In previous articles, we have talked about applications and how to optimize them to obtain better performance and competitive improvement in our company, but in today’s article, we will see what types of web applications and native applications there are and what are their differences, advantages and disadvantages are.
What is a web application?
A web application is simply an application like any other, with the advantage that it is stored on the network and can be executed by any browser.
We could define them as programs that work on the internet. In other words, the data or files you work on are processed and stored on the web. And the first advantage, these applications generally do not need to be installed on your computer.
As expected, the concept of web applications is related to cloud storage. All information related to the application is stored permanently on large Internet servers and at the time of use, they send you, to your device or computer, the data you require at that time, leaving a temporary copy within your equipment.
This means that, at any time, place, and from any device we can access this service, all you need is an internet connection and your access data, username, and password.
These huge Internet servers that provide hosting services are located around the world, allowing the services provided to be inexpensive, or in many cases, free and extremely secure.
What are native apps?
Native applications are those that are developed specifically for a specific operating system, which is commonly known as Software Development Kit or SDK.
Each platform has a different operating system and the best known are iOS and Android, although there are also others such as Windows Phone.
In the case of native applications, if you want your application to reach all users, you should think about creating an App for each of the operating systems. You have to be clear that each system uses a specific language and that for the application to be successful, your development has to be native.
When talking about the language of the operating system, we are referring to the following:
Android applications are developed in Java
iOS applications are developed in Swift language
If we talk about the download or installation of native applications, these are done from the different App Stores of each device and it is important to point out that, unlike Web Apps, Native Apps do not need an internet connection to work.
Advantages of Web applications compared to a native App
Quick and easy maintenance: In the case of large companies we would only have to solve a problem once and not once for each computer.
Updates are implemented by the provider and are available to all users immediately and easily, since the user does not have to do anything.
There are no compatibility issues: All operating systems have a built-in browser, so we could run that application on all available operating systems: desktops, smartphones and tablets.
They do not take up space on the hard drive: A very important advantage, since today the use of applications is widespread and storage capacity is limited. This allows users to continue enjoying the application without worrying about disk space.
They run through a URL and you don’t have to download them from a Market, this allows, as we mentioned before, not to worry about storage space and to be able to access it from any device or place.
Advantages of Native Applications
Speed and efficiency: Native applications, being developed in the language of the operating system they work with, are faster and more efficient than web applications.
Greater performance: One of the great advantages of native applications, which do not have other types of Apps, is to make the most of the functionalities of the devices in which they are installed, mainly smartphones, since they have access to all their sensors, always and when the user gives his consent, of course. For example, they can have access to geolocation, camera, microphone, push notifications, fingerprint, internal device storage, accelerometer, gyroscope, etc.
They work offline: In native applications, if the user does not have an internet connection, nothing happens, they can still enjoy the application, provided that the App has been developed taking this requirement into account. This also has a relevant influence on the user experience.
Security: The creation of specific Apps for an operating system, such as Native Apps, requires the use of programming languages and special security protocols for the software in question. In addition, the integration with the respective stores such as the IOS App Store or the Android Play Store help guarantee security when downloading the executable file.
Better user experience: All the advantages we mentioned above result in a better user experience. This makes the app much more attractive, which will result in better ratings and reviews that will benefit the App’s reputation and attract more downloads.
Web Applications Vs Native Applications: Which one best suits my needs?
Taking into account all the aspects mentioned above before deciding if we want to develop a Native Application or a Web Application, it will ultimately be the needs of the project to be designed and the type of tasks to be developed, on Desktop or Mobile, that decide and determine What type of application is going to be developed?
We must start by analyzing the reason for the application, what functions we want it to cover and the environment in which it is going to be used, to identify and determine which of the two types is better suited and can offer us better results.
Susanna Esqué Aromí – UX UI Designer at Itequia
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