Native apps versus web apps – which is best for your business?

Native apps versus web apps – which is best for your business?

As someone visiting the Appstrue website, you may be already familiar with the compelling reasons for creating and launching one or more apps for your business (among others: swift, direct and integrated customer engagement and user-driven marketing on a potentially huge scale), but were you aware that there’s actually two different types of app to choose between? Yes, if you’ve decided to strengthen your business by seeking to develop and deploy an app, you’ll have to choose between a native app and a web app. So, to help your decision over whether to take the web approach or go native, here’s what you need to know.

What’s the difference?

In simple terms, native apps are designed for a specific smartphone and have to be downloaded directly on to that device. They derive their name from the fact they tap fully into a device’s native functionality. Native apps then will allow a user to access the likes of a smartphone’s camera, push messages or enable them to share their location with other device users. To the layman, web apps appear very similar (if not identical), but work differently, as they’re accessed through a device’s browser. Internet-enabled, they therefore don’t need to be downloaded to be accessed. An example of a web app is the Safari browser. Owing to their differences, native apps tend to be labelled as user-centric; web apps as application-centric.

Benefits and drawbacks

By its nature, a native app is totally compatible with a device’s hardware, while a web app is capable of using only some of a device’s native features. Conversely, the latter can be monetised by, for example, adding advertising and charging membership fees. For the native app, though, the app store through which it’s accessed takes care of revenue and commissions, while a separate payment system has to be set up to monetise a web app. Native apps tend to work faster, naturally functioning in tandem with the device for which they’ve been developed, but web apps can reach a potentially wider audience because, not being tied to a specific device, they can be accessed not just on iPhones and Androids, but also on Blackberries and Windows phones.

Ultimately then, you’ll have to weigh up the pros and the cons of both apps and think carefully about which will benefit your business or organisation best before you choose between them. Take the web approach or go native? It’s up to you.

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