Web Apps Mobile Apps: There is a big confusion that mobile apps and web apps are the same things. But in reality, they are extremely different.

They are not only different for the users but also different for the developers. To clear the confusion we will talk about the differences between mobile apps and web apps in this article.

Mobile apps are built to open on mobile phones like Android Phones and Apple iPhone. These apps are downloaded from respective app stores (Google PlayStore and Apple iTunes) and are installed on a phone device before they can be used.

Instagram, Whatsapp, and Google Maps are some of the examples of mobile apps. Using these apps may or may not require active internet on the phone device. Mobile Apps can not be opened into a computer device.

Web apps, on the other hand, are launched using a web browser. These apps are accessed using the Internet and can adapt to any device you are viewing on i.e Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, and Mobile Phones.

Using a Web app does not require installations on any device and can browse simply by using a browser.

Let's dig a little deeper into both types to understand it in a better way.

Mobile Apps - Android and iPhone

These are installable applications. Are made for Mobile Phones only. All app installers are put into global repositories - Google Playstore for Android Phone Apps and Apple iTunes for iPhone apps.

After an app is installed on a phone, it sits there locally thus consuming phone space.

App made for a specific OS can not be used for the other Operating System. This means that an app made for Android Phones can not be opened and launched on an iPhone.

Major Technologies used for building mobile apps are Java for Android Native Apps, Objective C or SWIFT for iOS Native App, or to building Hybrid apps for Android and iOS using Ionic, ReactNative, or Flutter technologies.

Pros

  • They are faster to open and access as they can be used even in offline mode too for certain features.
  • Performance is also faster as mobile apps can store information locally.
  • They are safer and secured as they must first pass tests for security by the app store.
  • A larger audience across the globe is becoming Mobile Savvy. It is important for businesses to be present through Mobile Apps to capture maximum clients.

Cons

  • Mobile App Developers are costly resources and the kinds of Machines that are required for building these apps are heavy-duty expensive machines and hence the overall cost for building a mobile app is higher than building a web app.
  • A bigger team is required to build a mobile app. If an app has to be built for both Android and iOS platforms then the minimum required team would be A UI/UX Designer, Backend Developer, Android Developer, iOS Developer, and tester. Contrary to this a web app can be built even by a team of three.
  • App Stores (Google PlayStore and iTunes) both have gone extremely stringent in approving the apps. Publishing the apps online has become a job in itself.
  • If a new version of the app is built then publishing the new work requires equal energy, time, and effort to get the app approved on the store.

Web Apps

Web apps are normally an internet-based application that can be accessed by any device using any browser.

Their apps don't require to be downloaded or installed. Such apps are built using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and use PHP or NodeJS in the backend.

Web apps always need active internet to operate. The best part of this app is that it is built in such a way that it can be browsed on any device.

Now let us see some of the pros and cons of such apps.

Pros

  • They are easily accessible to the user by using any web browser.
  • They are much easier to update and maintain.
  • These apps don't need to be downloaded or installed.
  • They don’t require app store approval. Thus can be launched easily.
  • These do not occupy any space locally on a phone or desktop device

Cons

  • They don’t work offline.
  • They are slower than mobile apps and are available with fewer features.
  • It is not sure that they will have good quality and security
  • Users must remember the name of the website to surf your business every time.

Summing it up - Web Apps Mobile Apps

So which one is better a mobile app or a web app? Both have some advantages and disadvantages and both are totally different from each other. It depends on your end goal on which one to choose for your business.

If your goal is related to mobile users then a mobile app will be best for you. But if you want a general audience and broader user community a web app is more preferable.

Validating a new business idea can be started with a web app considering the costs involved in designing and developing mobile apps. NOTE: You can always start with building any app initially and may add newer platform support slowly in the future.