Web App Development

How are web apps different from websites? A website typically offers more information than a web app can display, therefore web apps condense website content to improve functionality. A web app loads in browsers like Chrome, Safari, or Firefox, and doesn’t need to be downloaded from app stores like native mobile apps. Web apps also don’t take up storage on the user’s device.
If your goal is to offer mobile-friendly content to a wide range of users, a web app might be the appropriate development path. Web apps are a cost-effective way to put your product in the hands of a lot of users. Keep in mind, users have incredibly high user experience and functionality standards that web apps sometimes can’t deliver. Users are easily frustrated with performance and usability issues like load times, small images, and network availability.

How Do You Build a Web App?

Typically, web apps are built in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 and run inside a web browser. There is no software development kit for developers to use; however, there are templates for them to work with. If you choose to develop a web app, it can be straightforward and quick to build. Although, web apps are often oversimplified and don’t offer the same features a native app can deliver.

What are Progressive Web Apps?

Progressive web apps (PWAs) are hybrids of regular web pages and native apps. Overall, web apps lack the functionality of native apps, such as sending push notifications or working offline. Browsers and web apps, however, are becoming more advanced. Now, PWAs can leverage features similar to native apps. Improved functionalities include:

  • Sending push notifications
  • Access to device hardware like vibration
  • Improved touch gestures

Despite these improvements, PWAs are only compatible with Google Chrome. This means iOS users can’t use this type of web app. Depending on your business goals and monetization strategy, excluding iOS users can be a huge disadvantage because iOS users spend the most money on apps and on in-app purchases.

Advantages of Web Apps

  • Web apps are relatively easy to maintain because they use a common code base across multiple mobile platforms.
  • Web apps can be built for all platforms as long as they can run in an appropriate web browser.
  • Compared to native apps, web apps are less expensive upfront.
  • Web apps don’t adhere to standard operating system protocols and don’t require approval from the app marketplace; they can be released at any time and in any format.
  • Updates to web apps don’t need to go through an app store meaning the user doesn’t have to manage updates manually. The newest version always loads when a user opens a web app.