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Mobile Apps Vs Web Apps: An Explanation For Non-developers

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By Author: Amit Tiwari
Total Articles: 32
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Applications have helped a lot of people deal with the most basic day-to-day tasks. To a developer, a mobile app and a web app have subtle differences. However, most people can’t tell the difference between the two.

What is a Web app
A web app can be defined as an interactive website. Unlike native apps, a web app is usually accessed through a browser. There are different kinds of websites; there are those that are designed once and are never updated. They are basic and function well when viewed through a large screen, such as a desktop. Then, there are web apps, which function well regardless of the screen size.

What is a Mobile app
A native mobile app is one that is built for a specific operating system such as iOS for an iPhone and Android OS for Android phones. A mobile app is installed directly from the app store. In addition, it requires permission to use some of the phone’s features such as the microphone, GPS, camera, contacts, and many more. In most cases, the features are directly linked to the functionality of the app.

Differences between Web and Mobile Apps

1. Accessibility across Different Platforms
A web app is very versatile. When you access it through a phone or a tablet, it adapts to the screen size. You should also note that the operating system of the device does not matter. Whether you are using an iPhone or an Android phone to view a web app, there is no difference in performance and user interface.

Mobile apps are also called native applications. This is because their functionality depends on the smart phone used. There are those that are designed to work on a single platform. Here, the mobile apps development team looks at their clientele and the type of phone that they are most likely to use. If it’s android phones, the team designs a mobile app that works only on an Android operating systems.

Then, there are those mobile apps that are created for both Android OS and Apple IOS. These are called cross platform native apps. The developers usually create two versions of the same app.

2. Ability to Work Offline
A mobile app is native to the phone’s operating system. The good thing with smart phones is that they can work regardless of whether you are connected to the internet or not. This means that you can use native apps offline.

The web apps development team usually focuses more on the responsiveness of the site and less on the functionality and ability to work offline. This means that you need the internet if you want to access all the features of a web app.

3. Launch Approval
Since native apps depend on the phone’s operating system, the mobile apps development team has to follow certain guidelines before they can launch the application. The biggest concern for mobile app developers is reaching the target audience. Since most smart phones use either Android OS or Apple’s IOS, the creators of these operating systems have created a store that makes their apps available to users.

For android applications, developers have to publish their applications on Google Play Store. On the other hand, IOS based applications are launched on Apple Play Store. Most apps have to be approved by the store before they can be made available to the outside world. The process usually takes some time.

On the other hand, the web apps development team just needs to find a web host provider, register a domain name, and launch the web app. There aren’t a lot of processes involved before the web app becomes live.

Conclusion
The above are the common differences between native and web apps. Mobile apps are generally designed to work on smart phone platforms while web apps can be accessed through any internet enabled device. Before you decide on which one to use, perform a thorough market analysis so that you can know what your customers really want.

More About the Author

Amit Tiwari is a Digital marketer & blogger with over 4 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry.

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