Web App vs App nativa: ventajas e inconvenientes
The mobile apps market has surged in recent years. So much so that more and more companies are looking to compete in this field, and understandably so – today’s consumers are multi-platform users who interact with companies using mobile devices and online spaces, which includes web apps and native apps.
Why are mobile apps created?
As we said earlier, the market of mobile apps is growing unstoppably. Now that there are apps to buy almost anything, companies are reluctant to miss out on this opportunity to connect with users in such a cross-sector, multi-device way.
Some organisations are creating apps and selling them to get their piece of the pie. But other companies simply prefer to develop their own web app or native app in response to their customers’ needs.
A web app or native app can prove extremely helpful for companies who need a tool to provide their clients with a specific service. That way, they can ensure the experience is fully optimised for the right target audience, which helps improve the user’s perception of the brand and, consequently, boosts loyalty.
As you can see, having a web app would be extremely beneficial for your company. But first you need to know what types of apps you can choose from and which will work best for your business.
Types of mobile apps
Mobile apps could be split into two large groups: web app and native apps:
Photograph via Unsplash
What is a web app?
Basically, a web app is an optimised version of a website that is perfect for mobile devices and is accessed by means of a URL on the device’s browser, enabling it to adapt to the screen and making it feel like an app. The user can also create a shortcut on the desktop to open the app as if it were installed on the device, meaning it is directly accessible from the desktop.
What is a native app?
Native apps are developed specifically for a given operating system with what known as a Software Development Kit (SDK). Each mobile platform – i.e. Android, iOS or Windows Phone – has its own system and language, so if you want your native app to be available on all of them you will have to create various apps using the right language for each OS.
So, a native app is developed for a mobile device in its native language, which means it is designed to take full advantage of the features of that specific system.
Of course, both web apps and native apps have their pros and cons which you will need to bear in mind when choosing one or the other. Here are some tips to help you:
“With a web app, anyone who accesses your website using a mobile device will be able to enjoy the app experience without having to download a specific app on their device.”
Pros and cons of a web app
When it comes to web apps, the main advantage is that they involve a more simple and less costly development process, which means they are the preferred option mainly for companies who are just getting started in this field.
The fact that they are developed in a multi-platform language means the same code works for different operating systems, regardless of the device used.
Since there is no need to download them from an app store because they are accessed through the browser, they use up less of the device’s resources and are fully accessible on any kind of device.
They do not need to be constantly updated, so maintenance costs are lowered to a minimum.
But, of course, not everything about these apps is so positive. On the down side, they need an Internet connection and depend on the browsing speed and quality of that connection.
Limited access to the device’s features and hardware also compromises the user experience to some extent.
Pros and cons of a native app
Compared to a web app, the main advantage of native apps is that they use the device’s hardware, offering complete access to its resources to ultimately enhance the user experience.
They are also better in terms of visibility, as they are available from stores like Google Play or the App Store. As an added bonus, they also make a good marketing channel.
A native app can be used to send the user alerts and updates.
Here again, however, it is not all perfect. Native apps come with the difficulty of needing separate programming for each operating system which requires different versions for different mobile platforms, with consequently longer development times and much higher costs. The need for constant updates is another reason why this option proves more costly.
Which one works best for your project?
The answer to this question, of course, depends largely on the specific needs of your company. That said, we generally believe that a web app offers considerable advantages over a native app since anyone who accesses your website using a mobile device will be able to enjoy the app experience without having to download a special app onto their device.
And if your idea is to adapt your website to the mobile format, a web app is the right choice for you.
Find out how to design a good app marketing strategy with 40deFiebre (Spanish).
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