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Web apps vs. mobile apps: what’s the difference?

Posted By: Jason

There’s never been more choice when it comes to giving your business a presence on mobile – and likewise, mobile has never been more popular. Broadly speaking, your options for mobile come down to two options: a web app or a native mobile app. Whether you’re looking for a full-blown software app or an informational site, one of these could help. But which would be right for you?

What is a web app?

A web app, or web application, is similar in nature to a piece of software you’d run on your phone or computer – with one key difference. The whole web app actually runs within a browser, rather than on the device’s operating system. This means that web apps can run on a wide variety of devices, including both iOS and Android devices, without needing to build specific variants for each platform. The downside of a web app is that it’s tougher to optimise and relies more heavily on specific web languages to be supported.

What is a native mobile app?

Your phone or tablet is full of native mobile apps; in fact, everything you’ve ever downloaded from the App Store was most likely a native mobile app. In a nutshell, these are apps that have been built from the ground up to operate specifically on that mobile device. For cross-platform support, you’d need to create two or more versions of the app for each platform. This could be seen as a downside, however you have much more fine-grain control over a native mobile app’s look, feel, and functionality.

Should you choose a web app or mobile app?

The choice of which of these options is right for your business really depends on your requirements. If you want a piece of software that can be tailored specifically to your design specifications, and include a range of functionality that may be specific to a platform (such as GPS, camera, video, and so on), then a mobile native app is a solid choice. On the other hand, if you simply want a quick and simple interactive application, a web application can be a great low-cost solution.

Whichever option you’d prefer, reach out to Lexel today and we’ll discuss how we can help you.