The Old Way of Doing Things
Before mobility, we used to construct basic web pages with very little functionality. These pages were intended to present information that could be in a multitude of formats ranging from blog posts to advertisements. Any functionality that was necessary could be implemented through simple scripts utilizing server-side technologies. It was all pretty simple.
Similar implementations are still in play today for the desktop and laptop market. Take your average WordPress site, for example. It is functionally simple by comparison. But things get a bit more complicated when you are trying to make that WordPress site responsive enough to work well on all mobile browsers without harming performance. Indeed, that’s a lot harder to do than it might appear.
Developers faced with the difficulties of creating responsive websites decided it was far better to develop mobile web apps instead. A mobile web app can present the same information without the constraints of mobile web browsers. But there is an added bonus: mobile web apps can add a tremendous amount of functionality that is just not possible with a web browser. Thus, the new way of doing things.
The Rise of the Mobile App
While a mobile website is a very distinct entity in the software development world, a mobile app is not necessarily so. You could make the case that web apps are a subset of mobile web pages. Just look at all the big names that use them in that way, names like Facebook and Twitter.
Mobile web apps are attractive for several reasons. First, they increase user engagement significantly. This is crucial to both productivity and marketing. Second, development of web apps is almost entirely dependent on the particular kinds of user engagement a company is after. This streamlines the development process in most cases. Third, web apps are not constrained by the same sort of thing that make responsive web design so challenging.
Mobile Web Development Not Easy