Brands and businesses around the world have realized that it’s high time to adopt mobile technology for their respective businesses and many of them have already implemented it. The reason behind this adoption is certainly the users’ perception and consumption of both mobile devices and mobile apps. Such is its prevalence that it has kind of become mandatory for the businesses to be on this platform and if they fail to do so it would cost them considerably – be it in terms of sales or customers. Well, despite this familiarity, many start-ups or entrepreneurs might find it difficult and confusing to adapt to mobile – be it the promotional or technical aspect (this is even more confusing when you are unfamiliar with the relevant terminologies).
When it comes to adopting mobile technology the most confounding decision entrepreneurs have to take is whether to make their web product compatible to mobile screens (responsive websites or web apps) or to go completely for mobile app development (mobile apps that have to be downloaded from an app store).
That being said, what’s really better: a Responsive Web or a Native App? Well, when it comes to going with any one of it, it will solely depend on your business objectives, purpose, solutions, services, target audience, and beyond. And it is advisable to keep this in mind while developing as guesswork or assumptions won’t really work here. See, it’s not necessary that if something worked out for someone else will also work out for you. Well, deciding between responsive or native is not equivalent to deciding as to which would be more expensive to develop because both will require an investment of time and money.
Yes, developing a responsive website does involve less investment in terms of money but it will at least need an investment of some kind. Hence, before going with any one option you must take into consideration your business’ needs, target audience, and scope of your future mobile app or website:
Well, for those who are not too familiar about responsive websites: Responsive websites are websites that are designed to fit every screen size (desktop as well as mobile devices) where it uses CSS to fit the content according to the display screen and with Responsive websites one can easily optimize their website for users using different kind of devices. Let’s look at some more advantages of going responsive:
Easy to implement: Going responsive is convenient in a situation where you don’t have enough time or resources to develop a mobile website or a separate native mobile app.
What really makes Responsive websites a good idea is that it is quicker to design and develop and no matter whether you are developing a website from scratch you can still optimize it for mobile through responsive website development.
Cost-Effective: As responsive websites take less time to develop it would also involve lesser development costs. This implies that you will be needing less investment in comparison to the development of any other mobile-optimized web or app.
Google’s support: Well, Google favors those websites more that are mobile-optimized. Google won’t penalize you if your website is responsive and you can leverage all SEO advantages if you build it properly.
And when it comes to the disadvantages of Responsive websites then slower page load speed and navigation might be the major issues which your users might come across while using your website.
Moreover, if we talk about getting your business on mobile with a native app then let’s look at some of its advantages:
Firstly, a native app is an application program that is developed to run on a specific platform or device and this makes it possible for them to exploit all the features of that particular OS and other software that are installed on that platform. And the benefits of going native would be:
No Internet Connection: Native apps can run without internet connection i.e. once downloaded it doesn’t need an internet connection to run or display content. Moreover, there are many apps that use the Internet and enable users to save data in offline mode (i.e. they can access the data in offline mode).
This way you can make your app easily accessible to your users and let your users have access to your data – be it offline or online.
Better Performance: As we are not transmitting anything from the internet, the user experience and app’s flow is much better than a responsive website. Not only this even the navigation and content searching is way better in native apps than its counterpart.
Advanced features: Where with the responsive web you have constraints such as page load speed, performance, navigation, etc. which indeed hinders the possibility of adding any advanced features but with a native app you can add whatever feature you want to add.
Better Security: We are at a point where internet is both a curse and a blessing for people who are using it. Every day where so much data is stored and processed and even lost and hacked – here security becomes essential as is it can become a deciding factor when it comes to the success of a business.
A customer’s trust is a very valuable aspect and if once lost can become very hard to retain. Hence, with a mobile app, you can integrate a better security to protect your user’s data.
Hence, taking everything into consideration we can say that yes native apps do require more time and money but you can also count on quality as well as extensive development possibilities.
To sum up, when we differentiate between Responsive and Native it’s like differentiating between a car and a scooter. Both have their pros and cons and it’s perhaps impossible to state that which one is better than the other. It really depends on one’s needs and requirements. In short, if your product is just about presenting company’s information then you can go for a responsive website requiring small budget and if your product is more about providing engaging experience and involves transactional activities then native mobile app development is what you should certainly go for.