Native Mobile Apps - Are They Really Better Than Web Apps?

Mobile applications involve a lot of things starting right from a basic idea for the app to detailed planning, app design, app development, the testing procedures and then the final deployment of the app to devices for which it has been developed. All of this has to be decided much before you actually start working on your app idea. The two major options that come into the picture when you decide to create and deploy your app are – either you can go for developing a native mobile app or a web app.

Now the question that arises is – what is the basic point of difference between native mobile apps and web apps. Also, it is essential to know which of these two alternatives would be better for you as an app developer depending on your skills, audience, and nature of work.

Native Mobile App

A native mobile app is basically an application that has been specifically been designed for one particular mobile device. This app gets directly installed onto that device itself. The users of native mobile apps have to download the apps from the various app stores available online or the app marketplace including the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

One such app is the Camera+ app that has been developed for Apple’s iOS devices.

Web App

A web app is the name for internet enabled applications. The users can access all web apps using the web browser on their mobile devices. You do not need to download these web apps on to your mobile devices in order to be able to use them.

The Safari browser is one good example of a web app.

Many companies keep their horizons widened by designing and developing both native mobile apps and web apps that allow more users to reach them and also provide a good overall user experience. In the opinion of the users, many of these native mobile apps and the web apps look and work almost the same way. But in order to know which of these two apps suits better to your needs, you must have a look at these points about native mobile apps and web apps.

App Development Process

For both the type of apps, the development process is different. The native mobile apps have to be developed using the unique development process that that mobile platform asks for. However, in the case of web apps that run on the web browser of mobile devices it gets difficult because each of the mobile devices come with their own unique features.

For developing native mobile apps you have to use the native programming language based on the mobile device for which you are developing that app. For examples, native mobile apps for iOS are developed using Objective-C, apps for Android are developed using Java and apps for Windows device are developed using C++. Whereas, the web apps are developed using languages like JavaScript, HTML5, CSS3, etc.


While a native app is completely compatible with the hardware and features of its device, web apps can utilize only a limited amount of a device’s native features.

The Update

A native mobile app has to be updated by the user by downloading the latest updated version. But a web app updates itself without the need for user intervention (but you have to access it through the device’s web browser).

Due to these and many more points of difference like app monetization and efficiency, many developers feel that native apps are better than the web apps.

Published on Apr 9, 2015
Written by Prateek Panda


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