Many of us get stuck in the thing that a mobile app and a web app both are the same. NO. They are very different.
Not only for the common users but for the developers like us, they are completely different when it comes to development and deployment. So, we would consider not confusing you and throwing you into the volcano of questions.
To start with the differences, we would distinguish web-apps and websites for you. Simply speaking, web-app is a website that uses fluid design, which responses to being viewed on a mobile phone. There are many websites on the internet today, some we call them static, which are rarely updated, whereas, some are responsive with a better deal of interactivity. Web apps are websites but they behave like an app on your mobile's browser.
Now, we will take a look at the differences between the mobile app and a web app.
Know the difference
Locally installed mobile apps are designed for particular Operating Systems of smartphones such as iOS for Apple devices and Android for brands like Samsung, Sony, Motorola etc. They are downloaded from their relevant app-stores and installed with access to system resources, like Camera and GPS functions. Mobile apps get installed and run on the devices themselves. Some of the common native or locally installed mobile apps are Facebook, WhatsApp, Google Maps and so on.
On the other hand, when we talk about Web-Apps, they can be accessed via a web browser of the phone and can adapt to whichever device you are using to access them. As they don't have any local presence on the system, they don't have any special access to system resources, if needed, pop-ups may arrive on the screen asking for the same. They do look and behave like native mobile apps, and this is where the main confusion lies.
While the styles are similar and follow identical fonts and colour combinations, these are primarily 2 different products.
Web apps can run only if there is an active internet connection. Whereas, mobile apps may work even if the user switches off the internet connection. Mobile apps have the benefit of being faster and a lot more economical, however, they do need the user to download the updates in order to work efficiently, on the other hand, web-apps can update themselves.
Above all, the design and engineering of mobile apps and web-apps are totally different. Let's understand how the design goes for both of them…
How do we build mobile apps?
Mobile apps are more costly than developing web apps. And as we know mobile apps are platform-specific, launching an app on various platforms is pretty much is about starting from scratch in design and development. But, they are indeed very much faster and advanced when it comes to features and functionality.
Native mobile apps are designed using certain pre-defined languages and IDE i.e. Integrated Development Environments considering the intended platform. Apple devices use iOS as their native operating system and they are built using either Objective-C or Swift and Xcode IDE. Android apps are built using Java and commonly built using Eclipse IDE and Android Studio.
There are different development tools from both Apple and Google, they provide both interface elements and software development kits (SDKs) which developers can use to build native mobile apps.
How are web apps built?
To conclude, we will end this tour with Pros and Cons of Mobile Apps and Web Apps.
Native mobile apps
- Quicker than web apps
- Better productivity as they have access to system resources
- Can work offline
- Safe and secure — native apps need approvals from the relevant
- Easier to develop due to available developer tools, interface elements and SDKs
- Costlier to build than web apps
- Compatibility with platforms like iOS and Android usually means building and designing the app from scratch
- Costlier to maintain and update
- It may be difficult to get a native app approved by the app store
- Users don't need to download or install the web apps as they function in-browser
- Easy to maintain — they have a common codebase regardless of any mobile platform
- Can update themselves
- Quicker and easier to build when compared to mobile apps
- They don't need any kind of approval so can be launched on web-browsers using a simple link
- Can't work offline
- Comparatively slower than mobile apps, and less advanced in terms of functionalities
- Hard to discover as they are not listed on any mobile apps, such as App Store and Play Store
- Security and quality are not always guaranteed.
So now you know what differs in mobile apps and web apps, you might be interested in starting learning on how to build your own app. Well, at Felix ITs, we offer various types of training for UI/UX designs, to know more, visit our platform, http://www.felix-its.com/.