With the development of the IT sphere, more and more new terms and descriptions of technologies began to appear. This process is happening so rapidly that many terms do not have time to take root in wide circles. In this article, I will dive into a comparison of web app vs. desktop app development.
What is the difference between web and desktop development?
What platform you develop an application for is of great importance both in the development process and when users download and use the app. When cross-platform apps began to emerge, the gap between desktop and web applications narrowed. Nevertheless, there is still a significant difference between the two. If you ask for services from a software design company, you should know the difference between these two approaches.
This type of software allows you to store files on a remote server instead of a local one. I also recommend that you dive into understanding the principles of how web apps work on a technical level. And if you choose this approach, just keep in mind that you have to have a strong understanding of the best proxy, network services, requests, how servers work, and many more related concepts.
The main components for using such software are an internet connection and a browser, which provide access to the application itself. How is this different from a simple internet page? The answer is quite simple — interactivity. A web app implies providing information and working with content and data to create objects within the framework of the platform’s functionality.
Here are some examples. I think many of you use web versions of popular instant messengers or Google services. They are rapidly developing, providing more and more complex functionality. The variety of such services is now huge. For almost any task, be it video editing or interior design, you can find a suitable solution for yourself. Examples of popular such services are Amazon, Netflix, and code tools GitHub and GitLab.
In recent years, web apps have significantly dominated the popularity of development and use over desktop versions. This is primarily due to the flexibility and mobility of use from any device.
Key advantages of Web applications
1. Flexible access
As we mentioned earlier, flexible access to work tools is of paramount importance to the modern user. And in the case of such solutions, a huge plus is the ability to use it via a tablet or smartphone if you have internet access. Desktop applications are installed on a computer, and accordingly, you can use it only on the local machine you downloaded the app on.
2. Ease of interaction
There is no need to download and install programs. All you need to do is follow the link and open the web client.
The fundamental difference between desktop apps and web apps is that you install the software directly on your PC. That is, you do not need to use a browser here; all the work happens locally. That is why such apps take up space on the hard disk, located in the storage of the local machine. Their advantage, of course, is that the internet connection is not a direct factor affecting performance, states Forbes.
Although desktop software is less popular than the web, you can safely cite examples of commonly used and well-known programs. First, browsers are still considered desktop applications because they are installed on a local machine and take up space on it. An example of desktop applications is the set of programs from Microsoft well-known by all Windows users (Word, Excel PowerPoint, etc.).
Strengths of desktop development
The main advantage is that you do not need to use the internet. You can autonomously use desktop programs even if you cannot access the internet, so you can avoid the various problems that often arise with the connection to the internet.
Data security is also seen as another strength of the desktop app development approach. The less sensitive data is on the internet, the better.
The bottom line
These are the main differences between web and desktop applications. Choosing between them is not always easy, and each approach has both pros and cons. Nevertheless, this does not prevent it from occupying a separate place in the field of software development.
When it comes to choosing an approach for your next project, I advise you to build on the specifics of your project. Understanding the implementation intricacies of each approach and your product goals will give you the answer to this question in your case.