Reading time: 5 minutes
PUBLISH DATE: Sep 30 2022
UPD: Sep 30 2022
Reading time: 5 minutes

Mobile Apps vs. Web Apps: What’s the Difference?

Mobile apps vs web apps are simply different solutions for different purposes, and large projects often need both. An analysis of characteristics of your target audience is carried out to understand exactly what your project needs. It’s essential to know that web apps are no better than mobile apps and vice versa.


Web Apps vs. Mobile Apps

The development cycle of web and mobile apps is similar, and the final projects can be almost identical. Still, completely different programmers do the creation of programs with different languages. Mobile applications are the best option for you if you are creating self-improvement apps or other self-contained apps. At the same time, web apps are more flexible in reaching a larger target audience on the Internet.

First, it’s essential to consider the specifics of web app vs mobile app and then analyze how they are built.

What is the functionality of mobile apps in comparison to web apps?

Target audiences are usually more limited by the functionality of mobile apps than on full-scale websites, and many of these apps follow a single purpose. Mobile apps allow you different device capabilities: use self-improvement apps, manage financial reports, or entertain yourself.

‌In turn, web apps offer you more features than mobile apps. For example, web apps like Google Apps, or Microsoft 365 have mobile and web apps for users. However, mobile apps have more limited app features, while web apps offer all the capabilities of these apps for a better user experience

Regarding the specifics of mobile apps, it’s crucial to discuss their two different types:

Native apps are efficient and responsive because they are designed for a single platform with their underlying programming language and API. Developing these apps guarantees constant security of your users’ data. Native mobile apps coordinate user input and output much better. The flexibility of resource management and variety of tools also make these apps more scalable.‍ The disadvantages of native app development are expensive launches for iOS and Android. Developing these platform-specific apps is time-consuming, and it eliminates reusing one version for another platform. Native apps aren’t always available in the App Store or Play Store. In general, the procedure for downloading these apps usually takes a lot of time. 

Hybrid apps are built for multiple platforms at once, not just iOS and Android but also web and desktop. As a result, these apps guarantee a much larger audience of users. Due to the simplicity and speed of the product, the initial cost of these apps is lower than that of native apps. If you don’t have the opportunity to spend a lot of time developing your project, then this type of app is the optimal solution. However, although it’s quite an economical option when you want to develop hybrid apps, there are still many related problems. The app interface may crash, so users don’t get the maximum quality and stability. Many app users also face the issue of the lack of hybrid apps in app stores. 

Finally, you can access mobile apps as long as you have a stable Internet connection. Then, if you don’t install mobile apps directly on your device, your access to them will be limited. Web apps dominate mobile ones based on dynamic updates. Users see the app changes on websites immediately, while on mobile apps, they have to wait for the new version to download.


How are mobile & web apps built?

Finding the main idea of ​​programs. 

At this stage, an analysis of the market and existing products, interviews with investors, and user research are conducted. It’s necessary to describe the product’s business requirements (target audience, competitiveness). It’s also essential to define the main customers’ persona, motivation, needs, and goals. Then, new features appear in subsequent releases, and this approach is often financially justified. The user experience map is defined as a set of essential functions and capabilities available to the users. It’s crucial to determine in more detail the sequence of actions in promotion – the sources or channels of distribution and the target actions of the users.

UI/UX design. 

At this stage, we can start working with specific functionalities. The basic structure of the program’s navigation system is created here: the usage ways, system analysts, prototypes, and interaction design. At this stage, you can bring in someone outside your team to check the app for possible bugs before handing the design over to the developers.

Basic testing of layouts and prototypes. 

This stage also refers to the designer’s work so that customers see the value in the apps we had initially determined. Based on the testing results, the designers make changes to the designs.

Development of mobile & web apps. 

The main thing in creating a mobile app is constantly testing and improving it. However, focusing on a phased release plan is vital, as new ideas for functionality and app design often come to customers along the way.

App promotion. 

In this case, it’s essential to focus on SMM, SEO, tracking, and publications in the media. At this stage, it’s necessary to determine where your loyal audience is and which communication channels fit best.

Repeated testing of the program’s functionality. 

Mobile app testing concentrates on multiple mobile devices, while web app testing focuses on the appearance and functionality of websites across various browsers. Web app testing aims to verify the error-free, high-functionality of websites in all browsers and devices. Instead, mobile app testing detects compatibility issues or bugs for native or hybrid mobile apps on Android and iOS devices.

