Differences Between Mobile App and Web Development

One Stop Designing

An overview of the disparities in mobile app and web development: the key distinctions and factors for optimal digital solutions.

Let’s delve into the discrete differences between mobile app development and web development.


The distinction between mobile app development and web development is significant. Mobile app development involves creating software programs specifically designed for smartphones and tablets. These apps are downloaded and installed from app stores like Google Play and the Apple Store. They are tailored to run on specific operating systems, such as iOS for Apple products and Android for Android devices, with access to various system resources. Notable mobile apps include Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Web applications, on the other hand, are accessed through web browsers and are adaptable to various devices. They don’t require downloads or installations, which often leads to confusion among users who mistake them for mobile apps. Web developers need to master specific skills to design functional web apps.

The Development Process

The Mobile App Development Process

A software build is a pre-release version of a program identified by a build number rather than a release number. The DevOps team compiles source code, such as Java or C++, into binaries to ensure functionality and code quality. Ongoing updates are common until the developer decides to discontinue support. Iterative builds, or active integration, involve gathering and building application components regularly for stable testing. Additionally, build tools help streamline the development process, allowing developers to outsource specific programming tasks.

Web App Development Process

In web design, hybrid applications provide more freedom as they combine HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript, resembling and functioning like native apps. This makes hybrid apps quicker and easier to create, while they still run through web browsers. A mobile web app typically involves a combination of client-side scripting languages like JavaScript or CSS, and server-side scripting in languages like Python, Objective-C, or Java. Web applications receive user input through web forms, and the server processes the data before returning results to the user’s browser.


Mobile apps often offer user-focused functionality, catering to specific purposes like gaming, financial assistance, or social interaction. Native mobile applications are designed for unique device characteristics and functions on smartphones and tablets.

In contrast, web apps provide a broader range of functions compared to mobile apps. Examples include Adobe Photoshop, of which there is both a mobile app and a web version. While the mobile app may have limited features, the web application provides the full capabilities of Adobe Photoshop, ensuring a superior user experience. Online apps, such as Google Applications, Microsoft 365, and Gmail, further showcase the diversity of web app functionalities.

Web applications, unlike native mobile apps, are not specific to any system or device and do not require downloads or installations. Their adaptability and responsiveness allow them to behave similarly to mobile apps, providing a seamless user experience.

Platform Dependency

Native applications are platform-dependent, operating exclusively on a specific device’s operating system. For instance, apps designed for iOS can only be installed on iPhones, not on Microsoft or Android devices. Blending native apps for different platforms is not feasible.

Hybrid apps offer more flexibility, encasing a web app within a native app shell. They can run on multiple operating systems, such as Android, iOS, and Windows.

Web apps, in comparison, are self-contained and accessible with an Internet connection, regardless of the user’s device or operating system.

Connectivity and Updates

Mobile apps can frequently function without an Internet connection, offering offline usability. However, to maintain optimal performance, users need to download updates regularly.

Web apps, on the other hand, require an active Internet connection to function, but they update themselves, eliminating the need for user downloads.

Developer Education

Most businesses seek mobile application developers with bachelor’s degrees in software engineering, mobile computing, computer science, mobile application development, or related fields.

Aspiring web developers typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science or web development, though associate degrees may qualify for entry-level positions.


Mobile app development utilizes restricted languages and frameworks, such as JavaScript, Python, Swift, Ruby, Spring, and Rails. For hybrid apps, HTML, JavaScript, and CSS are common languages.

Web development involves languages like HTML, CSS, jQuery, and JavaScript, and knowledge of libraries, frameworks, content management systems, and code versioning software. Non-technical skills like communication and time management are essential for web developers.


Mobile application developers command an average yearly salary of $120,000 – $130,000, while web developers earn an average of $80,000 – $90,000 annually.


Mobile apps generally have more active users than web apps, with millions available on platforms like the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The choice between mobile and web development depends on your project’s goals and target audience. Mobile apps are suitable for self-contained applications, while web apps offer more versatility for broader audiences.

It’s advisable to seek assistance from an app development firm before making a decision. We hope this comparison has clarified the key distinctions between mobile app and web app development.