Technology is changing quickly, and the terminology surrounding different concepts simply evolves from those within the industry – it’s not always well thought-out or logical. It’s very easy to get confused when different terms are thrown around – especially when many of them are very similar!
A web app, or web application, is basically any software than runs via a web browser. It is built using browser-supported programming languages and it relies on the browser to work.
The app works over the internet, and therefore there is no need to actually download it to the device you’re using.
What are web apps commonly used for?
App developers in Adelaide are common in the business world, check out here. Over the past few years in particular, web apps have been used extensively; businesses use them across a vast number of different industries. Additionally, the general public also uses them.
From a technical perspective, there are two different types of web apps:
1. Client-side apps – these execute on the client-side (i.e. the browser) and all of the content loads on the client-side (therefore browser-friendly programming languages are used).
2. Server-side apps – these apps execute via a central server, and all the content loads from there (therefore server-friendly programming languages are used).
For the vast majority of us who don’t understand the technical side to web apps, here are some ‘real life’ example of how web apps are used:
• They are used as management tools – businesses use web apps such as online spreadsheets to organise and share information between employees.
• They are used to store information – rather than saving important business information to a particular device, it can be saved to the ‘cloud’ system.
• Web design and development – these days, there are plenty of open-source web apps out there that help you to build a website (often free of charge).
• Social networking sites – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube are all types of web applications.
• Image websites (photo storing and sharing sites) – Photobucket, Flickr, etc.
• Online calendars.
• Chat sites and online forums.
• Online retail stores (e-commerce websites).
• Online news publishers.
• Email services – Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, etc.
• Search engines – Google, Bing etc.
How are they different to the apps used on mobile devices?
Well, you can get mobile web apps. These apps execute in the web browser on your phone, so they do not actually need to be downloaded (thereby saving storage space on your device). However not all mobile apps are web apps; some are ‘native’, i.e. they are downloaded to the mobile device itself.
Your average Android or iPhone developer would be capable of creating both native apps and web apps; the market demands both. The same applies to the smaller operating systems – Windows Phone and Android development in Australia cover both types of mobile apps as well, know more at http://www.appquotes.com.au/android-app-development.
Just to make the article a little more confusing, mobile app developers can also create hybrid apps. These apps fall somewhere between web apps and native apps; they use some native code and some generic programming languages that are used to write web apps. The benefits? These apps can be easily altered to work across different operating systems (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry) – all you need to do is rewrite the small portion of native code!
By now you should have at least a basic understanding of web applications – what they are and how they’re used. You should have also gained some insight into how they connect with mobile apps.continue reading What Is A Web App?