Comparison: Mobile Native Apps vs. Web Apps

DATE

15th January 2013

CATEGORIES

mobile, technology, Uncategorized

 

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Apps @chiorimedia.com

Modern technology has developed so rapidly in the past few years, that it is difficult to remember when the iPhone was non existent. Actually, it has been just five years since it was developed, but initially, the apps were pre-installed and the selection was limited. Apple, the developer of the iPhone, did not even make additional apps available. A built-in Safari web browser was used by developers to create new apps. It was not surprising to many, that shortly thereafter; some creative hackers cracked the code and created their own iPhone apps. The Apple policy quickly changed.

Today, Apple’s App store is remarkably different then it was in 2007. The store is stocked with more than 700,000 apps. This equipment is available in Apple’s App Store and in the Google Play and Microsoft marketplaces. Techies know that the developers re-coded the iPhone to work on a device running Google’s Android operating system. This, in fact, led to a series of web apps.

Over the past decade, the web has become ‘the way’ to economically communicate and exchange information. Apps use different technologies to perform certain tasks. Most are built in standards-based technologies. When the app is converted or re-programmed, it can actually run any platform with a modern, standards-compliant web browser. Users on iPhones and other software can all access the same app and run it just as well as on any other platform.

In contrast, Native apps can only perform on the one platform they were built for, adding more wait time and higher cost to their production. It seems clear that the web app is the better choice. Why then, are native apps still being built? Native apps do have advantages and offers many options, but their shelf-life is limited. With several new developments, eventually, native apps with be obsolete and follow in the path of desktop apps.

At the present time, native apps seem more polished in their look and feel. As far as aesthetic detail and general user experience, web apps cannot compete with native apps. Native apps have also pre-loaded many of its elements which make them faster and easier to access user data. The web has advanced significantly since its onset and will soon be able to compete directly with the artistic and creative abilities of native apps.

Native apps are quite easy to find at the Apple App Store or on Google Play. The difficulty with creating a successful app store is attracting those willing to devote the time, effort and capital needed to create many of the apps that users want. The bottom line is: COMPETITON. The big dealers: Apple, Google and Microsoft are seemingly quite content with the control and influence they possess in the distribution and marketing of their equipment. As web apps become more in demand, it will pose a threat to mobile apps. It is likely that stockholders will wage a fierce battle against anyone who might attempt to devalue their native app centers. It is encouraging to know that for consumers, there is not much that can stop the impending movement of web apps. They are at our doorstep. Since is not necessary to convince developers to create software for a specific platform, independent retailers will also become significant rivals.

Although a native app takes longer to build than a similar web app, it is likely that with newly developed tools and improved education, that will change. As developers become more skilled, operating system creators will be able to create app stores. Apple’s App Store will then have to make way for these new technologies used to create native apps. Eventually, app development costs will decrease dramatically, but it is unlikely that the expense of building multiple platforms and devices for native apps will change in the near future.

Much to the disappointment of developers, most mobile users update their apps quite frequently. As a result, the user base for a particular native app is spread across multiple versions. Quite often, when a user finds that his app is not working, the reason is simple. The user has not updated the app and is using the unsupported older version. Conversely, a web app user does not have to be concerned about updates and older versions. In this area, web apps hold leverage over native apps.

Native apps are very attractive to many consumers due to their ability to dominate the phone’s hardware so easily and consistently. Their access to the internet when the user is not connected is a strong selling point. Consider that web apps can only access GPS to a limited extent and are not capable of user access to a phone’s camera or any photos. Although this could change in future updates, the biggest challenge would be the lack of cooperation from the native app community. Their goal is to maintain the monopoly that is presently set firmly in place.

It is a fact that users of Apple technology are the most zealous owners out there. Their demand for the newest hardware is matched only by their insatiable desire for new apps. How does Apple manage to invigorate their loyal customers? Quite easily. Apple’s secret is their 400 million iTunes accounts that are accompanied by credit cards on file. Purchasing apps could not be easier. Select, enter a password, click and buy. That is the extent of the effort involved and it is a winner. Google and Microsoft may have far fewer accounts, but beware—those numbers are steadily rising.

The ease of purchasing native apps and making in-app purchases is becoming evident to many users. Although, at the present time there is no specific system in place for making a web app or buying web app add-ons, it is on the drawing board. Options such as: Pay Pal, Square, Venmo and others are being coaxed into joining the native team. Many in the tech field believe that the Apple Store will eventually become irrelevant. If enough developers and users get fed up with their policies, it will be doomed for failure.

For mobile development information, please do not hesitate in contacting me: birdie at chiorimedia.com

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