Mobile app versus mobile web, which one is better?
First things first though, what is the difference between the two. A native app is an app developed essentially for one particular mobile device and is installed directly onto the device itself. Users usually have to download them via app stores, such as the Apple app store, the Google play store and so on like an Uber app.
A web app on the other hand, is basically Internet-enabled apps that are accessible via the mobile device’s Web browser. A user does not need to download them onto their mobile device in order to accessed it. The Safari browser is a good example of a mobile Web app.
Apps are normally ideal for nurturing loyalty while mobile web is preferred for convenience and reach.
For instance daily you surf through different websites searching for one thing or another, suppose all of them had mobile apps as well would you download all them? Chances are you would only download apps for products and services you really love and if you can still access the others on a normal web browser; I bet you won’t bother to go through the hassle of installing it in your phone.
Some companies therefore develop both mobile apps and Web apps so as to widen the reach of their apps, while also providing a good overall user experience e.g. Facebook.
The choice between these two types of apps has to be made only when you have to decide whether to develop a user-centric app or an application-centric app.
While a native app works as a standalone entity, the problem is that the user has to keep downloading updates, I am sure you have received update notifications to update your Whatsapp or Instagram app for the umpteenth time.
A Web app, on the other hand updates itself automatically however it still needs to be accessed via a mobile device’s browser.
While apps are more expensive to build and develop, they are faster and more efficient, as they work in tandem with the mobile device they are developed for. Users are also assured of quality since they can access them only via app stores online.
Users have no control over quality standards of mobile Web apps despite the higher costs of maintenance it comes with. I am sure you have been driven nuts when a page takes eternity to open up or process information.
Mobile apps are also easier to use compared to mobile webs, for example if one needs to hail a cab he or she does not need to activate the desktop or carry a portable computer to do so.
In terms of privacy, a mobile app is more convenient than a mobile web and one doesn't need to worry about snooping hence the preference.
Bottom line as stated earlier both serve different purposes and therefor it a matter of tradeoffs.
Personally what do you prefer, a mobile app or a mobile web?
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