Web Apps VS Native Apps - Which is Better For Startups?

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When it comes to the debate over web apps vs native apps, one thing is for certain, the gap between these two will continue to shrink over the years. 

As it pertains to the startups, there are a bunch of things to consider because not everyone shares the same level of expertise or has the same deep pockets. 

The best way to decide the winner in the web apps vs native apps debate is to simply look at the factors that separate the two.

Although we are still a few years out before the gap closes, today is a different world we live in. There are a number of reasons why one startup would consider the native apps, while another can not live without the web apps. Although everyone has their preference, it helps to see why one is preferred over the other in unique situations because you may not have considered all your options when you started this journey.

The following information should cast a light on both web apps vs native apps, allowing you to determine where you put the most important and how that will affect you and your business in the long-term. 

There is no right or wrong answer here, just information.

Start with Performance

The first thing to consider is performance. 

Take a look at the Google App Store and you will quickly discover that gaming is extremely popular. Kids are always looking for the latest fun releases, and adults are looking for games that remind them of their youth. As far as the debate between web apps vs native apps, highly interactive applications that are needed to run these games fall into the native apps category. 

The truth of the matter is that web apps will have a real struggle in this space because the performance simply will not be the same as the native apps. 

For that reason, the native apps win this argument. 

A Case For The Collaborative

Perhaps the mobile app that you will be developing is more of a collaborative or solo effort. When there are many pieces to the puzzle and you need many people to help with the effort, the clear winner here is the web apps. 

This is the best option for being able to output an application that meets or exceeds your needs.

Consider Location Services

One of the things that you have to consider with the development of the mobile app is where the user is going to get the most use of this application. 

Consider if the user is going to be on the go, where a GPS or navigational app works best. If the user is going to be more localized, locked onto a computer all day at work, then a dedicated OS app isn't the ideal solution for this instance. If the primary focus of the app is to help a user while they are on the go, then you have to choose between the web apps vs native apps accordingly.

Teams & Resources

When you have a lot of people working on the development of the app, web based is the way to go for a number of reasons. 

One being that you can easily manage the code for a variety of operating systems more easily. having a dedicated specialist for each device just is not practical for a startup. It doesn't matter how deep the pockets, it just is not practical in the early stages of the game to dedicate all those resources when web based will do the job.

Know Your Level Of Expertise

One of the things to consider in the web apps vs native apps debate is your level of expertise. 

If you have some background in web apps, it does not make any sense as a startup to try and learn a new skill. If you are already familiar with one over the other, then take the road with least resistance. The last thing that you need now is to go through all the trial and errors of learning something new when you are trying to develop an application quickly.

Review The Work Load

One of the ways that you can decide easily which is right for you is to consider that when we are talking about iOS, you have to be willing to deal with all the policies of the App Store. 

That means you have to take the good with the bad, and despite there being a number of benefits, you have to take the bad too. Even though the App Store is going to shoulder the load as far as managing money for you, you are going to have to give up a certain level of control that you had. On the other hand, with the web based apps, you have all the control but you also have to do all the work, and there will be tons of work. 

Luckily for startups, you can rely on programs like Chargify, Recurly, and Spreedly to handle some of that work load.

Find The Best Long Term Solution

Looking at the long-term development of your app, you have to carefully consider if you are going to be making use of cloud components down the road. 

Looking at this from the perspective of the user, they might be able to get the most out of the app if their device is packed with features clogging up space. The cloud allows users to be able to free up valuable space on the device and enhance the overall user experience. in the end, this is what the who purpose is for, making certain the user has the ultimate experience. 

You should consider starting with the web application now and then eventually adding some mobile OS apps that will compliment the app down the road.

This information should have at the least showed you both sides of the web apps vs native apps debate. There are definitely more things to consider, but this should be a great jumping off point for the startup. Don't look at the solution to a short-term problem, it is important that you are looking well into the future to the needs of the user.

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