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Responsive Web Apps Vs. Native Apps: Which is Better?

web apps vs native apps

What’s in the blog?

Businesses are already aware of the importance of mobile adaptation. With over 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide today, the question is no longer whether you should adapt products for mobile devices, but rather how to do it properly. One of the first questions you'll need to answer is whether you should go with a responsive web app or a native app.

Both responsive web apps and native apps have advantages and disadvantages, which must be thoroughly understood before committing to a particular development path. This article examines both options and discusses their advantages and disadvantages.

What is a responsive web design?

Responsive web design refers to web designs that accommodate various screen sizes, ensuring that content looks great on any screen size.

Pros of responsive web design

Lower Production Cost

Responsive web design refers to web designs that accommodate various screen sizes, ensuring that content looks great on any screen size.

Cross-Platform Accessibility

Pages on responsive websites are displayed using HTML and CSS and can be accessed using any browser. As a result, responsive websites function equally well across multiple platforms and devices.

No External Installations Required

To begin using the app, simply enter your website's URL into the browser's address field. The website could potentially be accessed by any device that is connected to the internet.

Less Marketing Time

The product team does not need to go through App Store or Google Play approvals for iOS or Android (a mandatory step for every native mobile app). As a result, if you want to change the design of your website, all you have to do is update your code, and the changes will be immediately visible to your users.

Cons of responsive web design

Internet Connection Required

Because a responsive web is a website, it cannot function offline. Users will require constant connectivity to use the website.

Need To Mobile Optimize Content

Images with high resolution and fancy animated effects should be optimized for mobile devices. If you don't, users will experience poor performance and longer page load times, leading to higher bounce rates.

Limited Native Device Features Support

Mobile device features such as access to a camera, microphone, and push notifications are only partially supported by responsive websites.

Can Not Be Distributed Via an App Store

This can be an issue if you're looking for ways to monetise app downloads.

What are Native apps?

Native apps are designed to run exclusively on a single mobile operating system. They are written in an operating system programming language. For example, if you were to create a native iOS app, you would do so in Swift. You would create the app in accordance with Apple's guidelines and submit it to the App Store for review before making it available to users.

Pros of native apps

Better Performance

Native code that is well-written always runs faster than responsive web app code. Mobile apps have the ability to store critical data on devices and do not rely on a middle-state processor (web browser) to perform even the most basic functions.

Consistency With OS Design

Native apps behave similarly to the rest of the phone's user experiences—both visual design decisions and interaction patterns will be familiar to your target audience. As a result, they'll spend less time figuring out how to use your product.

Offers More Personalization

Native apps can normally access all of the device's functionality, such as the camera, microphone, and Bluetooth.

Works offline

After downloading the app, its data can be saved directly on a device. The product team can choose which content will be available for offline use.

Cons of native apps

Can Not be used On A Device Running A Diffrent Operating System

For example, you’re not able to run an iOS app on an Android. If you want your app to run on both, you need to develop two versions of your app—one for iOS and another for Android.

Expensive To Build

The most significant disadvantage of developing native apps is the amount of coding required. If you want to create an iOS app, you must learn Swift or hire a developer who can code in Swift. If you want to create an Android app, you will need someone who is familiar with Java. If your product team wishes to release an app for both iOS and Android, they must write code for each operating system.

Harder To Acquire New Users

Users must be persuaded to download your app. The average person uses 25 apps per month, and the average cost per install (CPI) for iOS devices in the United States is $2.37. Even after installing your app, 21% of users abandon it after only one use. This means you'll have to spend a lot of money on marketing and advertising to get more downloads.

Responsive Web Apps Vs. Native Apps: The winner

You should ideally have both. Users may want to access your website on their devices at some point, even if a native app is available and installed on their mobile phones. Because of this, online services such as Instagram provide two versions of their product: a responsive web app and a native app. This provides users with more ways to access the content.

Simultaneously, mobile apps do not have to duplicate all of the features of a responsive website. Some app functions cannot be used on a website for technical reasons or due to a product decision. Instagram users, for example, can view and upload photos when using the mobile app, but they can only view photos when interacting with Instagram via its website.

Wrapping up

When deciding between responsive and native apps, it's important to remember that each has advantages. What matters most is that your users' needs are met. Clearly define your business goals and determine the best way (or ways) to achieve them, whether through a responsive web app, native apps, or a combination of the two.

Table Content

What is a responsive web design?

    Pros of responsive web design

      Cons of responsive web design

        What are Native apps?

          Pros of native apps

            Cons of native apps

              Responsive Web Apps Vs. Native Apps: The winner

                Wrapping up

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