The world of mobile application development services is a large battleground nowadays. No sooner than a new project comes than arguments start flying over and across.
A big challenge which professionals are facing working in application development services today is whether to create apps that run in browsers or native app that runs on specific devices.
This trend is opposing two developments platforms. Android smartphones and iPhones have become ubiquitous. A mobile application reaches out to many users, but not as many as a browser based app. At the same time, mobile browsers have gotten smarter, too. Developers can create intelligent apps that give a superior experience in Safari or the Android browsers.
This article looks at the pros and cons of each approach:
Advantages of browser based apps
1. There is much fragmentation in the smartphone market. Mobile developers can bypass this fragmentation and reach out to nearly every smartphone user - who has an internet connection - through a mobile friendly website. They can reach out to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone users with a single stroke.
2. Browser based apps are less expensive to create and launch. Unlike apps, they do not have to pass through the editors at each of the app stores.
3. A third advantage of this approach is time. It takes lesser time to build a mobile-friendly website as developers do not have to take care of each platform.
Advantages of native mobile applications
While browser based apps have several advantages of native apps, they lose out to them in several other ways.
1. One of the most important of them is functionality. Native apps allow more wiggling room for developers, who can make their apps very functional and thus useful.
2. Developers can create ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing interfaces when they develop apps. This is not possible in mobile-friendly websites. Due to browser limitations, they look more or less the same.
3. Native apps can run without the internet. In contrast, browser run apps die the moment internet connectivity is broken.
4. Across the board, native apps run faster than browser based apps. This difference is particularly acute in high end devices.
Browser based apps are good when a developer wants to reach to anyone with a smart device and an internet connection. Native apps are superior when a superior experience and high functionality are desired.