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A Time & Place For All Things - Why Mobile Web Apps Can Be Better

Hybrid apps, web apps,native apps, mobile web apps and mobile-optimized websites, talk about a mouth full! In our modern and technological society online applications otherwise known as Apps are multiplying at an astounding rate, and it’s no wonder so many people are struggling to keep up or even make sense of what everything is.

Where once our greatest achievement was the internet and launching a website, now there is literally an app for almost anything from ordering food, delivering goods, checking the weather even step counting. Like walking into an exotic bazaar it’s easy to get lost in the sights and sounds and lose sight of quality over quantity.

So what is the correct time and place for an App? And more importantly how do our popular mobile apps rate against older giants like websites?

To clean up the mess that surrounds the various types of apps, you should make an effort to better understand the key differences between them.

Web Apps Are Only Getting Better, So Make The Most Of It

The web wasn’t always the massive, interactive sprawl it is today.

When it was first created, it was basically just a collection of hyperlinked documents and the beginnings of its interactivity started in the early 2000s with the hype of “Web 2.0”. From the early IRC chat boards and plain HTML pages, the Internet evolved to its current form, in which users can shop, email, work and collaborate, all through the use of web apps such as Gmail, Twitter, Google Docs, Slack and Trello.

Some of these apps allowed collaboration or traditional desktop apps to move online, while others such a Slack and Twitter’s embeds, retained the nature of a hyperlinked document.

Despite the interactivity they’ve added to the web, the golden rule of web apps is that the native version is probably better.

Currently, native apps - the apps that are specifically designed for platforms such as Windows, iOS or Android - have many advantages over web apps, because no matter how many JavaScript is piled onto an HTML document, there is no way it could ever match the quality and performance of a native app. Though building web apps is quicker, and distributing them is simpler, those advantages mean very little in the face of the advantages native apps offer.

 However, the web is a constantly evolving thing, and certain upcoming web technologies could give native apps a run for their money.