Responsive Websites vs. Native apps and Web Apps – And Why it Matters
Technology / September, 14 2020
A minute on the Internet is like a month in real-time. Or something like that.
On the web, things move at lightning speed, and it can be daunting for small business owners to keep up. Brands and businesses are already aware of the need to adapt to mobile. User consumption has changed drastically over the past several years, and so have the information and sales sources.
One of the first decisions startup founders and product managers have to make when they begin focusing on mobile is whether they are going to just make their web product “friendly” for mobile screens or are going to invest in developing a mobile application. Instead of worrying about technological advances and trends that may never take hold, most small business owners focus on what has worked for them in the past. And that makes sense – to a point.
But think about the early days of the Internet. It was like the Wild West. Businesses large and small could launch a website and make money just because they had a website and their competitors didn’t. Imagine getting in on that. In the second, we are referring to mobile apps that require downloading from an app store.
So, clearly you’re sold on mobile marketing. Now, it’s just a question of how.
Responsive websites, web apps, and native apps are three popular choices. Let’s take a closer look at each before we compare them.
First off, you might be wondering about the difference between responsive websites and mobile web apps. Both terms refer to the use of web designs that are able to self-adapt to any device in order to be seen. Responsive websites are designed to work on any platform as it is a custom CSS stylesheet that makes the website look great on any device. So, whether you’re accessing it from your PC, iPhone, Android, or tablet, your website will format perfectly.
- Mobile Apps:
Mobile apps work differently than responsive websites. They don’t run on all devices and need to be installed separately but what they give is a unique user experience.
Do you know when you go to the App Store or to Google Play and download an app? Yeah, those are mobile apps. You’ll notice that they are usually designed for a very specific and narrow purpose. One may be a game. Another may help you with your banking. In addition, technologies like QR codes, voice recognition, and augmented reality can’t be used with a responsive web on mobile devices. These are tools that require a native mobile app.
You may even download an app to help you find the best vegetarian restaurants in any city. They are usually designed to be helpful and interactive. They often allow some sort of purchase to be made within the app (score for you, the business owner).
- Web Apps:
Web apps are often confused with mobile apps, and with the advent of HTML5, the lines are becoming even blurrier. Web apps look and feel very much like mobile apps – they even store data in your browser’s cache, so much of the app can be accessed offline.
Responsive Mobile Apps vs. Website:
Should you design a responsive website or a mobile app? Well, the answer is that you should do both – if you can. Mobile apps work differently than responsive websites. They don’t run on all devices and need to be installed separately but what they give is a unique user experience.
Many small businesses end up choosing between the two for budgeting reasons, but with the tools available today, that’s probably not necessary. A responsive website and a mobile app share many of the same purposes. First and foremost, they allow users to interact with a brand through their mobile phone, so either way, it’s a step in the right direction.
If you’re building both from scratch, a responsive website will be much less expensive than a mobile app. This is why many businesses choose to go with a responsive design and call it a day.
So don’t make a common mistake and don’t turn your app into the clone of your website. Instead, you should pick up features and functions that reflect the main idea of your business, develop them, make the usage as simple and straightforward as possible, and bring that all to your customer.
Responsive Web Apps vs. Websites:
We should be able to wrap this comparison up rather quickly. A responsive website usually eliminates the need for a web app (or vice versa). Unless you are building the web app to complement your company’s website and brand, there really isn’t a need for both.
Web apps are most often used to create a mobile version of a non-mobile-ready webpage. By now, we hope you have a better understanding of how to approach the mobile market with your brand. Ideally, a responsive website combined with a mobile app will answer all of your needs. The website will feature everything in an easy-to-access format while the mobile app may have a more specific focus, but it will interact with users in a way that a website cannot.
Web Apps vs. Mobile Apps:
Most consumers can’t tell the difference between a web app and a mobile app once they have been installed. They look and feel exactly the same to many people with one major difference. Mobile apps can access things on your phone that a web app cannot, such as your camera and GPS and Push Notifications. This may make a huge difference for your business.
Another benefit to mobile apps over web apps is that they are readily available where users are searching: the App Store or Google Play.
Now, go forth and launch your mobile platforms, whether they be mobile apps, responsive websites, or web apps. Just be sure to drop back in and keep us posted on how things go for you!
Mr. Lokesh Bansal
Lokesh Bansal is technical lead in Vidhema Technologies. He is responsible for Managing all mobile project from start to successfull delievery. He also played a very major role in all technical discussion within the orgination. He enjoys learning the small details of all modern technologies and use them in his project to make the standered high and delievery seemlessly.