In computing, a web application or web app is a client–server software application in which the client (or user interface) runs in a web browser. Common web applications include webmail, online retail sales, online auctions, wikis, instant messaging services and many other functions.
The general distinction between a dynamic web page of any kind and a "web application" is unclear. Web sites most likely to be referred to as "web applications" are those which have similar functionality to a desktop software application, or to a mobile app. HTML5 introduced explicit language support for making applications that are loaded as web pages, but can store data locally and continue to function while offline.
Single-page applications are more application-like because they reject the more typical web paradigm of moving between distinct pages with different URLs. Single-page frameworks like Sencha Touch and AngularJS might be used to speed development of such a web app for a mobile platform.
Native apps or "mobile apps" run directly on a mobile device, just as a conventional software application runs directly on a desktop computer, without a web browser (and potentially without the need for Internet connectivity); these are typically written in Java (for Android devices) or Objective C or Swift (for iOS devices). Recently, frameworks like React Native, Flutter and Xamarin allow the development of native apps for all platforms using languages other than each standard native language.
Responsive web design can be used to make a web application - whether a conventional web site or a single-page application viewable on small screens and work well with touchscreens.
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