When it comes to app development, it’s likely your first thoughts are towards concept and niche. Maybe you’re thinking of a FinTech app that helps users manage debt, or a MedTech app that helps monitor blood sugar. Whatever the type of app you’re interested in building, you’ll have to decide if you want to build a web-based or native app. Both have their pros and cons, but native apps are far better suited to today’s app market. Let’s see the reasons why.
Why Not A Web App?
A web app is basically a collection of web pages bundled together and presented as an app. They are relatively inexpensive to produce, and, as they’re HTML based, they’ll work on any device or platform. Sounds good, right? Well, here’s a few reasons you might want to stay away.
- Slower: Web apps by design operate by sending and receiving data from various web pages, so performance and speed are constrained by these Internet connections.
- Less reliable: Because they run on a variety of browsers and devices, web apps can lag in performance. Non-standard coding and no centralized quality control mean a definite lack of oversight, leading to spotty performance.
- Hard to Find: While app stores can be tricky to gain traction in, they are also excellent resources to browse and find great apps. Web apps have no such market to be discovered in.
What Do Native Apps Have to Offer?
Now that you’ve seen how web apps can fall short, let’s check out all the benefits that building a mobile native app can offer.
First, we have to recognize the devices that most of these apps will run on. These are mostly powerful tablets and phones that have state-of-the-art features, like incredible cameras, GPS locators, and lightning-fast processors. In order for apps to take advantage of and utilize all these amazing features, you need to have native apps that operate within the device, rather than from various web pages and browsers as a web app would do. So, any new app, from gaming and social to retail and medical, can be developed as per the device technology.
Knowing that, the advantages of native apps are evident when you look at the big picture.
- Fast: Because native apps are developed specifically for a particular platform, the code performs faster and more reliably within that platform. And like we mentioned above, taking advantage of the processing power of the devices makes the apps work exponentially better.
- App Store Perks: There is real impact to being aligned with any particular app store, be it iOS or Android based. Primarily, it’s a forum to be found and featured, and that’s no small thing. App stores have reviews and ratings readily available for today’s comparison obsessed consumer, so it is essentially a merit-based system. It’s also a very dependable and trustworthy endorsement of your up and coming app. As these stores represent their respective operating systems and devices, they always do a very thorough vetting and quality assurance process to make certain the app will run perfectly on their platform. So, as they strive to uphold their good reputation for quality control, your reputation enjoys the same lift.
- UI/UX: We all know how important user experience is to consumers. It’s ultimately the make or break aspect that determines the success of your app. And when a web-based app is depending on scattered web pages, servers and browsers, it’s impossible to maintain a consistent and positive UX across all the platforms and devices. Native apps are specifically coded and developed for individual platforms, and are updated and optimized solely for that purpose. Additionally, keeping tabs on how your app is performing – rates of download/uninstall, reviews, ratings, etc. – is vital to its longevity and success. You want to be well informed with all the data and analytics as you can possibly be, and native apps allow you to do just that.
- Exclusive features: Many web apps are just more or less repackaged websites meant to be accessible on mobile devices. This eliminates many of the reason for developing a dedicated app for an existing company. This is particularly relevant in retail apps, where incredibly engaging and immersive features like augmented reality, geolocators offering in-store experiences and discounts, or targeted push notifications make these apps indispensable resources to augment a business. Having an integrated approach to your app, website, and any brick-and-mortar presence is essential to getting the most of your digital presence, and having a dedicated native app makes it possible.
These reasons alone should have you leaning towards developing a native app, or at least wondering why it’s even a debate. Well, there are a few things to know. Developing and maintaining a native app is almost always going to be a bit more expensive. If you want to make your app accessible to multiple platforms and devices, be prepared to invest in building your app for each of those individually. You also need to consider that getting approved for an app store is by no means automatic…it can sometimes take a lot of time and work to get it up to the app store’s standards. It’s understandable that these reasons may concern businesses, especially smaller startups and enterprises that have a stretched budget as it is.
Just remember, you get what you pay for. Presenting a quality product from the get go is just good branding, and that especially pertains to any digital presence you might have. Don’t forget, having to scramble to rework your app, take it down for extensive maintenance, or any other down time and repair inevitably costs more than getting it right from the beginning. The rule of thumb with app development is to try to get it right from the start…and, if not, go for a rescue before things get too bad. You want to represent your app and/or your brand in the best way possible. Going with native app development is your best bet.
Want to explore building a native app with Koombea? Feel free to get in touch for a free consultation!