Choosing "Web App" or "Mobile App" to publish PWA


I am EXTREMELY new to this and am building a link a sharing app similar to LinkTree, but tailored to a specific use. I started by building the app as a “Desktop Web App”, but then rebuilt the app (using the same Database) but selected “Native Mobile App” because it has the option to be published asa PWA. After considering my options and the headaches of the app stores, and based on the functionality I want to offer, I think as long as it can be opened on a mobile browser, a web app will be all I need, and won’t be looking to publish to any app stores.

So my question is, what is the difference between selecting mobile app at the start and publishing as a PWA, compared to selecting web app from the start? Does one offer a better mobile experience than the other? Do I need both? I don’t want to keep working on one just to find out I should’ve been doing the other.

Thanks in advance for the help!

If you build your app as a mobile app, and it is viewed on any PC browser its in the view of an emulated phone.

However, if you start it as a web app and view it in a mobile browser it doesn’t always scale right either.

Your best bet, if feasible is to have both.

Awesome, that definitely answers my question. I think I will continue to build on the Desktop Web app for now, and look at building out the mobile PWA once I have an MVP running as I’d like. I definitely don’t want the web version running on an emulated phone screen.

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I would suggest experimenting a bit first. In my case, I’m building a mobile app (still in progress), but I also want a web version for my many customers who would likely interact with us on a desktop computer (mostly older users).

If I were you, I’d build a couple of mockup screens as mobile app first. Doesn’t even matter what you have on them. Just a rough idea of what your mobile screen might look like.

Then, in the Adalo editor, create a second app, choosing “web app” layout. Then, using two tabs in your browser, copy/paste the mobile app screens into your web app. Copy/paste is that easy. The result will be a “web page” that fills only about the center 1/3 of your browser screen. When. you do it this way, it won’t be an emulated phone screen. It will just be much narrower than your browser screen.

Then, in the web app, you can adjust the width of the screen (in the Adalo editor) to better match the width of your computer screen. Say, from 375 px to 1280 px. Then you can re-jigger the various elements and element sizes to look better on the desktop.

Copy/paste saves you from having to totally recreate each screen from scratch. And you may also find that you don’t want to duplicate every screen from your mobile app to your web app anyway.

Having said all of that, Adalo is not automatically responsive to different screen sizes (at least not without using special components). So your web page will need to be designed to be viewable on a wide range of screen sizes in only one layout size.

Just my thoughts. I’m working my way through this same issue.

But, if you have both, wont you need two different links to reach each one?

The web app will have a regular url, like a regular website.

The mobile app can be saved on your phone’s home screen, and will really look and feel like any other app on your phone. It’s technically a bookmark, but it really acts just like an app.

This will make more sense once you see it in action.

No, I understand, still two different URLs you have to direct your client to though.

I just didn’t know if you found a way around that.

I never went that route only because if the customer puts in the URL for the mobile version on their computer it will be the emulated phone.

I personally never liked the idea of having to give the customer two different links, but that’s just me. To each their own.

So this is actually what I did. I built the entire app, fully functional, as both a Mobile and web app. Both seem to function well, but the Web app functions perfectly on my phone as well, so I will likely just move on with it for now.

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What I usually do is create a landing page on the primary domain with a separate website builder like Wordpress (which defaults to the “www” subdomain) and then I use the subdomain “app” for the mobile apps.

Or if I don’t want/need to create a landing page, I’ll use the “www” subdomain for the web app and the “app” subdomain for the mobile app.

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If you build a mobile app but don’t use Adalo to build the web app, is it still possible (and if so, how diffficult) to use the same database?

All my content, including user info, resides in the database.

You would have to use the adalo api

I’ve never used an adalo database on an external web app so I can’t speak for difficulty. I would say it would be based on your amount of experience with the platform youre using to build the external web app and API integrations.

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