Native or Web app

February 19, 2015

Smartphone apps continue to grow in number due to the versatility of these devices. These apps can be created as either web-based or native to the phone itself. In order to determine which option is best, a few factors need to be considered. Each app version has pluses and minuses, depending on what the app is designed to do and what the creator’s ultimate goals are. A quick distinction needs to be made between web and native apps, though, before considering the relative advantages.

Distinguishing the Difference
A web-based mobile application is accessed through the Internet. This approach allows a single app to be created and stored on a server where it can be easily updated when required. Native apps, on the other hand, are designed to be downloaded to the smartphone and activated whenever the user has need for them, but they are harder to keep updated. These are the apps normally found at the Apple App Store or the various Android and Windows App stores.

Hardware Usage
If a mobile application involves extensive use of a smartphone’s hardware extras like the camera, microphone, or accelerometers, a native app is the only real option. Since it’s a self-contained program directly stored in the phone, it can access all the capabilities of each component of the phone. For security reasons, a web app is extremely limited in what it can utilize and the degree to which it can use it.

Speed
Just as native apps can easily interact with all the hardware on a phone, they are also able to operate faster because of being stored in the phone’s memory and there are no time delays, while a web page sends messages back and forth with the server to obtain new information.

Costs
Web apps have the clear advantage in cost over native apps. Each of the major platforms requires native apps to be written in its own preferred language. For the iPhone’s iOS, apps must be written in Objective C. Android phones use the Java language for their apps. Finally, Windows phone apps are written in C++. In addition, a developer’s license has to be purchased. All web apps rely on the same basic components of HTML/CSS tags to create the static features, while JavaScript provides the interactivity and a server-side program, usually written in PHP, and handles browser access to the web app.

Earnings Potential
While both approaches can bring in revenue by selling advertising space, native apps have the option of being sold through an app store. An app store also makes it easy for someone to discover a new app. Publicizing a web app is more difficult. YPSOURCE can provide the services that would greatly improve the chances of success. We can handle both the technical work of writing code in multiple languages and creating marketing strategies to bring attention to an app’s existence. We also maintain high standards required to pass Apple’s stiff requirements for iOS apps.