Mobile Web Apps or Native Apps – What Fits My Business?

July 9th, 2013 | Author : Manmaya Mehta | Share On: Twitter | Facebook | Google+

In today’s increasing mobile friendly market, we all know that people spend more time on browsing applications and websites via mobile compared to PCs. In other words, the daily time spent on mobile surpasses the time spent by people on desktop and laptops. In order to capitalize this love of customers towards smartphones, businesses are looking around to develop their presence on mobile technology. But for that, they need to determine whether they want to develop a native app or go with a website or web application which can be accessed via mobile.

Mobile Web Apps vs Native Apps

Both web applications as well as native applications are important in their own way, but which one is more effective? There is a lot of debate on this issue. While Native apps are dominating in the current mobile market, mobile website or web applications seem to be taking over it in the next few years. To figure out which type of application should be developed that best suit the business needs in the immediate future, you need to analyze and compare the features of each kind of application.

Comparison of Features – Web Applications & Native Applications

Features Web Applications Native Applications
Accessibility A web application or website is instantly accessible via browser on any mobile device. On the other hand, native applications require user to download and install the app.
Compatibility A website or web application is compatible to run on any device through a browser A mobile application has to be developed for different mobile platforms and devices
Searchability In terms of search engines, web applications are easier to search on the internet Since native applications are largely visible on the app stores, they are less searchable in the search engines
Performance A web application requires internet to run the application A native app can run locally without an internet connection
Time & Cost A mobile web application can be developed with less investment but requires more time in development A native app can be developed with less time and cost
Shareability Websites or web applications accessed through browser can be shared as a simple link via text message, email or any social media A native app cannot be shared in this fashion
Maintenance Web applications actually does not require any maintenance efforts from the user since they are just accessed through browsers A native app require maintenance since they are stored in the user’s device and further demands appropriate actions to download, move, upgrade and delete the application
User Experience Mobile web applications are less intuitive and attractive since they are optimized for the desktop and PCs Since native apps are developed separately for mobile devices, they are more attractive and intuitive

Choosing anyone of these is difficult but depends on the purpose of the business and the users it wants to target. Therefore before selecting any one type of application, business should first find answers to the below questions

  1. Who are your customers?
  2. Why you want to reach out them?
  3. How do you want to endorse your brand?

The choice also depends on the end goals. If your goal is market-driven or if you want to disperse information or knowledge to a wider audience that can be easily found on search engines, go for web application. But if your goal is to achieve interactive engagement and your target audience is small, the best option is to develop an application

The other way round is to figure out which should be considered first. Some people believe to make web application first and then go for a native app if people visit it frequently. But if a native application is capable to provide better results and satisfy your purpose, you can give it a first priority. For an instance Instagram first went on mobile.

Be it a native app or a web app, both have their own challenges and fun to develop and use.

Author Bio:

Manmaya Mehta is associated with Cygnet Infotech , a leading company for mobile application and software Development. It offers the finest Mobile website development services and other mobile apps services including iPhone, Windows mobile and Android Apps Development.

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