Native App Vs Web App

Build Progressive Web Apps With Lumavate

Last Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Native App vs. Web App

One of the most important things to understand about Lumavate is that all apps developed with our platform are delivered as Progressive Web Apps (PWA). A Progressive Web App is one that is delivered across standardized web browsers. This delivery method gives PWAs a universal nature that makes them accessible no matter what operating system is in play.

It’s easy to see why PWAs are beginning to replace native apps. If you develop a mobile web app specifically for Android, you’ll have to rebuild it from scratch to put it on the Apple App Store. This is the essence of the native app vs web app choice.

You might think that a PWA sacrifices functionality by abandoning native delivery, but this isn’t the case. You can still customize a PWA for performance on different systems, but you get to do so with much less invested effort. In many cases, Progressive Web App vs native app performance is completely indistinguishable.

Mobile Progressive Web App examples can help drive this point home. Two well-known apps that you might have used are Starbucks and Uber. Both of these apps are widely used across software platforms, and the user experience is consistent throughout. If Uber can run on a PWA, then the native vs web app debate should probably end here.

From this point, we’ll discuss the different types of apps to better highlight the advantages of PWAs.

Hybrid Apps

Before Progressive Web Apps came into their dominant state, hybrid apps provided a means to publish on both major app stores with a little less work. While web apps run everything from the server and merely stream the information to the end user, hybrid apps utilize hardware resources on the device for rendering. In simpler language, hybrid apps function somewhere in between PWAs and native apps.

The advantages of a native app vs hybrid app is that that the hybrid app focuses on universal languages (like HTML) to help you spend less time working in proprietary systems. Comparing a native app vs web app vs hybrid, the web app requires the least amount of development work, and the native requires the most.

A few hybrid app examples would include Gmail and Instagram. Clearly, this method can get the job done, but you’ll find the best hybrid apps are those that invested in it years ago.


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Native Mobile Apps

What is a native app? The simplest explanation is to say that these apps are developed in the native environment designated by the operating system publisher. For Android that would be Java. Google also has a Native Android Kit that tries to optimize Java development, but it isn’t widely promoted.

A native mobile app for iOS will be developed using Swift. Apple created the language to streamline app development, and it largely works. On average, Apple apps are created faster and generate revenue sooner than their Android counterparts.

The big takeaway is that Java and Swift are not interchangeable. The primary disadvantages of native app development are that they require more time and money if you want to reach every audience.

A list of native apps would be incomplete without including the most famous native app examples: Google Maps and Facebook. Facebook went mobile long before hybrid and universal systems had really been explored, and the difficulties of creating a working iOS version of Google Maps still craft one of the most important stories in the short history of app development.

Web Apps

Web apps are conceptually similar to PWAs. In fact, two words are in common between the two delivery methods. Basically, web apps are simpler than PWAs. Web apps are delivered across web browsers. This still gives them a universal component to the delivery, and they’re easier to distribute across platforms.

In order to really understand the web app vs mobile app discussion, we first have to answer, what is a mobile app? A mobile app is designed to run utilizing the hardware on a mobile device. The main difference between web applications and mobile applications is where the work is done. With a web application, a server does the rendering and simply sends results to the device. A mobile application does the rendering on the device itself.

Likewise, the difference between a native app and web app should be more clear. A native app is a mobile app that was designed specifically for the operating system in use. Web apps have been around for a long time, and some of the best examples are Google Docs and Netflix.

If you want to better understand the difference between a web app and a PWA or mobile site, this interview will help.

Mobile Websites

It can be easy to confuse mobile websites with web apps. In function they are pretty similar, but a web app should have a user experience that better matches that of a native app. A mobile website is really just a normal website that is optimized for mobile usage.

Some mobile app vs mobile website statistics can help clarify. When you consider that 90 percent of mobile device use time is spent in apps and not browsers, you can see why this experience is so important. Apps vs websites usage is not a close contest.

In lieu of mobile websites, another option involves responsive websites. These sites are designed to conform to the device being used. This makes them more dynamic than mobile sites, and they fair better i mobile app vs responsive website statistics.

Some more mobile app vs website statistics to consider show that app vs website data usage is in favor of apps. They already have a lot of key information stored on the device, and it requires them to download less for any general usage.

Native and Hybrid Apps as an Alternative to Progressive Web Apps

With so many different apps, we can further clarify distinctions among them by looking at a few specific ideas.

How to Identify App Is Native or Hybrid

In Android, you can easily make this check by enabling developer mode. When you enable layout bounds, you’ll be able to see the native rectangles that shape the layout. If the app is hybrid, those rectangles won’t appear.

Hybrid vs Native Apps Pros and Cons

The pros of native apps are that they can use less data, they can be more intricately designed for a specific user base, and they are available through a trusted store. The pros of hybrid apps is that they can provide a more consistent user experience across different devices, and they can cost significantly less to develop. That’s the gist of the native vs hybrid app comparison.

Native App vs Web App Pros and Cons

The pros and cons between a native app and web app are similar to those between a native app and hybrid app. The web app is more consistent across devices, but it uses more data and might be less trusted.

The pros and cons of hybrid apps, native apps and web apps can help you determine how to approach developing your own app.

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Mobile App Development With Lumavate

Mobile web application development is neither cheap nor easy. App developers often make over six figures, and that’s because they have to be genuine experts in multiple operating systems. Pretty much nothing crosses over between Android and iPhone app development, yet everyone needs their apps to function on both.

Lumavate skips all of that. The no-code platform really does make it so a marketer can make the exact app they want, and it will be universally accessible. It saves vast swaths of time and money, and it empowers marketers to make the app with their unique knowledge steering the course. The difference between app developers and web developers becomes moot. The marketer can handle everything, and that leads to better returns on app development.

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