Every app developer has faced this dilemma at one time or other — whether to create native or web based apps. Native apps are created for specific platforms such as for iOS, Android or Windows Phone 7. The other option, of course, is to depend on browser based apps, and in turn, on the browser’s capabilities.
In the mobile app market today, there are numerous platforms and developers find it difficult to write code for all of them because they have to start from scratch every time.
In the short term, it makes sense for apps to be native or be created for different platforms, but then there are benefits in being web based as well — the biggest of which is ‘write once and run everywhere’.
Web based apps don’t require approval from anyone either; users can run them in the browser itself, just like everything else on the net. However, browser based apps depend on connectivity, which is impossible to ensure in the real world. Besides, in attempting to work on the maximum number of platforms, browser based apps fail to achieve the level of specialization that platform specific apps are capable of.
Users might prefer web based apps for some things, and native apps for others. Accountants, for instance, say they haven’t found a web-based substitute for Tally, or Microsoft Excel for that matter. Now, however, Microsoft is developing a cloud based version of Excel, and it remains to be seen whether this software does justice to the original in capability.