When we talk about taking the first step of taking your business online, one of the first challenges we face is comparing web apps vs mobile app and deciding what is best for our business. Firstly what are the differences between these two? No, they are definitely not the same.
Web apps basically are websites that are coded well to work on smartphones unlike normal websites web apps are responsive and interactive and act like downloaded apps but it only requires your mobile browser. As per mobile apps, you already know, It is software downloadable on mobile devices it also gets a few system access like storage and notification.
Is that it? No, it isn’t.
There are still more differences between these two, from how it works to the way it is built. We will talk about that in detail, there are also different kinds of apps based on their platforms we will talk about that too in the native apps vs hybrid apps part. We will also talk about the best of both worlds in the progressive web app vs mobile app part and is it really the correct choice? and finally, we will decide which will be the best fit for your business so let’s get started.
Web app vs Mobile app
For the correct option for your business, we need proper metrics like how
- What is the development,
- How it looks and feels
- How much control does it provide?
- How likely it is to be downloaded
- How many conversions it can get
In order to correctly understand this that we need some basic knowledge about it like, how it’s built, what are its limitation, and how it works? After that, we will decide which is better from a business POV.
How mobile apps are built
Mobile apps are built for a specific platform like Ios, Android, Tizen, etc. They can be downloaded from Playstore and AppStore and after installation, they can ask to access hardware and software systems like storage, camera, and GPS.
Being platform-specific they also require platform-specific languages which for Android is Java and Kotlin and for Ios it’s Swift. They also have their own Integrated Development Environment(IDE). IDE is software for building software based on the platform both of them have their own different IDE. Which for android is Android Studio or Eclipse IDE and for IOS it’s Xcode IDE.
If we talk about expenses, the development cost of mobile apps are also high compared to web apps and if you consider developing a new platform the prices will go up again as you will have to start from scratch again all over again but the plus-point is mobile apps are so much faster and provide more advance features than a web application.
Although “Mobile apps are Platform Specific” this argument is not entirely true we have hybrid mobile apps that work on both, let’s talk about that in detail.
There are two types of mobile apps and you will require to choose one between those two Native and Hybrid App
Native apps vs Hybrid apps
The discussion about Native apps vs hybrid apps won’t have a clear winner as both have an equal number of pros and cons.
The Native apps are completely platform-specific and can’t work on another platform. However, Hybrid apps work on multiple platforms. Hybrid apps are built using Flutter, React Native, and Iconic. The native apps are built using java or kotlin. Though most of the app today on the internet are Native app coming from the Android platform, Hybrid apps are used by start-ups and small business as it is cheaper to build and also flexible to all user.
The downside is that Hybrid apps do not feel premium and can be as fast as a Native app. Hybrid apps also cant access all the systems as properly as their native counterpart.
Hybrid apps in simpler terms can feel like a website cramped to look like an app and Native apps are too much specific, that’s the reason why the Native apps vs Hybrid Apps argument have no clear answer. The pros and cons below will make it clear.
Pros and Cons of Mobile App
Mobile Apps Pros
- Works fast, smoothly, and give a professional look
- Can access the system
- Can be downloaded from play sttore and app store.
- Have “Zero” limitation in terms of customization
- People like spending time on apps so it gets more conversion
- Can work offline
Mobile Apps Cons
- Expensive to build and maintain
- Expensive to build and maintain
- Its hard to get it approved by App store
- Its Even Harder to make your users download it
How web apps are built
Compared to mobile apps they take less time to build and they are super cheap to maintain. So is that it? does it not have any downside and is it better than mobile apps in every way ? not so fast.
One of the downsides of web apps is that it’s not that interactive or provide that many functions. It also requires an internet connection so it often cannot bring that premium feel.
Pros and Cons of Web apps
Pros of Web App
- Super Cheap to build and maintain
- NO need to ask people to download and update
- Works on every platform
- No permission or charges required from playstore
- Takes the least time to build
- Easier to scale
Cons of Web App
- Slower and sluggish performance
- Doesnot offer work unless you have a proper internet conncetion
- Doesnot provide the features like System Access.
- Doesnot give the premium look
- Harder to find from so many websites worldwide as its not avilable on any store.
When should you opt a web app?
- When your business is in its baby steps
- You have a very limited budget
- You have a very small user base
- Dont provide so many services
- You publish blog to bring traffic
- You are mainly a service based company and not a product based one.
When you should go for a mobile app?
