There’s an App for That: Native vs. Web Based apps

The recent widespread catchphrase, “there’s an app for that,” confirms that the mobile application (app) environment is showing no signs of slowing down. Nowadays, apps are our heroes because they can be created for any need we possess or solve any problem that emerges.

But in all reality a mobile application is, modestly, software written for mobile devices that performs a specific task.
And there are two types of mobile apps: Native Apps and Web Based Apps.

Native apps: These apps are coded with a specific programming language and are tied to a mobile platform such as a smartphone or tablet. Native apps are specifically designed to run on a device’s operating system and generally needs to be adapted for different devices. (You must duplicate them using the appropriate programming language in order to target another mobile platform.)

Web Based Apps (AKA Browser App): A mobile website tailored to a specific platform- a basic website designed to fit different web browsers. These are great solutions if you want to create and use an app for internal purposes only, meaning you don’t want any non-employee to access. These type of apps could be used for time accounting, project lead updates, etc.

In all honestly, native apps are the most historic and simplified. Address books, calendars and calculators appeared on mobile phones before the availability of Web connectivity and can be classified as native apps. (Remember Nokia’s 1998 popular arcade game, Snake? That’s a native app.)

Today native apps can be downloaded from web-based phones via Apple’s App Store, The Android Market, etc. Although the app may not need an Internet connection to function, it takes a web-based phone to retrieve and download most of our modern day native apps.

A compromise and marriage between native and web based apps does exist, and we cannot forget to mention it. These are called Hybrid Apps. These apps rely on development frameworks but ensure cross-platform compatibility and can access the phone’s hardware (camera, GPS, user’s contacts.)

The great debate of pros and cons to each type of app exists between developers, mobile marketers, and users. While researching the endless pros and cons, keep in mind the mobile market is always changing–So when deciding what app fits best for your business, focus on acquiring an understanding of your users’ expectations and behavior.

Want to know more about mobile apps? Want your own native mobile or web based app? We have a great team of developers that can make your app hero. Contact Stellar Blue today!


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