Native Apps vs Gateway Apps: The Pros & Cons

Let’s be honest. You bought your smartphone for one main reason: the apps. Apps let you do virtually anything you want; from playing games, to logging your latest run workout, to locating your ex at that precise moment, and everything in between. You may notice big differences between apps when you open them; many open to copyrighted programs, but some open directly in your mobile device’s Internet browser. These are Gateway apps and Native apps, and both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Native App:

Native apps are installed directly from the mobile device’s app marketplace. These apps take more time and money to develop, and are a risky way to expect a profit. Native apps are built with their own programming within the device’s hardware, which allows for capabilities such as camera usage, flash, and memory.  Also, most games on smartphones are native apps. Developers can make income through native apps by charging any amount in the app store, but also through app-friendly advertisement platforms. Yet while native apps can prove beneficial to developers, there are also downsides. Native apps must be updated with the latest software, and therefore increases the already steep cost of launching and maintaining the app. Installers may also find problems in the native app, which they can then relay to other potential buyers in the app marketplace, steering business away. Some apps also require Wi-Fi connection, which can be a hassle for anyone on the go.

Web (or Gateway) App:

Web apps, though they carry fewer capabilities than native apps, are an easy way to expand to different audiences while making a profit. Unlike native apps, gateway apps require less development time and cost because they do not function through the mobile device’s software. Instead, they run through the device’s mobile web browser. Because of this, mobile guests don’t have to worry about downloading and updating the app, because it is processed with the browser. However, the site developer still has to maintain the website, as any site owner would. Because there is no means of profit through purchasing a gateway app, site developers can implement site advertisements as a means of monetization. While most mobile devices have 3G capabilities, web apps will load depending on the carrier service, which can lead to varied results unless the user is connected to Wi-Fi. The negatives of web apps include the inability to use the device’s camera and limited memory (if any), and the chance of less publicity.

Native apps and gateway apps have their pros and cons, and often times a company will create one without the other. When downloading any app, it is important to look into the capabilities that each carries to ensure maximum benefit when using the app.