web app vs native app

Lets figure out the difference between Native App & Web App

The mobile world is expanding at a dynamic speed with new ground breaking technologies that are being introduced at every other day. Currently there are many different terms and methods used in the software industry. If you intend to enhance your business application then it is very important to determine as to which mobile app development platform is best for you. You will have to choose a platform which can efficiently deliver a robust mobile experience to the users. Choosing between Native App and Web App can be sometimes quite confusing. Thus, it is important to understand their basic difference.

Native App

  • Native applications are what you will download from the App Store, or the Android Market, or from a similar third party service.
  • Native applications are quite trendy,fast and easy to use
  • Native apps offer relatively rich user-experience.
  • These apps are preferred by large number of people
  • With a native app, you can take advantage of all the capabilities of your mobile device.

Web app

  • Web applications are accessed through the web browser.
  • Web apps are not very trendy
  • They are easier to develop as well as requires less maintainence
  • They can be used across various devices and platforms
  • With a web app, you can reach large web base with relatively less effort

Comparative study of native app vs. web app

It is meaningful to evaluate both web applications before you decide or else you may end up spending more time and money than actually required.

  • Level of Performance

Native apps are faster than web apps since they use more of the device resources as well as capabilities. With the Web app, the fundamental code will remain the same across all devices. You can deliver the right version easily and speedily to each device by using device detection methodologies  and content adaptation crirerias.

  • Degree of User experience

User interface has full control on device hardware. You can produce an application, which is quite trendy. Contrary to this, user interface for a web app is only limited to the browser capabilities and thus,experience can vary. A native app takes more time and requires special skills for gearing up the developments.

  • Cross-platform Applications

With native apps you have to develop a version for each operating system, for example, different version for Apple iPad or iPhone or Windows Mobile, or Google Android and more. With native app, all the related capabilities on the mobile device can be exposed at a much wider extent.

  • Maintainence

A native app is quite hard to maintain after the app download since multiple code bases will have to be preserved at a single run time. However, with web app, users will always get the latest versions as only a single code base is required to be updated.

  • Marketing

A Web app can reach to more users on varied platforms, very easily and quickly as compared to a native app. As an web related app captures the large segment of users hence, popularity pf these apps are conserved for a longer run time. It do not requires any approval process and hence no waiting is required for getting it conserved on the App Store etc.

  • Type of application

There is lot of difference regarding what type of content or service is apt on native app or web apps. For example, a racing car game will work best as native app since it invariably uses heavy graphics.You will also have to access the device APIs such as accelerometer, or location detection, as well as other advanced features. On the other hand,online shopping and other e-commerce services such as inventory maintenance, or financial reporting, or business process automation or customer relationship management are best supported by the web apps, web applications  for these services are likely to be more, convenient, flexible and cost-effective than native app.

  • General myth

A common misapprehension exists that only native apps can give the users an offline experience. But this is not correct. Web apps can also store data or static resources like, CSS and JavaScript, images and can also share content via the social networks for delivering the users an offline experience similar to native apps with HTML5. Besides this you can even have an icon of the web page right on the device desktop, similar to a native app.


Undeniably, there are advantages and disadvantages of both the web app and native app. However, you need to consider the specific business objectives .Evaluate which one will produces better value for your business,and consider other requirements of your applications before you make the final decision. You will have to choose between a rich user interface, and a robust platform independent application which has a wider user access.The type of application, which offers maximum benefit, is completely dependent on your specific business needs.


Sumit Garg

Project Manager @ Octal Info Solution