According to Gartner, by the year 2016 the total units of device shipment of Mobile Phones are expected to be 2,062 million compared to 233 million units of traditional PCs. The demand of Desktop PCs and Notebooks is falling year after year, if the number of shipping units is any indication of the same. So it comes as no surprise why applications are the hot-favorite of developers and entrepreneurs. Many startups are going the “app-only” way and ditching mobile web browser. As developing and maintaining a web app needs a separate project of its own, a company might condone its “app-only” move, but is it a right strategy? Are apps the future of mobile-first businesses or startups? Are web apps redundant?

(Web applications are accessed through browser as these are not deployed in the application store of a mobile OS. The reason why these are called web apps is that they give app-like navigation and feel to the users surfing on their mobile site.)

Why App-only is still not the present?

It takes a lot to manage native apps for different platforms. These apps are written in mobile OS specific languages, and hence a different project is needed to be maintained for each native app if it is available on multiple platforms, but the efforts are worth it.

Comscore’s research suggests that a user spend an average of 201.8 minutes a month on a native app compared with 10.9 minutes she spends on the mobile web, but the same research also entails another perspective. According to the research, mobile web leads in terms of unique visitors, attracting more than 2 times the unique visitors attracted by mobile applications.

This doesn’t come as a surprise as once the app has been downloaded, a single user is likely to use it time and again, but the chance of getting found of mobile app is definitely behind than that of web app.
So while a mobile app is a great way of engaging a customer, web apps help your business find new customers as web browsers are easily accessible to any user on any platform.

Why Web App?

Web Apps are modeled around applications, but they are not natively installed and can be accessed via traditional mobile browsers through a URL. HTML, CSS, and Javascript are cross-platform web language and extends app like layout to the mobile websites.

Many users prefer web apps over native apps as the former needs no installation, and thus provide an easier access.

Conclusion

It has been iterated time and again that native applications provide a rich experience to mobile users, but their availability is limited to the application store of mobile OSs. When more and more brands are taking refuge in “mobile-first” strategy, ignoring Web App may alienate a huge community of mobile users from your business. Keep both native app and web app in your arsenal so as to enhance richness and reach.