An increasing number of startups, enterprises, and other companies are developing apps because they realize that more users are utilizing software to consume information and entertainment and access data and services in the modern age.

The right app can help your business connect with customers, deliver services cost-effectively, and augment your brand. But before developing an app, you must have the right app strategy. Selecting the ideal app platform is an essential part of your app development roadmap.  

Web App vs Mobile App

When considering a platform for your business’s app, you can either pick a mobile app or a web app. Some organizations stick to one, while others choose both to maximize their market reach.

So, when it comes to the web app vs mobile app debate, what’s the difference and which one is right for you? As one of the top-rated app developers in Montreal, Toronto, and Brooklyn, having served satisfied clients across North America with software that’s acquired over 31 million users, we can use our expertise to help you unpack this crucial question.

Mobile Apps

Mobile apps are software that work on mobile phone operating systems on devices such as phones and tablets. Users can download mobile apps through app stores or other resources. Mobile apps take advantage of a mobile device’s hardware components such as the touchscreen, buttons, camera, microphone, GPS, processor, and storage to provide a service to the end user.

Common examples of mobile apps include Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, and YouTube for your phone. An Internet browser, calculator, clock, and camera are also examples of mobile apps.

The two primary platforms for mobile apps are Android and iOS.

  • Google’s Android is a mobile operating system that’s built on a modified Linux kernel and other open-source software. It works on devices made by Samsung, Google, and other leading mobile companies. According to Statista, Android has a significantly higher global market share than iOS.  
  • The iOS operating system works exclusively on Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. While iOS has a lower market share globally, it’s more popular in the United States and Canada than Android. Apple’s App store also generates more money than the Google Play Store according to at least one study. 

Whether you need a native Android app, iOS app, or both depends on your needs, goals, and target audience.

Advantages of Developing a Mobile App

  • Faster performance than web apps
  • Can utilize special mobile hardware components such as GPS or camera
  • Don’t need the Internet to function
  • More secure than web apps
  • More advanced functionality and features than mobile apps
  • Can be easier to develop due to SDKs, developer tools, and other resources

Disadvantages of Developing a Mobile App

  • Can be costlier to develop
  • More expensive to regularly maintain and upgrade
  • Must satisfy certain criteria for app store approval
  • A platform’s native app can’t work on another platform

How we develop mobile apps

We leverage our experience, expertise, and proficiencies in computer languages and technologies to develop native mobile apps. We use languages such as JavaScript or Java to develop Android apps. Meanwhile, we use Swift for app development for iOS.  

Web Apps

On the surface, web apps look very similar to mobile apps with the same functionality. However, they’re different products that may lack some advanced functions. For example, a social media mobile app may allow users to play augmented reality games through their mobile hardware, but the web app may only offer browsing.

Unlike native mobile apps, web apps don’t require users to download an application. Instead, users can access web apps through Internet browsers on their computers or devices on different operating systems.

Advantages of Developing a Web App

  • Web app maintenance is more straightforward due to a common codebase.
  • Development can be more cost-effective
  • Web apps don’t need marketplace or app store approval to launch
  • Users don’t need to download an app to access a web app
  • More accessible on different browsers and operating systems

Disadvantages of Developing a Web App

  • Generally slower than native apps
  • Fewer features than native apps
  • Will not work without an Internet connection
  • Can be less secure without the app store criteria
  • More prone to web-borne attacks that target browsers
  • Lack the discoverability of mobile apps

Another factor to consider in the hybrid app. These are web apps with a native app shell that allows deployment to different platforms. Examples of hybrid apps include Uber, Instagram, Gmail, and Twitter.

While hybrid apps are convenient, the layer between the operating system and source code can become a bottleneck, restricting performance in demanding situations.

How We Develop Web Apps

With our industry-wide expertise, we can ensure that your web app delivers the same experience as its mobile counterpart. We utilize technologies such as React, AngularJS, JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, NodeJS, and Mango DB for cutting-edge web app development services.  

App features

Mobile apps and native apps can have some of the following features:

  • Email login
  • Facebook login
  • Twitter login
  • Phone number login
  • Google login
  • Sign in with Apple
  • Chat
  • Push Notifications
  • In-app purchase
  • Credit card payments
  • Tutorials
  • Search
  • Offline mode
  • Geo-restriction
  • Geofencing
  • Map display
  • Google Places API
  • MapBox
  • Directions
  • And more

Mobile App vs Web App: What Should I Choose?

The answer to whether you should develop a mobile app or web app depends on your needs and specifications. Mobile apps can be more expensive to develop as they’re more complex and specialized than web apps. Native mobile apps must also be built from the ground up for every platform. But the extra cost and effort of native mobile app development can be worthwhile.

You can always connect with Guaraná Technologies to determine what software works best for your business. Here are some questions we may ask to establish the ideal development process for your project’s success.

  • What is your target market?
  • How will your users access your application?
  • Do you need app store visibility?
  • What will be the app’s maintenance and upgrade needs?
  • What functions do you want us to create?
  • What features do you want us to develop?
  • Do your app’s features require specific hardware?
  • What is the app’s complexity?
  • What is your timeframe, and what is your budget?

When Should I Create a Native Mobile App?

You should build a native mobile app if your software requires specific mobile hardware features like a GPS, microphone, or camera. For example, a virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR) app works best as a native mobile app because it leverages mobile hardware. A mobile app also helps you access a specific user base like Android or iOS.  

When Should I Create a Web App?

You can develop a web app if you want to extend your native app experience to the web for users who lack access to the mobile app’s platform or hesitate to download new software. A web app is also a good match for companies interested in delivering information or resources to a wide range of users.

When Should I Create a Hybrid App?

You may opt to develop a hybrid app if you want to reach more users through an agile development cycle more cost-effectively. However, the lack of a native feel in hybrid apps can be problematic. In addition, hybrid apps can be slower and may be unable to utilize platform capacities.

Mobile App vs Web App: Monetization

Some organizations, such as banks, healthcare organizations, or even nonprofits, create apps to deliver services, market their products, or offer information. However, others develop apps to earn a return on investment through revenue generation. If monetization is a goal, then you should know that mobile apps and web apps monetize differently.

Web apps are usually easier to monetize. A web app typically uses monetization features such as ads, promotions, and subscriptions through the browser, while such features must be baked into a native app.

Why partner with Guaraná Technologies?

We can deliver an excellent product that matches your objectives, industry, and resources, whether you need an Android, iOS, or web app. Our designers, engineers, and developers have experience creating cutting-edge apps for all mobile platforms.

Our knowledge of the following mobile and web app programming technologies can allow you to innovate more quickly with an industry-leading product:

  • React
  • Angular
  • NodeJS
  • Swift
  • MongoDB
  • Ruby on Rails
  • JavaScript
  • Java

We’re also with you through every phase of the mobile app development process:

  • Market: Our experts help you finetune your business idea, determine the right remuneration model, draft your roadmap, select the appropriate features, and define the best platform for launching your app.
  • Design: We start with a visual guide to defining the flow and logic of the app. Next, our design team incorporates your inspirations into the aesthetics. Finally, we create the interface to detail how your app will look to users.
  • Development: Our experts utilize the right languages, tools, and technologies to develop your app. Our unit testing, bug testing, and user testing are thorough in order to mitigate the risk of software crashes. In the pre-launch phase, we market and promote your product to your target audience.

After launching your item, we offer services such as analytics, A/B testing, store, optimization, and app maintenance to ensure the long-term success of your investment. At Guaraná, we’re your partners in the app development journey, from platform selection to post-launch support.