Mobile learning is seen as effective way to deliver up-to-date information to an augmenting mobile workforce. You have a number of options using which information can be delivered to mobile devices.
Mobile learning applications is one way to easily access and retrieve information. We have two main ways of delivering mobile learning, that is, Native apps and Web-based apps.
Native Apps are developed to run on a device’s operating system and typically need to be adapted for different devices. A Native App is built essentially for a particular mobile device and its operating system. Native apps are downloaded from app stores or web stores online. An example of a native app is Contacts, Calculator, Camera and Games.
In case of Web App, these apps are basically run via the mobile device’s Web browser. These apps can be accessed from any web-enabled smartphones and tablets.
Here is a comparison between the two to give you a clear picture about them.
|Web App||Native App|
|Developed in HTML5 using popular authoring tools (Lectora, captivate, articulate)||Developed with SDK (Software Development Kit)|
|Does not require much programming skills||Requires a unique programming knowledge|
|Easy to host on mobile-compatible LMS or portal||Depends on Apps store or you have to create your own app store|
|Apps can be written once and run on any mobile device||For each mobile platform separate app has to be developed|
|Fast and cost effective in developing apps||Includes a lot of time and cost in developing apps|
|Requires Internet connectivity and loads the content from the server. Slow on content loading||Requires Internet connectivity to download and install app. Fast in content loading|
|When the course is updated on the server, users are able to access the latest course automatically||Users need to update the app manually to get the updated course content|
|Web Apps are less secure because they need to be connected to the network frequently||Native apps are more secure|
The important matter however is not really the debate between efficiency of Native Apps and Web Apps. There is no such thing as winner or loser; while both have their pros and cons, your choice depends on the objectives of the course and the requirements of the learners.