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What to choose, Mobile app or Responsive Website?

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These days the mobile applications are more popular than desktop applications. With most people spending their time on mobile phones; many companies are therefore encouraged to invest more time, money and human resources in mobile apps development. Even start-ups are concentrating their energies on mobile apps. So, should we say that mobile apps will rule the software arena? Not yet. You should have to look forward for Responsive as well.

Responsive web app:

The responsive web apps are the latest fad which has been around for a couple of years but gaining ground at the expense of native mobile apps and stand-alone desktop applications. The responsive apps are based on the design approach which is called Responsive Web Design (RWD).

This approach to web design assures that web pages can be rendered efficiently on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes. This requires cross-platform app development. RWD takes the content as fluid.

The apps take the form of the device User Interface (UI) and the browser space it is given.

The form and design of web application then become consistent with the screen space it is allowed. The companies specially hire UI/UX designers to develop responsive web apps. The responsive web application seems to be the future of applications or apps.

What is a responsive web app?

 A responsive web application follows the maxim that content is fluid. The design of a responsive web app incorporates elements that allow it to resize it or to mould itself according to the base application or device OS. So if a device is a mobile phone then the application will act and appear accordingly. It will fit its content, images and shape into a mobile screen.

This technique brings seamlessness into the application. A User can easily switch between a desktop or a mobile. The user has to adjust the app window to view its content clearly. What is more appealing is that the user can select modes between desktop or mobile to view content or use the app as per his needs.

He can view content on mobile but in desktop mode. The responsive web app uses various technologies like HTML5, CSS, Javascript or other languages to redesign its apps. The look and feel of apps usually align with the device OS. They also depend on base OS for their functionality. 

Responsive web apps and their usefulness

The responsive web app has more usefulness to us than one can imagine. With the ever-increasing Internet and its sphere of websites, portals and search engines; one can hardly ignore web apps or stay away from them for too long. Whether it is searching for latest updates on sports, finance, politics and entertainment or looking for the nearest bank, ATM, restaurant, movie hall/multiplex, pizza or burger joints; or finding answers to your queries related to studies and mundane; we all use web apps at least once in our daytime.

Of course, there are tons of mobile apps out there to guide and assist us in our daily tasks, we still find web apps as the ultimate source of all-pervasive information we seek, around the clock.

Whether call it our curiosity or general slackness that we rely more on search engines (read Google) than the dozen mobile apps we have installed. With ever-increasing features and the utilities of search engines like Google, they have made mobile apps redundant. The speed and reach of the Internet are increasing all around the world and the people are seemed to be hooked to the Internet. There is no escape from it. Hence responsive web apps are very useful to us.

Advantages over Native Mobile apps

Mobile apps are smooth and handy. They also go perfectly with your mobile. Whenever you want, you can use just by a few taps on your screen. But they have their presence only on mobiles. Native mobile apps are those apps which are specific to mobile architecture and operating system (OS).

Apple iOS-based mobile apps will work on only Apple mobile phones and render unsuitable for Android OS, Windows OS or any other device. The reason for this is native mobile apps are developed specifically for one type of mobile phones and render useless on any other types.

This makes native mobile apps unfavorable when interoperability is essential. Responsive web apps, on the other hand, acquires the form of host OS and device. Thus users may find it difficult to open their favorite apps or forced to find their counterparts, which may or may not be available.

The cost of development is also high for native mobile apps. Developers have to design a mobile app according to each and every device that will host the app. This will increase the cost and time of development.

Availability of native mobile phone apps is limited to one or few devices which make them restricted in use. This also hampers their distribution and popularity. Responsive web apps being websites become readily available making them more popular in use.

Disadvantages over Native Mobile apps

Responsive web apps are generic applications that follow a one-size-fits-all maxim. Thus they too have some thorny issues regarding native mobile apps.

Chiefly it is integration with the host device and its OS. While some may support the responsive web apps, others may support some features and leave rest of them. It makes the web apps difficult to use and unpopular over certain devices. They might not function properly in certain devices.

Presentation of responsive web apps is basic in comparison to native mobile apps which have a more sophisticated look and feel. One has to type formal’s URL or search on the web constantly.

So, What to choose 

Though both exist in different worlds, the comparison is inevitable. But the most difficult question is to choose any one of them over other for a developer. Definitely, both have advantages and disadvantages. So the final decision rests on various factors like objective, target audience/users, the initial budget allocated and expertise required.

In case, the objective is to build an app for specific functionality, users or devices then mobile apps are more suited. But if it involves generic function common to a large number of people, then responsive web apps can be great.

If the target customers are large in numbers and more generic, then web apps are better than mobile apps.

Lastly, it depends on the initial budget, comparable costs and expertise required. Building the specific mobile apps for one or more devices require more funds than a generic web application. Hiring experts in their respective fields are also difficult and require more funds.

Thus developers must weigh-in all factors before deciding to build an app.  

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The NineHertz - Mobile App and Web DevelopmentThe NineHertz
Category: Mobile App DevelopersCompany about: The NineHertz is a Mobile App and Web Development company working for the businesses all around the Globe. We are active since 2008 and constantly maturing throughout our journey by creating prodigious apps for world's most inventive brands. We are specialized in Mobile App and Website Development, Digital Marketing, and providing Salesforce and E-commerce Solutions to a broad spectrum of businesses. We at The NineHertz strive for excellence in quality and seamless user’s experience. Business V ...
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