The term app is quite a new one. In fact it didn't really hit the zeitgiest until Apple started allowing developers build apps for their devices. Now with the wide spread adoption of smart phones and advent of tablets, apps in some ways have started to eclipse traditional software.
All this app hype has left one little friend behind. Web apps were actually the intended softwares to be used on mobile devices. Initially Apple wanted developers to build apps on the safari browser but this never really took off. Eventually developers forced Apple to accept native applications (apps) in their store and on iPhones.
Web Apps Or Native Apps?
Both approaches to mobile software have their benefits, but web apps do have significant advantages over their native counterparts:
- Low Cost
- Faster Development Time Frame
- Easy To Update
- Cross Platform Compatibility
So Why Are They Not Top Dog?
Native applications have a few things going for them that web apps lack. The big two are that native apps have a better user interfaces and have access to mobile device's hardware, which is considerably stronger than what the browser can access.
Not only that but native apps are easy to get. iTunes has a database of all its users credit cards. If you want an app, all you have to do is press buy and the cost is instantly added to your next statement. With convenience comes popularity, so logically if you want your app to actually be used, developing the more expensive but more popular version does make sense.
All Is Not Lost
While currently web apps don’t have as much juice as native applications, as mobile internet speeds get faster web apps will have access to more power and therefore can get closer to their native counterparts.
Also with services such as Payfirma, m-commerce is becoming easier. Meaning that web apps could be purchased with as much ease as a iTunes native app. Not only that but as HTML5 becomes the standard script for mobile phones it is becoming simpler to create a web application that can work on all devices.