Apps are everywhere these days, but it can be hard to remember that many exist in multiple versions. You can often run the same app on a Mac, an iPhone or iPad, and in a Web browser, each of which has benefits.
Generally speaking, Mac apps:
iPhone and iPad apps:
The key takeaway is that there’s no either/or situation here. For any app you depend on, it’s usually best to use the native Mac app on your Mac, the native iOS app on your iPhone or iPad, and the Web app whenever the native Mac or iOS app doesn’t fit the bill. Web apps are particularly welcome when you’re away from your Mac and need a full-fledged interface with a keyboard such that an iPhone version won’t suffice. Web apps can also be lifesavers when you need to get something done but are having trouble with the native versions.
Here is a list of apps that run natively on your Apple devices and are accessible in any standard Web browser. It’s far from comprehensive but should give you a feel for what apps you can use in different forms, often with almost no loss of functionality or access to stored data. Note that you’ll almost always need to log in to use a Web app, so make sure you have access to your stored credentials in a password manager.
Before we get into the list, we want to call out two special categories:
|App||Native Apps||Web App|
|Google Drive||Mac, iOS||drive.google.com|
|Microsoft Excel||Mac, iOS||www.microsoft365.com/launch/excel|
|Microsoft OneDrive||Mac, iOS||onedrive.live.com|
|Microsoft PowerPoint||Mac, iOS||www.microsoft365.com/launch/powerpoint|
|Microsoft Teams||Mac, iOS||teams.live.com|
|Microsoft Word||Mac, iOS||www.microsoft365.com/launch/word|
Again, this list is by no means comprehensive, but you can use it as a starting point for thinking about the apps you use. If you’ve been relying solely on a Web app, some quick searches should reveal whether it has a native Mac or iOS version that might be faster and smoother. It’s also equally worth investigating if one of your native apps has a Web version that you could turn to in a pinch.
(Featured image by iStock.com/Rudzhan Nagiev)
Social Media: Given the choice, should you use a native Mac app, an iPhone or iPad app, or a Web app that’s accessible in any standard Web browser? All have advantages, so the takeaway is that you should be ready to use whichever makes the most sense in the moment.