The Advantages of Native Apps Over Mobile Web
Both mobile websites and native apps are accessed on hand-held devices. That's where the similarity stops. Apps are downloaded and installed on iPhones, Android phones and tablets, while a mobile website's browser-based HTML pages are optimized for a smaller screen. Businesses have two excellent options to build a good mobile presence, but there is no denying that each has its own set of unique advantages. You may consider investing in native mobile apps if your end-goals and / or situation resemble the following:
Delivering a targeted user experience
Customer-oriented solutions deliver powerful experiences. They encourage engagement and drive results. Native mobile applications provide the flexibility to create targeted user experiences. The apps can unlock one or more of a smartphone's or tablet's advanced functionality, such as the camera, GPS, voice memos, gestures, accelerometer or scan feature, or work better for those who use Evernote or similar devices on a regular basis. If you want to target an experience to each user's personal tastes, a native app is a better option in comparison to a mobile website.
Aiding complex reporting and calculations
An Android or iOS app is always a good idea when you have to display complex calculations, reports or charts. If the software will need to perform complex algorithmic calculations or follow a certain flow, then an app can deliver the information more intuitively. For instance, stock price charts, investment banking research reports and diagnostic data can be more easily accessed through a native app.
In this regard applications work well for ecommerce businesses. Ecommerce companies are increasingly using them for SMS integration to encourage social sharing. Mobile app capabilities allow users to share via Facebook, SMS or email. Users can also make the most of time and location based reminders, as well as interactive pop-ups.
Better interactivity or gaming
The closed environment of native applications makes it a preferable choice for gaming over mobile websites. Being fast and refined, apps also lend themselves well to high-performance games. The high responsiveness associated with a native app is a reason why Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg replaced mobile web with a native app in 2012. Apps do not rely on the internet and network speed to present information at your fingertips. This responsiveness encourages higher usability, a strong reason why some businesses prefer them over mobile sites.
Games that need more advanced performance features typically use native development, while the API adaptability of hybrid and web apps makes them quite suitable for games that do not require a high level of performance. Though mobile websites are slowly catching up in the speed stakes, native apps presently win the responsiveness competition, which is essential to delivering an enjoyable gaming and interactive experience.
Eliminating the need for a connection
While HTML5 offers in-browser caching, native applications are a natural choice when you want to provide offline access to content or perform tasks with wireless or network connectivity. Android or iOS apps can also be configured to synchronize with back-end sources periodically. This is beneficial for users-on-the-go, as they don't need an internet connection every time they perform an update. It also keeps data costs down.
So will mobile websites ever make native apps obsolete? Due to the current status of the internet, browser technologies, and computer hardware, we don't see mobile websites rendering native apps obsolete for quite some time. It is a safe bet that native apps will be sticking around for at least the next seven years. "There's an app for that" is here to stay!