This depends on the type of functionality you need in your app. Web apps can't implement the full suite of functionality that would be available to a native app, although they are getting closer to that capability.
If the functionality that you need can be achieved with a web app, and if you can find a "React Native" developer, then the path I recommend is to use React Native to develop a single cross platform, mobile-based web app (Android and iOS), that will also be more easily made into a website-based web app.
If you'd like to discuss it in more detail with relation to the specific functionality you have in mind, let me know. I can also connect you to excellent, market-rate React Native developers in NY that I work closely with.
With all due respect, you are asking the wrong people. You need to survey your user base, or prospective user base. They will tell you the answer. Whatever you or I think is immaterial.
A simple question like: "If we offered the same functionality on the desktop and on mobile devices, what percent of the time would you use either?"
This is a great question - I've worked with dozens of entrepreneurs to launch both native mobile and web apps, and this is usually one of the very first questions explored in the discovery process.
So there are a few answers already referencing this topic, but the short response is: it depends. The reality is that there are circumstances for new apps that make a responsive website/app the preferred solution, and then others where native mobile apps are the clear winner. A lot of times this can have to do with factors such as 1) level of integration needed with phone hardware (cameras etc) 2) importance of offline functionality/content caching 3) how rich of a user experience are you seeking to design and 4) how people will be discovering and utilizing your app on a regular basis.
There are some secondary requirements to consider as well, such as methodology for scheduled updates to your app and resource realities such as available budget and target timeline. Oftentimes people will look at a responsive web app as the first step on their journey to validate/promote their concept, then start investing in a supplemental app experience on the native iOS and Android platforms. Since your mobile apps are going to utilize the same backend through the same API (albeit altered) as your web app, building this first can often be the lowest common denominator.
As a broad statement on native vs. web app development, more times than not I generally find myself advising more people to utilize both options as a supplemental user experience story, but commence with native development first; or at least in parallel with their web app development. The reality is many of these applications being launched require offline functionality (more easy to enable with native) and integrations with mobile tech such as cameras or geo-location mapping. While the cost of native mobile development can be a bit higher, the cost of a work-around of feature sacrifices is many times untenable for entrepreneurs in the long run of using just a web app.
If you'd like more info, there are a myriad of resources out there that can help map the path forward. My team has produced several blog posts on the topic, most recently:
So check that out, or if you like feel free to reach out and we can chat more about your needs and matching the appropriate solution to them.
mobile app or a web app, the answer is both.
You and your service should (ideally) be available and reachable everywhere. A mobile application and a website optimized for mobile device are essential.
However, I feel like you're simply using the wrong terminology
I think you might be referring to native vs hybrid app.
In this case, others are right there are ton a of articles that discuss&compare both. Bottom line is current assets, time&money and functionality.
Based on your facts: Both have same functionality and assuming you have done your research with users and they do not have a clear preference.
I would highly suggest starting off with a web app. Here are the reasons:
1. You can get exposure to a website (e.g., inbound marketing, SEM) with more ease compared to a mobile app. You can have a website for a mobile app as well, but then you have to encourage them to go to the app.
2. The product development for a website is typically easier. Example: You can fix bugs on the fly, deploy as many times as you want and when you want. With a mobile app, you need to go through Apple review (for iOS). Yes - there are options with hot code push, but it is not mainstream.
3. Apps usage has saturated. Most people use less than 5 apps (http://fortune.com/2015/09/24/apps-smartphone-facebook/). So even if you get someone to find your app and download it. Getting them to use is a separate story.
A mobile enabled website can do the trick. Especially, if you are in the product-market fit stage, I encourage you to try the web platform first.