App release.

Mobile apps can be uploaded to app stores when all departments are satisfied with the work. You can let us take care of everything, or you can choose to market your web apps yourself. So you can release your infrastructure using, for example, Kubernetes or Digital Ocean.

Mobile Apps vs. Web Apps: Pros and Cons

Web and mobile apps are great technology choices for some businesses, and they aren’t perfect. They provide different benefits or limitations to companies. For example, the development of both mobile apps and web apps costs a lot. It also takes much time and demands a lot of planning and strategy. Here you can find some pros and cons of mobile and web apps for businesses.

Let’s take a look at the advantages of mobile applications: 

⬝ These apps strengthen connection with your target audience, guarantee individual services, and offer them a better access to quality content. 

⬝ They are faster than web apps.

⬝ With your permission, mobile apps can have unrestricted access to internal resources of a device or an OS (camera, GPS).

⬝ Some of them can function without an Internet connection.

⬝ Mobile apps have increased security. The respective app store determines their security level.

The negative aspects of mobile apps:

Mobile development is more expensive than web development.

Mobile platforms like iOS and Android require you to develop apps from scratch.

⬝ Technical support and dynamic updates of mobile apps can also be costly.

⬝ Sometimes there are difficulties with app store approval.

Web Apps have the following advantages:

⬝ These apps are straightforward to maintain regardless of mobile platforms.

⬝ The web apps don’t need to be downloaded or installed as it’s already included in browsers.

⬝ Web apps are deployed much faster because no app store approval is required.

⬝ Users don’t need to update web apps.

Disadvantages of web apps:

⬝ Web apps operate slower than mobile apps.

⬝ Most of them can’t function without an Internet connection.

⬝ If some apps have low quality, they can endanger their security.

Mobile Apps’ Impact on the User Experience

User retention

Higher user retention rates are vital in creating and developing a high-quality mobile app user experience. These metrics are prioritized in user experience in mobile app development, as the ultimate goal is end-user acquisition. However, the mobile app market is overloaded. Therefore, mobile users have unlimited options to satisfy their demands. New users who have had a negative experience with your mobile app will likely download a competitor’s app.

Interactive engagement

User engagement occurs even before user retention in the mobile app development when new users first learn about your mobile app. Visual design is one of the first aspects of mobile apps that new users interact with. Accordingly, graphic design elements are a significant contribution to user interaction.Therefore, you should focus on intuitive and user-friendly mobile apps that are aesthetically pleasing to strengthen your user acquisition strategy.


Raised efficiency

Practical user experience also has another impact, which is related to information architecture and usability. Building this vital information architecture involves designing mobile apps so that users reach their end goals much faster. Then, developing efficiency in mobile apps shows users that you respect them and their busy schedules

Offline operation

You don’t need to be online to complete your tasks in some apps. You can get the information you need despite the limited features due to no Internet connection.

Web Apps’ Impact on the User Experience


An user availability

Web apps are a universal way for people to place orders or send service requests. The apps also provide access to remote document sharing, communication, and collaboration on joint projects. However, factors of network access, quality, and speed will impact the mobile web experience.

An automatic update

Web app users don’t need to install your product on their devices or update it periodically. Since updates are applied centrally, all active users must work with the same version.

A profitable option

Mobile app development is usually expensive, so web apps are a more cost-effective option for some companies. There are also various subscription-based web apps. For example, Software as a service (SaaS) reduces online software piracy. SaaS is used through the cloud only after payment. Since access to these programs is entirely online, users can save hard disk space.

Mobile App vs. Web App: Which One Should You Choose?

If you’re still thinking about creating a mobile or a web app, you should base it on your overall goals. For example, games may perform better in mobile apps. At the same time, web apps reach a wider audience due to stable browser access and device compatibility with web apps.

It’s essential to understand that many web apps don’t have access to various functions of your phone. As a result, mobile apps may be a better option for your projects. For example, you can communicate using mobile apps without an Internet connection.

Then, in web apps, you can get more dynamic updates. When you submit your changes to the web server, they are immediately available to all users of these web apps. With mobile apps, you have to wait for users to download a new version to receive your updates.

No matter what apps and platforms you choose for your business, it’s always a good idea to check out our mobile app services and web development services for tips beforehand.

Still unsure about the appropriate app for your business?

With Keenethics, you can analyze all the cons and pros of mobile and web apps. At the same time, you will understand the impact these apps can have on your business.

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