The decisions you make for your MVP can impact the direction (and success) of your company. One of the most important decisions is what platform to...
Mobile app or web app? It’s not always a clear decision. If you survey startup founders, you will hear strong opinions on either side. The reason for the disparity is that the answer really depends on your business and the nature of your app. This guide will walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of building a mobile app vs. a web app to help you decide.
There are five primary things to consider in your decision-making process, based on your current and future business plans. Ask yourself the following questions.
Once you’ve collected the answers for each of these questions, your decision may become a bit clearer as you look at the list of advantages and disadvantages listed below.
Before jumping into the pros and cons, a quick definition of each can help simplify when to use a mobile app or when a web app is the more appropriate choice.
A mobile app is an application designed specifically for a mobile device, such as a phone or tablet. It sometimes works with the functions already built into the phone, such as GPS.
A web app on the other hand is a software designed to be accessed through any browser, but it’s custom coded as opposed to being built on a no-code website builder. Sometimes, like in the case of a Progressive Web Apps, the link can be saved onto the homescreen of a mobile device, so it looks like an app, but still opens within a browser when tapped. It saves like a shortcut on a desktop, but with an interface that resembles an app.
Mobile apps can be designed for a specific operating system and leverage the native functionality of the mobile device, giving them unique capabilities. Increasingly more common these days is to build mobile apps in cross platform languages, like React and Flutter, allowing one codebase to support an app on both iOS and Android platforms. But mobile apps are generally more expensive to develop than web apps. Here’s what you need to know.
A web app is a responsive website that users can launch in the mobile device browser or on their desktop computer. Web apps can be designed to look good on any device, including a desktop, tablet, and phone. Since they rely on the browser, web apps work with any operating system, making them a faster and more cost-effective option. However, while a lower cost is an advantage for a web app, they don’t leverage device features causing some functionality limitations. Here’s what you need to know.
Look back at the answers you provided to the five primary questions. These answers will provide insights into which direction you should choose.
Want to learn how we help you hone your app idea (while discussing these considerations!) through our SolutionLab workshop? Get in touch, and we’ll schedule a call.
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