps are written in Java and use Android Studio or Eclipse as IDE. These popular platforms come with their own development tools, software development kits (SDK), and interface elements for developers to build native apps. 

What is the difference between web apps and native apps?

Development

When you connect with a mobile application development company, make sure that you know what you are looking for. Developing a web app and native app are two completely different processes and involve distinguished time, money, and efforts. 

Web Apps: As we already mentioned that web app development includes frameworks to build frontends, such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. Depending on your budget, our developers use different tools and frameworks to meet your business needs and help you pick the best option. The second step is the architecture and database and how the information will flow between database and application. A Database Management System (DBMS) provides APIs that create, update, and delete the data according to user requests. Moreover, it enables you to read and write data while ensuring secure access to different functions and areas. It uses technology like SQL and MongoDB. 

Mobile Apps: On the contrary, mobile apps consist of advanced features and functionalities. The native applications use device components, such as GPS, camera, face ID/fingerprint, accelerometer, etc. by default. The developers have to consider different screen sizes, configurations, and hardware specifications to make them compatible with all the platforms and devices and also to stay ahead of the fierce competition. The programming languages used for each system are different too, such as Swift for iOS and Java for Android. With cross-platform development, mobile apps can be created using the same technologies and can operate on different devices together. 

Security

The online platforms are constantly facing cybersecurity risks and no single app or website is immune to it. Even the biggest websites have been hacked and so can you. Hence, ensuring the highest security standards is our primary concern during web or app development. Right from the beginning of the development process, we adopt effective security measures and test the web or mobile app against any threats. Any loophole can hamper your significant data and resources and to save them from any malicious attacks, it is important that you understand this aspect. 

Web Apps: As web apps are loaded with the internet browser, there is no guarantee of security and safety. There is no need to download the app on the device or update it from time to time. These apps are adaptive and responsive to all the devices so people can access it even from mobiles. If the website is optimized, the quality on the smartphone will be high and it will work smoothly. Moreover, these apps are easier to maintain as developers don’t have to deal with multiple platforms. 

Mobile Apps: The native apps are comparatively more secure and safe to use as they have been through Google’s or Apple’s screening process. These operating systems already ensure their compatibility and security aspects before launching on the App or Play Store. However, the problem for developers is to get it approved by app stores which is a lengthy and complicated process and often results in rejections due to strict reviewing procedures to safeguard the end-user. 

Cost

The annual expenditure on technology has reached over $4 trillion and the numbers will only rise in the future. Even a poorly managed PC along with printers, servers, and routers can cost $8500. So, what is the cost when it comes to web and mobile apps?

Web Apps: Web app development solution is a bit more cost-effective than mobile apps and requires less time and cost as the app is built close to a website. For the basic web application, you will have to shell out $3000-$5000 and the investment will increase further depending on the technology, complexity, and features. The other factors involved in estimating the cost of web development are different based on the project and requirements. The maintenance cost can be high to ensure the quality as apps are run on various platforms. It covers usually 20-25% of the overall cost and businesses need to spend the maintenance amount every year.

Mobile Apps: The mobile applications are developed for multiple devices and platforms, adding to the development process and making it lengthy. Hence, the procedure is expensive too but they are faster and more efficient, giving you the higher returns on investment. Moreover, the advanced features and type of app will also contribute to the total cost. Therefore, it is necessary to identify the type of app that you want at the beginning to keep the development cost within your budget. As we promise an error-free app, we also offer quality assurance service with every project. The maintenance cost depends on the platform that you choose for the app because the updates and fixes will be done according to the operating system that the app is compatible with. The best option is the cross-platform application that will certainly not put a strain on your budget. 

Accessibility

Web Apps: You cannot access any native features of the device while using web apps. They load from the web browser when you are using them and update themselves without you initiating the process. Yes, you would require an internet connection but there is no need to download or install the app on the device. A web app will operate within the browser but can be difficult to locate again as they are not available on the app store. 

Native Apps: On the other hand, a native app is compatible with all the hardware and features of the device that it is used on, such as GPS, camera, and more. However, you will have to keep it updated with every new version of the operating system to incorporate all the new features. The native app development is for cross-platform purposes or specific devices and can be accessed from anywhere, anytime with or without an internet connection. 

Connectivity and Speed

Last but not least. What is the key factor for providing users with the best experience? It is the speed and connectivity of the app because a slow one can be really annoying to use. Whenever users can’t find strong internet connection or WiFi, the loading speed of the app is compromised which can work against the popularity of the app. 

Web Apps: Web app continuously needs a smooth internet connection to run without any hindrance. Also, it works slowly as it depends on a web server for the requests it receives from users. It also requires an application server for managing the tasks and a database to store significant information. As this app is being read from a browser, it cannot work without the internet which is a big negative point. 

Mobile Apps: There are some applications that need an internet connection to work but there are many that can work anytime, anywhere. Of course, connectivity is a crucial aspect of operation speed but native apps work 1.5 times faster than the web apps. The main reason for this is the integration of their functionality into the device features and also the fact that their data is stored on the device. However, these apps need the internet for timely updates.

Conclusion

This blog has clearly highlighted that every digital solution comes with its own pros and cons. The key factors that we have explained above will surely help you make a better decision for your business - not matter what industry you operate - food & restraurant, transportation or others. Evaluate every point and aspect to reach a conclusion. Before you seek a mobile web app service, make sure that you have all the information required to add value to your business. Consider what your target audience is, the popular platform amongst potential customers, and what they are looking for. 

If you are still not sure about the right choice, connect with our experts and they will help you with the best solution. 

 

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