Native App Store apps vs. web apps on Apple devices (sponsor)

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In the era of digitalization, in which mobile surfing and working are part of everyday life, we are increasingly encountering web apps. But what exactly is it and how do they differ from native apps on the iPhone and iPad from the App Store? You can find out here.

Back in the days of the iPhone 4, web apps were not yet so widely represented (Photo: Marius Berthelsen / Pixabay).
Back in the days of the iPhone 4, web apps were not yet so widely represented (Photo: Marius Berthelsen / Pixabay).


Before we delve deeper into the topic and look at some good examples, we should first explain the two app variants so that you know what we are talking about.

Native App Store apps

These are applications designed specifically for Apple's operating system and tailored to Apple's hardware. They are only available via the App Store and must be downloaded and installed.

web apps

These are internet-based applications that are accessed via a web browser. They do not require installation on the device but are hosted over the internet.

Examples of good web applications

Although web apps are in principle “just” websites, they are characterized by one special feature: they look like a fully-fledged app, are graphically structured more like a program and have a different appearance than a classic website. This quickly becomes clear when you look at some areas of application for web apps that set a good example:

Productivity tools: Google Docs or Microsoft's Office for the web are leading examples in this category. These web apps allow users to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations directly in their Browser Create, edit and share without the need for installation. The biggest advantage is seamless synchronization and the ability to collaborate in real time.

Social media platforms: While many social networks also offer native apps, almost all of them also have solid web app versions of their services. Twitter and Instagram, for example, offer web versions that allow users to interact with others and post updates in addition to accessing their feeds. They practically do not differ from the native app in terms of functionality.

iGaming and Entertainment: The gambling industry has realized how valuable web apps can be. Modern slot machines or live games cannot be distinguished from native apps and are often very graphically designed. Rudolf Brust – an expert in the gambling industry – also knows how important web applications are for the industry. Apple Pay casinos are the best option for iPhone users and on Android it is Google Pay. Both also work without any problems directly via the browser, so that casino sites can deliver a well-rounded experience and offer a good example of advanced web apps.

3D applications: Since modern smartphones are becoming more and more powerful and standard interfaces have now been created for certain interfaces, 3D applications and VR applications can even be run directly in the browser. For example, you can with one Simply use Google Cardboard on your iPhoneto enjoy VR applications directly from the browser.

News and media portals: Web apps from news agencies such as Spiegel, the New York Times or the FAZ are now structured in such a way that they read like a digital magazine. There are many functions available, videos are embedded and there is a customer area where you can log in.


Advantages and disadvantages of web apps and native apps

Depending on the app and area of ​​application, the two variants have their advantages and disadvantages. You can find out what these are in the following sections.

Benefits of Native App Store apps on Apple devices

Native apps designed specifically for iOS offer better performance because they are tailored directly to the device's operating system and hardware. This leads to shorter loading times, better graphical representations are possible and the entire user experience is tailored to the device.

In addition, with native apps, developers have the advantage of being able to access a wide range of functions and sensors on the Apple device. Another advantage is offline access as the apps are installed on the device. Native apps are also superior when it comes to push notifications and the rights that such an app has on the device.

Disadvantages of Native App Store Apps

  • Cost: Developing for multiple platforms can be expensive.
  • Updates: Users must regularly download and install updates.
  • App Store Guidelines: Any release or update must adhere to the respective app store's guidelines, which is a hurdle for many.

Advantages and disadvantages of web apps on Apple devices

Web apps offer a particularly high level of flexibility. They are platform independent and can be used on any Apple device as well as on Android devices can also be executed via the web browser. A central update of the web app ensures that all users have immediate access to the latest version without having to install an update. Since web apps run directly in the browser, there is no need to install the app, which saves storage space.

Disadvantages of web apps

  • Performance: Web apps can be slower than native apps - especially for data-intensive tasks.
  • Limited access: You cannot access all device features.
  • Offline access: Web apps only work with an active internet connection.


The decision between a native App Store app and a web app for Apple devices depends on the developer's specific requirements and goals. For you as a user, web apps offer an expansion of the App Store portfolio, which is getting better and more extensive thanks to the strong performance of modern devices.

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