Despite the marked difference, people tend to confuse web mobile apps and native ones. The differences come from the type of experience the end-user will get. Development and deployment are also very different. You must get a good understanding of the two if you are to take advantage of the benefits it has to offer.
· Differentiating Mobile vs. Web Apps
A web mobile app refers to a website designed for viewing on a smart device. You get to enjoy all the benefits from the comfort of your browser. You will also find that some of the features you will get are similar to what you will find in the downloadable apps. It has become an indispensable aspect of most e-commerce platforms as they all work towards optimizing for mobile. It does not matter what kind of device you are using; the web app will adapt to it. You need not install or download them because you access them via your browser. Mobile web apps function a lot like native apps, and so many people will not be able to differentiate them from native apps.
Native apps, on the other hand, are for a specific platform. You will, therefore, find those that will work on IOS, Android, or Samsung devices. You will have download and install them from an app store onto your smart device. Think about apps such as Google Maps, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat, among others.
What makes it more difficult for people to differentiate between the two, is that you can enjoy the different online platforms on either one of them. You could, for example, access Facebook on your browser, or download the app. The web app ends up looking so much like the native mobile app, generally with similar colors and fonts.
There are certain things you will notice, however. You will find that you need an active internet connection to run web apps. Mobile apps, on the other hand, are accessible even if you are online. The latter is also faster, and you will enjoy the user experience a bit more due to their efficiency levels. The downside is that you have to run regular updates, something you do not have to worry about with the web apps. Any time the developer has an update, the web app will automatically update itself on your smart device.
· Process of Development
Mobile web apps are built for specific platforms and are, therefore, more expensive to develop. The developers usually have to start from scratch to make it accessible on the different operating systems. The advantage is that they offer a lot of functionality, and the features are more advanced.
Native apps use integrated Development Environments (IDE) and specific language, depending on the final platform. You will, for example, find that Apple apps which run on the iOS operating system will either use Swift, Objective-C, and Xcode IDE. The Android platform uses Java, eclipse IDE, or Android studio. Most of the developers have their interface elements and software development kits for use in building native mobile apps. The process of developing native apps is usually more straightforward, but most of the features are quite basic when you compare them to mobile web apps.
· Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)
Developers are always looking for a way to make the user experience better for the customers. And that is what progressive web apps offer. You could consider them in-between when talking about native and mobile web apps. What you will especially enjoy when using the PWA is the fact that they are speedy and you do not need an internet connection to use them. You get to enjoy features such as native video, audio capture, push notifications, video playback, among others.
One significant advantage is that you do not need to install or download them onto your mobile device. You also get to enjoy regular updates without needing to download or schedule the updates.
· Which is the Better Option Between Native and Mobile Web Apps?
There is no clear-cut response when it comes to choosing between the two. At the end of the day, it depends on what you are hoping to achieve. If for example, you are optimizing your website for mobile and would like to reach the broadest audience base possible, then a mobile site is the best option. A mobile website should also be your go-to place if you are starting the process of developing your web presence on the mobile platform
People spend a lot of time on their mobile phones, and developers are continually looking for ways to make the experience better. We have shared with you the main differences between mobile web apps and native ones. Only you can determine which one works best for your needs at any particular time, although they both offer significant benefits.