What are native apps?
Native applications are developed ad hoc, that is, specifically for the operating system in which they are to be executed. In this way, if an app is designed to be executed on Android, it will have a substantially different development than if it were developed to be executed on iOS. Before this need, the application developer will use specific and specific programming languages for each operating system. In general terms, with Java or Kotlin programming languages we can create applications for Android devices; with # or .Net we can develop native apps for Windows and with Objective-C or Swift we will create specific applications for iOS or Mac OS.
This type of development has advantages and disadvantages. As for the benefits, we see that they are applications that offer a better interface to the users, as well as being able to take advantage of the full potential of the smartphones in which they are installed. This type of development takes full advantage of all the phone’s resources and offers a very good user experience (if they are well developed).
However, in terms of disadvantages, this type of application development requires more time and investment, so the company that decides to develop native applications should allocate a greater investment because, as these apps are developed ad hoc for the system operative in which they will be executed, they require the creation of as many copies as are necessary for each of the operating systems in which they will be executed. The development is not portable from one operating system to another; the same code cannot be reused and requires the developer to know how to use the different programming languages. In this way, the user will have a good browsing experience, regardless of the operating system used by their smartphone.
What are responsive web apps?
In this case, the programmer uses the usual languages for web development, which combines with specific libraries to develop, between both resources, responsive web applications and web apps. In this way, the web developments are adapted to the screens of small dimensions of smart phones.
As a main advantage, these apps developments can be executed in any browser and operating system, so it will not be necessary to make copies for each operating system as in the previous case. Thus, the development project becomes cheaper and the project times are shortened. In addition, the developer will not need to know all the programming languages and maintenance will be easier, since only having to maintain a single code.
As main cons, responsive web applications do not offer a user browsing experience as good as native apps, especially if they are complex apps. The performance gets worse, and the reason is that responsive web apps cannot extract the full potential of each smartphone since they do not have access to all the APIs and device resources. Each page of the application must be rend from the server before being displayed to the user, which may cause navigation difficulties.