There has been an increased attention to mobile applications in the past one to two years due to the rise in use of smart phones and tablets. Yet, most people still do not know that there are two types of mobile applications, web based applications and native applications. I have put together a guide to help you determine which mobile application you may want to choose for your business.
Before we break down the requirements for each type of application, it is important to know some background information about the two applications. A web application is commonly referred to as a mobile website and in order to access it, you must use a mobile browser. While, a native application is installed directly on the phone by the user from a platform specific “app” market place.
Web App and Mobile App Differences
Depending on your target audience, one application may be better than the other. For example, if you want to reach only a particular group of smart phone users, then a native application is ideal. However, if you want your mobile application to be compatible with all mobile operating systems, then a web application will be better.
Although a web application can be accessed by all mobile platform systems, the main issue of web applications are the limited features, however, they are good for applications that need and emphasize broad accessibility and searchability. On the other hand, Native applications are better for more complex applications that utilize graphics, calendar integration and mobile features integration with the mobile application.
A web application is only limited by the restrictions of your phone’s browser. In other words, a web application can only be used on the web. The native application, on the other hand, is only limited to the restrictions of the mobile phone device. This means that the native application can utilize all of the smart phones features including web access, camera, contacts, email and mapping system. The downside is that a separate and unique application needs to be developed for each mobile operating system.
Web applications are usually cheaper than native applications. The reason for this is that native applications require different types of programming and customizations for each type of mobile device platform. Even though there is a higher cost, this is offset by the wide variety of capabilities the app can access within each operating system, while a web app is limited to the capabilities of a mobile browser.
Determining which type of application to utilize for your business can be challenging. Softway Solutions has been developing native and web applications since 2009. For further information on which application is best for you, contact Softway Solutions at 281.914.4381.