What are the differences between web application development and mobile application development?

If you are planning to launch an app for your business or organization and you are deciding whether to create a web application or a mobile application, you have to know the definition of each and the differences between them.

What is a mobile application?

Mobile apps are software applications intended to run on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices. A Mobile App is fundamentally for a specific mobile platform and a straightforward installation on the respective device can be carried out. They are majorly built for high performance and nice user experience also access to a wide range of API’s will put no restriction on App usage. Since mobile apps are platform-specific it is costlier to build. They are built using specific languages and Integrated development environments.

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What is a web application?

A web app is reached through mobile devices’ web browser; they are also termed as progressive web apps. Web apps tend to be built using JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. Unlike mobile apps, there is no standard software development kit for building web apps. However, developers do have access to templates. Compared to mobile apps, web apps are usually quicker and easier to build — but they are much simpler in terms of features. the coding remains the same across all platforms. separate installation of applications is not necessary in the case of web apps. this stands to be very similar to any other computer websites in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet. Like websites, they can display the content, data images, and other entities. The key characteristic that distinguishes a standard website from a mobile website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.

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The main differences between a web app and a mobile app

·       Internet is not a required factor for accessing a mobile app while for a web application it is necessary to be connected to the internet in order to work with it. Web apps need an active internet connection in order to run, whereas mobile apps may work offline. Mobile apps have the advantage of being faster and more efficient, but they do require the user to regularly download updates. Web apps will update themselves.

·       In any manner, mobile applications stand out to be costlier than web apps but the development cost of web apps is very low. On the other hand, the maintenance cost is comparatively high for web apps.

·       Mobile apps do not hold any common code base across platforms while web apps hold a common code base across all platforms and all users.

·       On hardware elements like camera, etc. the compatibility of mobile apps is very extensive.

·       Unlike mobile apps which only function on specific platforms (iOS or Android), a responsive website can be accessed from any mobile device regardless of the operating system, as long as an internet connection is available. However, it is essential to remember that network access, quality, and speed are all factors that will impact the mobile web experience. Responsive websites also don’t need to be downloaded or installed and are entirely free unlike some apps available in app stores.

·       Also because the web application cannot use the resources provided by the system. It requires the service setup to the cloud to connect to the remote database for all the purpose. The mobile application can use the database provided by the system (In android it is SQLite database).

·       Web Applications are more vulnerable to the hacks compared to the Mobile Application. One can easily inspect the code of the web application which is hard with mobile applications. Also, there are many vulnerabilities of Web application such as cross-site scripting, SQL injection and many other which mobile applications are pretty much immune.

·       With respect to the UI designing web applications are hard to design since each and every browser, every device defers a lot and lot of screen size are needed to be taken into factor, also it lacks any framework guidelines. UI of mobile application has definite guidelines and are kind of restrictive to some extent.

·       Developers create a mobile app for one platform. They are platform-specific- Windows for Nokia or IOS for Apple iPhone. Users are required to download them from app/play store. Also, these native apps are allowed to access system resources like GPS, contacts and so on. Some examples of native apps are- Instagram, Hike, and Paytm and so on. But web apps do not platform specific. These apps are accessed on the browser of mobile or desktop. They need an Internet connection and adapt to the device which they are viewed. Users are not required to install or download them to use them. Also, they are very responsive just like a mobile app.

·       Mobile apps allow users to set up their preferences as soon as the app is downloaded, and customize it to suit their needs. Apps can also track user engagement, and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates, making the app more useful to the user. Apps also allow businesses to send tailored communication to users based on their interests, location, usage behavior, and more. According to Localities, sending customized or “dynamic” notifications to users had a positive impact on engagement, open-rate, and conversion rate. Customization allows the user to get the most out of the app.

·       A mobile app allows you to offer your current clients/users added value through a new channel for engagement. Rather than looking at the same text and images as a website, apps can integrate features which allow users to interact with specific components of the app. For example, Instagram users can view images on the website, but can’t upload them without the app.

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Which one to choose?

However, the right choice depends on your business objectives. If your goal is to offer mobile-friendly content to a wide range of people, then a mobile website is probably the way to go. However, if you want to engage better, interact with, and communicate with your customers to drive customer loyalty, a mobile app presents itself as a better option.

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