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When you decide to create a custom app for your business, you may face a choice between a mobile app and a web app. Both of them can be an excellent way to attract more clients, tweak user experience, raise brand awareness, and improve the company’s bottom line.

However, these two apps come with several major differences, which may affect your choice. Let’s take a closer look at what mobile and web apps have in common to help you make the right decision.

What is a Mobile App?

In 2019, more than 200 billion mobile apps were downloaded worldwide. You’d be hard-pressed to find a smartphone owner, who doesn’t use at least a dozen apps. Any application that you can run on a mobile device with a function to provide a certain service is called a mobile app.

iOS and Android are key operating systems for which the majority of developers create apps. The second place belongs to Microsoft. The majority of mobile apps can fall into one of two categories: native and hybrid.

Native Mobile App

A native mobile app is developed specifically for a certain platform. For example, an app developed to run on an Android or iOS device is a native app. The focus of such an app its compatibility. An app developed for Android can’t run on iOS devices and vice versa.

Hybrid Mobile App

A hybrid mobile app is developed on platforms that make it compatible with all available operating systems. Hybrid mobile apps are highly popular among businesses for their versatility. They can be available to the entire target audience regardless of their OS preferences.

However, these apps are usually more expensive to develop, keeping them out of reach for small startups.

What is a Web App?

Web apps are developed to run in a browser. They don’t depend on the OS the user prefers. You can run an app from the browser as long as you have a device or desktop and internet connection. You don’t need to download or install this type of app. It’s readily available any time you open the browser.

The key benefits of using a web application are:

  • They can run on multiple platforms.
  • All users access the same version of the app, which eliminates compatibility issues.
  • They don’t take up space on the hard drive or the device’s memory.
  • There is not much support or maintenance necessary to keep the app working.

According to experts in custom software by Entrance, since web apps aren’t OS-specific, they aren’t as expensive to develop as mobile apps.

Web App vs Mobile App: Which One Do You Need?

While both apps can be highly beneficial for any business if you need to choose one over the other, consider the following differences.

1.    Cost

Cost is one of the most important factors for most companies. When it comes to app development, creating a web app is less expensive than developing a mobile app. For mobile apps, the hybrid type is more expensive than the native type.

2.    Speed & Connectivity

Mobile apps are faster than web apps. While they require an internet connection for some of their functions, mobile apps can provide services offline as well. For web apps, if there is no internet, you can’t use it.

3.    Security

Mobile apps are most secure than web apps. Before appearing in a store, these apps go through rigorous checks. Meanwhile, developers offer updates on a regular basis to make sure all loopholes are patched timely.

Web apps may only be as secure as your computer’s defenses. If you don’t run proper security software, your data may become vulnerable.

4.    Maintenance

Web apps are easier to maintain since they have a common codebase regardless of the platform. Meanwhile, maintenance and updates for mobile apps can be costly.

5.    Availability

Since mobile apps need to be approved by app stores, it could take some time to make them available to users. App stores have strict guidelines for approval. Meanwhile, web apps are readily available to any user with a link.

The Takeaway

Web apps are less expensive to develop and maintain. However, they require a stable internet connection and aren’t as quick, personalized, and secure as mobile apps. Your choice between the two app types should depend on the budget and key user preferences.

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