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The Native Vs Mobile Web Applications

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By Author: Yancy Marry
Total Articles: 185
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Rapid advancement in technology is narrowing down the difference between web-based & native mobile applications. Before starting the application development process, it is important for you to know the difference between the two.
Native application is designed specifically to run on a device's OS & machine firmware. It typically requires being adapted for different devices. A web application on the other hand is a browser based app in which some of the parts of the software are download each time from the web. All web-enabled mobile devices can access web apps. It was the native apps that came first in form of calculator, calendar in mobile phones.

The Difference
A native app developer for iPhone will run only on the proprietary iOS platform. A web application is coded in browser-rendered language and doesn't require a specific OS to run on the device.
Here's a quick rundown of native applications versus web application on following factors:

The Development Part
Every mobile OS has its native programming. Android has Java, iOS has Objective-C, and Windows Mobile is based on Visual ...
... C++. Whereas, mobile web apps are written in JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, and server-side languages or on the frameworks like Python, PHP, Rails etc.
Mobile OS manufacturers usually provide standardized SDKS, common UI elements, and development tools for native applications. But, there are as such no standard software development kits available for web apps.

Capabilities
A native application has permission to use device's native features, hardware, and information. Whereas, web application has limited access to features and information of the device.

Method of Delivery
A native application is downloaded directly on to a mobile device and runs as a standalone application. There are app stores wherein, these applications can be downloaded from.
A web application can only be accessed through the browser of mobile device. All the updates of the app are made to the web server, saving user from the hassles of manually installing the update. Web applications aren't available on app stores.

Miscellaneous
1. A native application is typically faster than the web app
2. Since, a native app is first approved by the application store, it is more secure than the web app that doesn't need prior approval
3. Same version of a web app is available to all the users, while in case of native apps, some might choose to update and others might be using the same old version

The advent of Apple's App Store was a game changer for native applications. It opened new opportunities for developers and users were able to make better use of Internet. However, the market of web apps is expected to see a major boom with growing popularity of HTML5.

There are architectural differences between native and web app, but the user experience provided by both is becoming almost same now. Most of the native apps now utilize the web connectivity, while web apps these days offer offline functionality and are accessible without network connection. It is the result of the functionalities that some of the apps are now referred to as hybrid apps.

As far as cost is involved, developing a web application is cheaper than native app. And the development cost will rise even more, if you are looking for a native app for multiple platforms. Both the types have their own benefits and drawbacks. With time, there will be an evolution in native & web applications development, which will further raise the standard of application development.

Copper Mobile is counted amongst leading Windows app developer with experience of working on cross platform development.The team of iOS, BlackBerry, Android developer has created over 300 applications on major mobile platforms.

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