The terms mobile apps and web apps are often used interchangeably. You might even think they’re the same. In actual fact, they couldn’t be more different.

They’re both developed and implemented in different ways. Additionally, they are utilized differently by the user. In this guide, we’ll do a thorough comparison to help you understand their main differences.

Pros and Cons of Web Development

Pros

No download needed

One of the biggest benefits of web apps is that they do not need to be downloaded or installed. They can be accessed through any basic internet browser without any fuss or hassle. This is ideal for those who are hesitant to download from the internet.

No app store approval required

When downloading an app for a mobile device, the app will need to be downloaded and installed through a third party. This is usually the store associated with the platform. This slows the process of installing down, as Appstore has been known to freeze. Web apps don’t need to be downloaded or obtained from a third party. They simply launch on command.

Compatible with any device or platform

Any device with an internet browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc) can use web apps. Because the launch in browser windows, devices that can search the web aren’t limited by their device type or operating system and are, instead, only limited by if they have a browser or not. Most do have browsers. In fact, many have more than one.

Cons

Internet connection required

Any device with an internet browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc) can use web apps. Because the launch in browser windows, devices that can search the web aren’t limited by their device type or operating system and are, instead, only limited by if they have a browser or not. Most do have browsers. In fact, many have more than one.

Low discoverability

One of the most critical factors in the success of a web app is how many people use it. To use it, they must first discover it, which is where web apps fall short. Generally, they are not listed in the app store unless they have fared remarkably well. This means that even though a web app might be fantastic, it can still go unnoticed if it didn’t reach the high standards of success of apps before it.

Slower performance

Because web apps operate in browsers, which are known to be quite slow, the app itself has a tendency to be slow. Due to this, it may also be less responsive and prone to freezing.

Pros and Cons of App Development

Pros

Approval required

Native apps, also known as mobile apps in many cases, require operating system approval before they can be downloaded and installed. Although this can seem like a pain, it ensures the integrity, safety, and security of the app in the question.

No need for an internet connection

Many mobile apps can work without an internet connection since they are downloaded and installed right onto the device. This means that the app’s data is stored on your device for easy access whenever you need it.

It’s important to note though, that some apps still do need an internet connection – but many don’t.

Cons

More expensive to develop

Mobile apps, in general, come at a greater cost to develop. They are more complex than web apps and as such, take more time, effort, and care when being developed. This leads to a higher overall price.

Complex coding languages and software

Again due to their complexity, mobile apps require a certain level of knowledge to work with. They use a variety of complex coding languages including CSS and the ever-popular, more basic HTML.

In addition, they also use a number of programming languages that the general public would not understand or know how to edit or use. Experts also need to be familiar with software like React Native for example to build these apps.

Summary

Mobile apps are designed for use on smartphones and mobile devices, while web apps are used on computers and the browsers of mobile devices. Web apps are not downloaded and do not live within the device, while mobile apps do.

Now that we’ve covered what makes both web and mobile apps unique, you’ll be able to correctly decipher between the two. You’ll also be able to decide which one you’d want to build and dedicate an adequate amount of budget and resources to it.