Web App vs Mobile App: What You Should Know About Them

If one decides to develop a mobile app, there is a lot of brainstorming that goes behind it. The seed is rooted into the idea. Once you decide what you need, you either contact a native or web application development company to turn that idea into reality

However, before that one needs to have a clear understanding of what the difference is between web app vs mobile app and what is needed for their business.

Native Apps

  • They work for a particular mobile device
  • App stays natively downloaded onto a mobile device
  • Functionality integrated with device’s features
  • They perform faster than web apps
  • The app store approval process guarantees security and compatibility
  • Developers have SDK and other tools for ease of development
  • They can be more expensive to create and maintain
  • The app store approval process can be daunting

Web Apps

  • The app is internet-enabled.
  • Users can access the app from their mobile device’s web browser.
  • A web app is easy to maintain since it has common code base across multiple mobile platforms
  • It is compatible with any older mobile device
  • It can be released at developer’s discretion since there’s no app store approval process
  • It has limited amount of device access features hence is limited in functionality
  • One cannot guarantee safety and security
  • It can give more opportunities to monetize

Native mobile applications and web applications are both useful tools for users, businesses, and a worthwhile endeavors for developers as well. Just like the name suggests, a native application works with a device’s built-in features and is downloaded from an app marketplace, like Apple’s App store or Android Play store. On the other hand, web applications are accessed via the internet mainly through a browser.

When a user looks at it, native and web apps both can look and work very much the same. If as a business or a developer one wants to create a user-centric tool, they may want to focus on a native app. And if a business wants to restrict some of the functionalities to being application-specific, they may consider building a web application.

They may wish to focus on creating a web app if their app’s functionality is application-specific. There are many businesses that can create both native and web apps in order to widen the reach of their products and offer the best possible user experience.

Native Apps

  • Developed for one particular mobile device
  • Installed directly on device
  • Downloaded from an app store or marketplace
  • Uses device’s native features

Web Apps

  • Internet-enabled app
  • Accessible via mobile device’s web browser
  • Don’t need to be downloaded
  • Limited in what native features it can use

There are some core structural and development differences between native apps and web apps. One develops a native app for certain types of mobile devices. These apps are directly installed onto the device itself. 

Such an app is entirely compatible with a device’s hardware and native features like accelerometer, camera, gyroscope, proximity sensor etc. A developer can easily incorporate these features into an app, making it more interactive.

A web app, on the other hand is an internet-enabled app, meaning that it is accessible via the mobile device’s web browser. Be it Chrome, Firefox etc. Users do not have to download a web app onto their mobile device from native application stores. 

Web applications have the power to access only a limited amount of a device’s native features. They cannot access or have permission to access a mobile device’s native hardware or software features like a native mobile application does. 

Native Apps

  • Work with device’s built-in features like sensors, gyroscope etc.
  • Are faster on the device
  • Are extremely easy to work with once deployed
  • There is absolute zero concern about security
  • Device compatibility goes out of the question

Web Apps

  • In  web apps a user may not see any interface differences
  • One does not have to go to an app store to download
  • They do not need to be concerned about constant updates
  • Do not provide much support across various mobile browsers
  • Users will be more worried about security since there’s no standardized quality control

How Native apps and Web apps differ from a developer’s perspective

Native Apps

  • They are more expensive to develop compared to web apps
  • Mobile platforms have state-of-the-art development processes
  • Need different programming languages for different platforms
  • Monetization can become tricky, but app stores handle payments.
  • Approval might be a big task

Web Apps

  • One web app can face many challenges across various mobile devices and browsers 
  • Don’t need approval from any app marketplace
  • No standardized SDKs or easy tools are available currently
  • They can be monetized easily with ads, memberships, etc


One should always consider how vital their application’s speed and performance is for their business before choosing the type of app they want to opt for. Another factor is the development budget, as is how you’d like to monetize your app in the future and what mobile platforms you want to support.


Technology consultant in leading web and mobile application development company committed to providing end-to-end IT services in Web, Mobile & Cloud.