Future of App Development – Native Apps or Web App?
By Judy Alex
People today eat, sleep and breathe apps. You wake up every morning with the gentle tremor of Smart Alarms, track your fitness with Fitbit after working-out, get uber to reach your office, your checked Google Maps for peeking at the traffic conditions, and devoting rest of your day using different apps to ease up different task.
More importantly, as apps have become a fundamental tool to connect users, businesses are converging more on developing a dedicated business app to engage more and more users. But when it comes to deciding on the type of app they need to make a difference, things start getting blurry.
Do you want to amaze and lure your users with an entirely native application (Android or iOS), or you are looking for a web version of an app that can target all users regardless of what OS they are using?
The Future of the Web and Native Apps
For a couple of years, native and web apps are constantly engaged in some sort of cold war against each other. Apple and Samsung love native apps; they are faster, work well with the device’s built-in features, need no internet connection, and feel real. However, Google is a huge fan of web apps; they are easier to maintain, require no installation, and works flawlessly on any OS.
Let’s get a faceoff between web apps and native apps with respect to the future.
Agree! Native apps are fast because of their low-level coding and better connectivity to OS, whereas the web apps are slow as there are different layers of abstraction. But! Technology is evolving with every passing second and the users might get over these limitations. Most probably, the developers would switch to C from JS to code the performance-critical section of web apps.
Nowadays, web apps are also getting access to the device features and in the near future, they may use camera or gyroscope in more or less the same way as native apps.
This may make people insecure about handing over their phone features and different permissions to a WEB app. Some of the native apps are using sandboxing that ask users for their permission before revealing sensitive data or media to them and web apps are not going to lag behind in this regard.
People are running errands these days and they don’t have much time for getting themselves registered to access a book or edit their photo. This is the main reason behind social media registration that helps the users get an escape from filing in long sign up form in just a single tap using their social media account. Native apps are at a loss in this regard as installation is a must for their accessibility. Users, in the future, are not going to understand the ritual of “installing an app” for infrequent chores, like finding a flight or planning holiday getaways.
Web apps can be easily shared with others, found by robots, opened in tabs, saved to bookmarks, by using URLs (that native apps lack). Native apps can’t support any such thing unless otherwise specifically coded. Since web apps can be bookmarked, you don’t have to install them, besides users can do multiple tasks and browse multiple pages on different apps, without having to exit from it.
Just like the websites, web apps (by default) allow the users to copy its text, zoom in, or save any image effortlessly and that’s just how it works, but in the case of native apps, you cannot select text or any media, unless otherwise specifically coded.
One of the major advantage native app users get is unceasing connectivity. Web apps are dependent on a working internet connection to launch. Even if a native app needs a server to function properly, it launches and shows some features when offline. You cannot use Gmail to send or receive your emails, but it allows you to read and reply the mail that will be sent once you get online.
Many mobile app development companies have witnessed the biggest benefits of native apps for their customer’s bottom line, but things are changing now. People don’t want their phone screens to get cluttered with app icons and I think that web apps have a much brighter future in the industry.
P.S. all these statements are purely based on a personal opinion, if you disagree at any point, do share your views in the comment below.
About the author
Judy is a tech geek, an app animal and a senior writer at Ingic. Besides writing, she loves trying new apps, playing video games, listening to music, and discovering history.