What’s the difference between a native app and a mobile web app? Let’s start with the basics. A native app is downloaded and installed on the device, while a mobile web app is accessed through the device’s browser. Native apps must be built separately for each platform, while one mobile web app works on every platform.
Following me so far? Now, let’s get into the confusing stuff.
What can a native app do that a mobile web app cannot do? This is where a lot of businesses seem confused. Many believe that mobile web apps are nothing more than a web page running inside of a mobile browser. They believe that native apps are the only way to fully take advantage of the mobile device’s hardware.
The truth is, mobile web apps are capable of much more than most people think. What can mobile web apps actually do? I’ve created a list of 6 “native” capabilities that many businesses don’t realize are possible with mobile web apps. Over the next couple of months, I’d like to write up posts covering each point in more detail, with examples and tutorials on how you can add these capabilities to your mobile web apps. Sound good? To start things off, let me first share the 6 “native” features that you may not realize you can use with mobile web apps:
1: Mobile web apps can use GPS
2: Mobile web apps can upload files from a phone/tablet
3: Mobile web apps can function while offline
4: Mobile web apps can use the device’s gyroscope
5: Mobile web apps can use the device’s accelerometer
6: Mobile web apps can use swipe navigation
Many businesses assume that mobile web apps are limited in their device hardware access. The truth is, mobile web apps have far more capabilities than most people realize. Over the next couple of months, I will explore each one of the above capabilities in greater depth, and show you how to add these features to your own mobile web apps. Stay tuned!