Every growing business that is in the process of developing its online presence is highly invested in digitalising their business as well. A few of the steps of digitalizing involves making certain systems and operations digital and there are two main ways to do that.
The first is a web application, a software program one that functions from a web server. They can be accessed by the user from a browser with an active internet connection. Web apps range from simple browser applications like presentation tools, e-mail software, word processors, etc to more complex systems like project management software that helps business teams manage day-to-day operations, online forms, video-editing, etc.
The second is a mobile application, a software application made to be accessed from a mobile device like a phone, tablet, or a smart watch. Mobile apps have developed from being basic assistance to productivity such as calendars, e-mails, etc to mobile games, retail apps, GPS, booking tickets and much more.
In order to know which is right for your business, it is important to understand the many differences between the two:
- Web apps are accessed from a browser and adapt to any device you open them on, whereas mobile apps are made for specific platforms, the most common being the Apple OS or Android for a device.
- Web apps do not need to be downloaded and installed as they open on the browser, whereas mobile apps need to be and then they get access to your device’s resources, like the GPS, camera, file storage, etc.
- Web apps always need an internet connection as it is accessed from a browser, whereas mobile apps can work offline with limited functionality.
- Web apps update themselves, where as, mobile apps need to be updated by the user from the app store.
- In today’s digital world, smart phones are used by almost everyone and hence the accessibility to a mobile app is much greater than web apps.
Now that you know the difference between the two kinds of apps, you can determine what is better for your use. One of the first steps to doing that is defining who your target audience is and what is its agenda as that plays a crucial role in determining your choice between web and mobile as that is what will define its functionality, purpose, and the complexity needed. Purpose and target audience go hand in hand. For example, for universities like CEPT, IIM-A, NIFT Ahmedabad, NID Ahmedabad, all our clients – a web app was a better fit as they needed a better system software for internal use like an attendance / grading portal or a backend for the libraries. A client like Sandesh required a mobile app only as the purpose was for them to reach customers. There are cases where a company might need both for different purposes and audiences. For example, DHL, one of our clients, the idea was to digitalise the existing systems for the customers and the employees – so for internal employee use a web app was a better fit for them and for customers, a mobile app was better as it was more accessible, gave access to GPS to track location, etc. Similarly,
Hence, in the choice between mobile app and web app, your decision should be based on who the app is for, what purpose it is serving, and what would be its main functionality.
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