Some time back, the focus of almost all the major web development companies was on the development of HTML 5. It was claimed that web apps accessed through browsers would now be easily accessible to users who have different mobile phones, different operating systems and different versions of those operating systems.
However, this plan was not much successful, as mobile web apps were not efficient and worked slower than they were expected. Also, these mobile web apps did not properly utilize the capabilities of the mobile phones.
Therefore, both the web giants and the web start-ups have now started to go native. Facebook has rewritten its iOS app to be a native app. Also, Pinterest has recently launched its first Android and iPad apps for each platform. The companies are finding these native apps to be more profitable and are also seeing significant increase in the speed.
The native apps prove to be more profitable as here developers charge a download price from users and app stores also typically handle the payment process. However, in mobile web apps, charging users to use the mobile web app requires the developer to set up his/her own paywall or subscription-based system.
Also, there is a shift to native apps from users’ endpoint as the stores available for users in native apps help them to find an app of their own choice. Since there is no app store for mobile web, it becomes difficult for users to find an app of their choice. Also, with native apps, users are always satisfied of the quality and safety of the app, which is not possible with mobile web apps.
Lastly, according to a recent study, smart phone users may exceed around 2 billion people by the beginning of the year 2015. With this, the popularity and use of native apps is also expected to increase majorly. This is the major reason why most business enterprises today have shifted their focus to establish native apps for their clients. However, for many of the developers, budget and resource constraints will require them to decide if they need to build a native app or a mobile web app.