- You have been in the business for a while
- Your business is growing and your user base is increasing
- You are a product base company(especially, lifestyle)
- you have loyal customer/fanbase
- When you have to provide so many features
- Your web app is looking dated in front of your userbase
In our opinion you should start with a web app and then go with a mobile app once your customer base has increased, Previously your options may have looked like but now we have other better options. Here even after choosing one, you would have to face the Cons there were no other options where you get all the Pros and not any disadvantages. In simpler terms, you need The Best Of Both Worlds. Fortunately, we HAVE that.
Progressive Web Application Best of both Worlds
So until now, we couldn’t find any clear winner between a web app vs mobile app argument nor between native apps vs hybrid apps argument. So what should we do? We need both of the advantages to maximize our business potential, It would have been amazing if somehow we could get the best of both worlds. Actually, we have the best of both worlds. It is called the Progressive Web Application(PWA).
It’s actually the best of both worlds because like mobile apps it can access some of the systems and its interactive can have limited use while offline and like web apps it does not need to be downloaded. let’s talk in detail.
PWAs also don’t need to be downloaded and can work directly from bowser but still can access storage, GPS, Push Notification features. If you want to know about PWA in more detail we have an amazing article on that please have a look.
Progressive Web Application vs Mobile app, why PWA is the best option?
Lightning Fast Speed– Thanks to the “Service Workers” JS file it gets downloaded as cache in the browser it helps it load faster than normal web apps. Previously the problem with web apps as it was unable to work net connection and the speed depended on the bandwidth of the connection. PWA solved that problem. Speed also helps get more traffic for its SEO and more conversions that no wonder will help your business a lot.
Stop Asking To Download– It’s true that mobile users are increasing but they are now more and more reluctant to download new apps that they won’t use daily such as social media, youtube, and games as they don’t go heavy on the storage. More than 50% of the app users in 2017 from the U. S. have downloaded zero new mobile applications per month, according to Statista.
The PWA are lightweight and don’t need to be downloaded on the device directly so they don’t need to worry about using it. For you, that means you won’t need to ask every time to download. Furthermore, you get some system access like push notifications, GPS, storage, etc. It does not get spammy and shows you as a trustable place to make a business.
Low-Cost Barrier– It’s not only cheaper compared to Native apps it’s also Cheaper than Hybrid apps all while retaining some usability of Native apps. PWA is a single-codebase simply which means all the code for given work in the PWA is stored in the same place and run from the same place. So, They are easier to build compared to the hybrid apps it is the reason of this of being cheaper.
Scalability– Scalability means how easier it is to increase its userbase. Every business wants to grow, it’s its main motive. For Native apps to get more traffic and target net set o customers you will have to develop a new app from scratch. In a Progressive Web Application, it can already target both platforms of the user base. For the Hybrid counterpart, it’s still expensive to build and maintain compared to PWA. It saves more money to be used for improvising your product.
Everything is Real-Time– When talking about providing the best solution, you have to keep improvising your product for that you need Real-Time updates o your apps. PWA is still a winner in Progressive web app vs mobile app vs Web app comparison as Mobile Apps require users’ active action to go to the App Store and update the app luckily you can just update your PWA and the changes and updates will come automatically to the user.
If you want any help regarding the development of your app feel free to contact us for a completely FREE on our services section.
But it’s not without a downside
Downside– It does not have as many downsides as web or mobile apps but it still does. None of them are too serious but for the sake of this progressive web app vs mobile app vs web app comparison list, we still have to consider them.
- Expensive compared to simple web apps
- You may need some technical knoledge or need to hire a developer for that
- YES it works offline but not as great as a Native app
- CAN access hardware but not as good as a native app ( cant access calendars, contacts, browser bookmarks, SMS or calls, nor like you will need it anyway)
- As they are not built for a specific platform if thay dont be compatibale PWA some times takes more battery.
You just finished reading the comparison of progressive web app vs mobile app vs web app. We tried our best to bring all the information you need to make your decision-making easier. We knew we wanted the conclusion between web app vs mobile app and you may not know about the Progressive Web App PWA so we thought it would be better to bring the original winner of it.
As we were not trying to give you the limbo answer like “It Depends” or anything else like that so we thought about introducing PWA It so the single best answer to your question. And as for the Question of mobile apps if your userbase is big enough and full of loyal customers and you sell lifestyle items you can still think about having a mobile app only after having PWA for some time, What category should you choose? again, You can get a few references from the native apps vs hybrid apps section from this article. As we said before If you want to know more about Progressive Web Application don’t forget to check the article.
Have a great day!