Native App vs. Web App

In today's lightning-fast digital age

Native App vs. Web App – which One Is Better for You?

In today's lightning-fast digital age, it's essential to pick the correct strategy between native apps and web apps. Both have their advantages, so pick the one that best fits your needs and your audience. In this blog we will help you to choose between native and web apps by explaining both, breaking down their differences, and providing real-world examples.

Overview of Native App

What is a Native Application?

A native app is an app that was designed and coded specifically for use on a particular mobile OS. These programs are written in the native languages of the respective platforms, like Swift or Objective-C for iOS or Java or Kotlin for Android. Most people get their native apps via app stores like the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

Key Characteristics of Native Apps:


Designed to run on a certain version of an OS (iOS, Android, Windows, etc.).

High Efficiency:

Use hardware and software improvements designed for your device, increasing performance dramatically.

Access to Device Features:

Capable of using the phone's camera, GPS, and contacts.

Offline Capabilities:

Many native apps can work even without an internet connection or with a weak one.

Improved Usability:

The user experience is usually smooth and quick to respond.

Examples of Native Apps:

  • Instagram (iOS and Android)
  • Uber (iOS and Android)
  • WhatsApp (iOS and Android)
  • Pokémon GO (iOS and Android)

Overview of Web App

What is a Web Application?

Web apps, short for "web applications," are programs that may be used on a wide variety of browsers and operating systems. Web apps, as contrast to native apps, are not stored locally on the device but rather on external servers. They are accessible via a user entering a URL or clicking a link, and function as applications within the user's browser. Web technologies including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are frequently used in the development of web applications.

Key Features of Web applications:

Compatibility Across Multiple Platforms:

Provides browser-based access from a variety of devices and platforms.

No Installation Required:

There is no software that users need to install.

Updates are Centralized:

All users are automatically updated to the most recent version whenever there is a change or upgrade to the server.

Limited Device Access:

You need special authorization to use the camera or the location services on this device.

Internet Connectivity Required:

In most cases, you'll need access to the internet for it to work.

Example of Web Apps

  • Gmail
  • Google Docs
  • Trello
  • Facebook (web version)

Native App vs. Web App: The Key Differences

Now that we've covered native apps and web apps, let's dive into the major differences between both.

Differences Native App Web App
Development Complexity and Cost Creating a native app requires creating multiple versions for various platforms, which can be more time-consuming and expensive. Web apps can be developed more quickly and cheaply than native apps since they share a common codebase across several platforms.
Performance Native apps typically run better than their non-native counterparts because they are able to take advantage of the device's unique hardware and software. The speed of a web app is dependent on the capabilities of the user's browser and device, which may not be ideal for that app's intended use.
Distribution and Updates Apps that are distributed through app stores can reach a larger audience and get latest features, by downloading new versions. Easily accessed via a web browser, however users may need to refresh the page themselves to see updates.
Device Access With the right authorization, native apps can use the entire set of hardware and software capabilities of the device. The user experience may suffer as a result of the restrictions placed on their access to the device's functions and the frequently required extra permissions.
Offline Functionality To maintain a constant user experience, many native apps can function even when there is no network connection. Although some offline functionality may be included, most web apps require access to the internet to function properly.
Discoverability Users are able to find and download apps through app stores, which increases the apps' visibility. Require users to actively seek for or navigate to the web application's URL, thereby making discoverability more dependent on marketing efforts.

How To Make the Right Choice Between Native App vs Web App?

So, how to choose right option between native apps or web apps? The answer is conditional on your particular needs and objectives:

Choose Native Apps If:

  • You need top-notch functionality and access to device-specific options.
  • You're well-equipped to create and support variants for a number of platforms.
  • Offline functionality is essential for your app's functionality.
  • You need to get your app into as many hands as possible.

Choose Web Apps If:

  • One of your main goals is to ensure that your software works across all major platforms.
  • You're hoping to cut down on expenses and development time.
  • You can successfully integrate your app's functionalities within the limitations of web technology.
  • You recommend regular updates and a unified command structure.

Keep in mind that a hybrid strategy incorporating both native and online components may be the most effective way in some scenarios. A middle ground between native speed and portability is offered by hybrid apps, which are increasingly being created with frameworks like React Native and Flutter.

Parting Shot

In conclusion, your goals, budget, and intended users will all play a role in determining whether you should develop a native app or a web app. The success of your digital project depends on your choice of method, and both have advantages. The key is to make an educated decision that supports your users and company goals, whether you choose the strength of native apps or the flexibility of web apps.