The digital world is continuously evolving. If you notice what was in trend before 5 years has been replaced by something new today. Businesses are constantly adapting to these changing trends to stay ahead in the clutter. When businesses start, they test the waters by setting up a website or a mobile app, based on where their potential customers are. With the increase in the demand from the customers, the businesses further expand, to cater to all their target audience’s needs.
The mobile app industry has witnessed a tremendous growth and popularity in the past several years. According to a report by Statista, there are around 2.5 billion smartphone users in the world in 2018, who use mobile apps daily and is accounted to grow to over 2.8 billion users by 2020. Most businesses develop their mobile apps keeping this figure in mind.
But, does your native mobile app also need a web app counterpart? How can a web app benefit your business? This article will take you through everything you need to know about native apps and web apps and by the end of the article, you will be able to determine what would work best for your business.
Native Apps vs. Web Apps
Native apps are developed for a particular mobile platform and can be installed through the app stores such as Google Play store or Apple’s App Store. These apps are developed specifically for the platform and can make use of features such as the camera, mic, GPS, contact list, etc. On the other hand, web application development is basically designing websites that in many ways look and work like mobile apps. Web apps can be accessed by anyone through the browser and have functional limitations as compared to the native web apps.
Need of a Web App for your Native App
Majority of mobile apps undergo rapid disengagement within 6 months. Native apps require the devices to have minimum OS specifications and operability to work smoothly on the devices. With frequent upgrades in the apps and increasing complexities in usability, users tend to turn down the apps.
Developing your app counterpart that can be accessed anywhere using a browser can engage more users, as using the web app is less complicated and more efficient. Users tend to refrain from putting efforts in downloading a native app from the app store, registering and updating it time and again to use it efficiently. Users, therefore, prefer if they can simply type in the URL on a browser, log in from anywhere or any device and use the application to meet their need of the moment.
Benefits of having a Web App
The companies such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Uber started with a native mobile app and later on expanded to a web app. This has increased the usability and popularity of the app considerably. Here are some benefits of web apps:
Increase in Screen Space
Your web app can be a replica of your mobile app or you can build a different interface for it, based on your business requirements. You have more screen space to utilize and experiment with while developing your web app as compared to your native mobile app. This lets you add additional features to your app, and gives your business more scope of engaging with your customers.
Available for Larger Audience
With a web app, you will be able to target an audience that you could not capture with your native app. Since anyone having an internet connection can access your web app, more users will use it. You can reach those users who do not use iOS and Android devices, through your web app.
Lower Development Costs
Developing a web app is as simple as developing a website that connects to a back-end database. If you are already a web solution provider, there is no need for special skillsets to develop web apps. Web apps are already cross-platform and hence saves a lot of development costs.
The more platforms your users can access your app, the more they will use it. For instance, if my phone is out of battery, I can still engage with the app using my desktop. This increases the usability of your app and your customers will use it more often. WhatsApp has witnessed a considerable rise in engagement after the launch of WhatsApp Web and Instagram web allows the users to view pictures and videos using the web, which has improved its usage.
Once a web app is developed, the future maintenance is simple. Making the changes on a single application would reflect the changes on all platforms. All the updates instantly reflect in the web app and there is no need for the user to manually update the app.
Although web application development is a low-risk and inexpensive affair for your business, there are some overheads that you need to know. While mobile apps can use device features such as camera, contact list, phone notifications, etc. the web apps still do not have these functionalities. Hence, your effective native mobile app might have a few usage limitations when expanding to the web. Also, there are limitations in implementing heavy graphics to your web apps.
Unless your business needs game-like graphics or full-device integration features, developing a web app would be an ideal choice. However, businesses need to evaluate their business goals to determine if a native mobile app or a web app would be best suited.
If you feel the need to develop a web app for your business, get in touch with Kanhasoft, a premium web app developer in India, having considerable experience in developing flawless web applications.