Differences between web apps and native apps
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Differences between web apps and native apps.


Mobile application development has picked up a lot of steam in recent times. Availability of high-speed internet is predominant in all corners of the world. There are newer versions and models of smart devices which are being released. This has led to application developers competing with each other to design and launch new applications. For performing different functions and utilities, various choices of applications are available to users. The Android play store and the iOS application store for apple are full of such web apps. As a matter of fact, even mobile phone companies are developing apps of their own. This can be useful to keep the users roped by offering native apps along with the smart device.

Caught between the jargons, a newbie might be wondering about a mobile phone application. What does a web app mean? Is it different from a native mobile app? What are the similarities between these two types of applications? And, what are the difference between web apps and native apps?

Read on to find out...

Native Mobile Apps
A Native application is typically designed and installed in a smart device by the original manufacturer. It is directly installed in the gadget along with other software before shipping them off to consumers. These applications are also available online in application stores. But quite often, it is an inbuilt app with newer versions and updates being released.

Since these apps are part of the package by the manufacturers, they are designed keeping in mind the operating system of the smart device. A native app for the Apple iOS will have a different design in comparison to a similar app for the Android platform. Needless to say, these apps are not compatible in different operating systems. In other words, a native app designed for an android gadget will not work on an Apple product and vice versa. However, if you want to touch the user base for both Android as well as for apple, then you will have to design a model of the app for all the different operating systems. Developing different versions to suit the operating system might increase the cost factor and is also time-consuming. However, it does make the app more popular among a wide user base.
creating a React Native Application, with a Node.js application development API behind the hood. Basically, this is the first step in creating a dynamic mobile application; which works using JavaScript on both the frontend and the backend.

But how does a native app make life easy for the user? Are there any disadvantages associated with them?

Advantages of a Native App

  1. The first and the foremost positive of a native app is that it can be used even when the user is offline. This makes a native app much faster to run and can be accessed even without the need for an internet. Quite often, these apps synchronize their database only after the user has finished using the app. They record most of the information on the device when the user is using the application. As soon as the app is closed, most of the information is saved online either on a web storage platform or on cloud storage.
  2. The native apps can be activated with the use of hand gestures. This offers a broad array of conventions to the user and makes the app more user-friendly.
  3. Since these apps are verified and belong to a trusted source (the manufacturer), the level of security with such applications is immensely high.
  4. The native apps tend to allow a direct access to the hardware components of the smart device. These are much more efficient with the hardware than other mobile apps or web apps.

Disadvantages of a Native App

As fascinating as it might seem, there still are disadvantages associated with the native apps. To list them down, here are a few

  1. The first is undoubtedly the cost factor. These apps are expensive to develop. It gets even more complicated if the same application has to be designed for multiple operating systems.
  2. These apps have to be verified and approved by the app stores. This can be a meticulous process for the developer.
  3. The usage of the app is totally reliant on the user’s willingness to use the app. Quite often, users prefer to download new apps instead of using native apps.

Web Applications for Smart Devices
Web applications are those applications which need an active internet connection either in the form of mobile data or through a Wi-Fi. The applications can be enabled with the help the web browser in the smart gadget. There is no need to download and store this app on the device. Developers generally use HTML and CSS codes to design the web pages hosting the application. To design the interactive parts of the app, developers use Java. Most commonly used are Jquery or JavaScript. The greatest advantage of a web app is that it is compatible with all forms of operating systems. If a smart gadget can surf the web, then it can easily access web apps.

So, what makes the web apps specials. Let’s, look at some of the pros and cons of web apps.


  1. Web apps can be accessed by a wide range of devices. It does not matter whether the gadget is an Apple product, an Android device or a windows phone.
  2. Since all the data is stored on the web platform, it is easy to update and maintain the web app. Most developers tend to publish the updates on the server. This makes the updates visible immediately on the web app.
  3. It is easier to spot a web app. Most of these pages are displayed on commonly used search engines.
  4. You can retain regular users by directing them to the mobile version of the web app. This will offer a better experience and also indirectly promote your app.
  5. It is a less costly affair to develop a web app and can be done much faster than developing a native mobile app.


  1. In comparison to the native apps, mobile web apps have a lesser scope. Many features like hand gestures and sensors cannot be activated because the app is functioning on a web server.
  2. There are different versions and variations to a web browser. This makes it a challenge to develop a web app that is stable on all platforms.
  3. There are no quality control systems when it comes to web apps. The level of security is much lesser in a web app.
  4. These apps are not available offline. The user must be connected to the net for using these applications.


About The Author


The author has good experience in the field of IT and latest technologies, mobile and web Application Development and spend his time on researching new technologies in trend like blockchain application development, IoT app development etc. He is working with a leading IT company Enuke Software and also want to spread and explore more knowledge about technologies.

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