Native vs Mobile apps - the differences
What are the pros and cons of native apps and web apps. How do you choose which is right for you? This short presentation I created for a Mobile Design class synthesizes a number of considerations that are important to consider in making your decision.
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Native vs Mobile apps - the differences
NATIVE VS WEB APPS
ARE THEY THE SAME?
• Fully compatible: Native apps are made for and totally
compatible with the device’s hardware and native features,
such as accelerometer, camera, push notifications or to be
active in the background. A web app will not be able to
access these capabilities.
• Gestures: For now at least, browsers don’t play well with
gestures, and there are a couple of reasons for this…
primitive, building-block touch events: touchstart,
touchend and touchmove. That makes it easy enough
to detect a touch or maybe a swipe, but anything
trickier starts to get complicated. Have fun coding a
rotate or three-finger swipe. It can be done, it just
takes more time to do.
• The second and more vexing problem is that the
browsers claim useful gestures for themselves. Pinch
and zoom being a primary example.
• Created per Platform/Device: A Native App will need to be
created for an iPhone separately than from an iPad or an
Android device. For web apps you can create one version that
is adaptive or responsive to accommodate multiple devices
• Deployment takes tame: While web releases can be launched
at your own discretion, an app will need to be submitted and
approved into the app store which takes added time and
possible cost if changes are needed.
• Updates not immediate: Updates need to be installed or
often pulled from the app store. However in recent iOS
versions the updates are automatically downloaded and
pushed out for installation to users devices in the background.
• Coding Considerations: Native Apps are coded using
Objective-C (iOS), or Java (Android), or C++ (Windows
Mobile). Web apps, on the other hand, use languages such as
frameworks as per the developer’s preferences which may be
more common skills (YMMV).
• Adoption: With mobile apps you are primarily responsible
for driving traffic to your mobile site. With Native Apps you
can be made more prominently featured in the App Store
to drive adoption. Apple/Google’s role in this is significant
and you may need to re-prioritize your roadmap to remain
in good graces with these owners.
• Trust: Being downloaded from a controlled marketplace
creates a greater perception of trust and that your app has
been properly vetted by Apple or Google to ensure that its
safe and trustworthy - this may tie into why we see mobile
web conversion rates are in general lower than on other
HARDWARE: Using native capabilities, gestures, notifications on
devices. Performance considerations on a device.
SPEED/COST OF ENGINEERING: Timing it takes to launch, scaling a
product across hardware platforms, updating releases, programming
languages, development costs.
MARKETING/ADOPTION/TRUST: How will users find your
app, how safe will they feel using it for the context its been
created, how will you promote it.
Native vs Mobile App Scorecard:
•Web Apps are the Future: Tim Evko,
•The Native vs. Mobile Web Debate, Drew Engelson:
•The Pros and Cons of Native Apps and Mobile Web Apps, Priya Viswanathan: http://
•Native Apps vs. Web Apps – What is the Better Choice?, Priya Viswanathan: http://