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Native Apps vs Web Apps (1)

People who are taking first steps in the mobile industry may soon find themselves wondering about the difference between native apps and HTML5 Web Apps in terms of functionalities, benefits and limitations.

If you are planning to create your own mobile application, it is advisable to be aware of the differences between these two types of apps in order to be able to choose the one that best fits your own needs.

 Web App vs Native app

HTML 5 Web App

It is a web page accessible from any device supporting web browsers.

Web App Pros

tick It’s cheap

It is quite cheap to develop as it doesn’t require particularly high technical skills. It can be created with the help of a webmaster, making sure that no fixed sizes are used in the stylesheets, but only percentage values. If you are not an IT expert, you can install one of the many plugins available on the Web to manage events in HTML5.

tick Fast Development

As it requires lower technical skills than native applications, it takes shorter to be developed.

tick Easy to update

Basically, it’s a web page and therefore it’s available online all the time. As such, all you have to do to access updated content, layout and design is to refresh the page.

tick Accessible from any device

Thanks to its stylesheets using percentage values, the HTML5 Web App is extremely portable and can be accessed from any type of device: smartphones, tablets, or mini PCs.

Its Graphical User Interface is flexible and able to fit any screen size, just like a real app!

tick Fluid media streaming

Compared to native applications, media streaming in HML5 Web Apps is much more fluid and faster.


Web App Cons

red-delete-button No Push Notifications

It is not possible to send out push notifications to Web App users. However, there are a few tricks to make up for this limitation, such as refresh automatically the page every set time. Alternatively, you can add popup alerts to inform users about changes.

red-delete-button No stores available

If you wish to achieve popularity in the Apple App Store, Web Apps are definitely not a good idea. Although there are a few Web App stores – such as Chrome Web Store –, they cannot bid against the most popular app stores… yet!

red-delete-button Only working in online mode

Unlike native apps, Web Apps only work in online mode. In other words, when no internet connection is available, users won’t be able to access your Web App.

Why should you opt for a Web App?

  • If you need to make your content compatible with any type of device (mobile and desktop)
  • If you don’t want your content and layout to be subject to stores’ approval
  • If you need to update your content frequently
  • If you use your app for e-commerce and don’t want to share revenues with Apple App Store
  • If you want to make your content easily accessible through QR codes
  • If you wish to migrate your website content to a mobile-optimized site

Read Part 2 of this post here

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