Each year software development companies surprise us with new technological advances. If just a decade ago, we relied entirely on desktop apps, today, more and more users are inclined towards web services, even for video editing. Does this mean desktop programs will lose their competitive edge? There is no direct evidence to that, but everything may change in a few years.
What is a desktop application? Desktop apps run exclusively on a computer or a laptop. They usually have to be downloaded from the web to a working computer and require simple installation depending on the operating system and platform. Desktop apps are mostly for single users, meaning no sharing between multiple computers like there is with a mobile app or browser. A web app (also known as a web-based app or a browser app) is an application stored in a remote web server, run by the user via the internet.
Let’s dig deeper into everything you need to know about desktop vs. web applications and their pros and cons.
Desktop Apps: Advantages
– No Internet Connection Required
Once you have downloaded a program, you don’t need a constant internet connection. Most desktop apps operate independently, and you will need internet access only for updating the software.
– Better Security
When you install a new app on your computer, your antivirus software will notice immediately if the developer is untrustworthy. Desktop apps do not store personal information about the user and are less likely to be hacked from the outside.
– More Features
Desktop apps usually offer a greater range of tools and features than web-based applications. That’s because offline apps have access to more system resources, while online tools highly depend on their servers.
– Different Payment Models
Most software products have several options regarding their payment methods. It can be a subscription or a lifetime license – meaning you pay for the program once and get minor updates for free.
Desktop Apps: Disadvantages
– Compatibility Issues
Desktop software is generally limited by the hardware capabilities of the machine on which they operate. This means that if you use an incompatible operating system or have older hardware, the desktop application will not run properly. The best solution to this is to upgrade to a compatible operating system that may rip a hole in your budget.
– Resources Use
Another big disadvantage is that desktop apps require a considerable amount of hard drive space and use RAM almost to its full capacity.
– Cost Factor
One of the main downfalls of using desktop apps is their cost. Desktop software is sold on a license, which can cost hundreds of dollars for professional tools.
Web Apps: Advantages
– No Installation Required
The greatest factor that makes web services better than desktop apps is that you do not need to install the app on your computer to use it. You can simply access the app through your browser without having to download the installation file.
– Multi-Platform Compatibility
Web applications usually don’t have restrictions regarding browser types. You can access the app you need from any place as long as you have an Internet connection.
– Cost Efficiency
If you compare prices for desktop and web apps, you’ll find a huge gap between them. Web applications are cheaper, and some of them are completely free. For instance, you can find photo-editing tools, file converters, and PDF-editors that won’t charge you at all.
– Multiple User Access
Web apps have a superior feature over desktop software. They allow multiple users to access online services at the same time. That’s why web-based collaboration tools are growing in popularity each day. They allow teams from all over the world to work on their projects simultaneously and track changes in real time.
Web Apps: Disadvantages
– Stable Internet Connection Is Required
There is a need for a fast internet connection to use web apps effectively. If your internet speed is slow, you won’t be able to enjoy all the perks of online tools.
– Limited Features
Free applications usually do not provide any professional features or tools like desktop versions.
– Security Issues
Although there is no direct security risk associated with web apps, you need to be careful with the sites you visit. In case of a security breach, anyone can get access to the information stored on the server.
Desktop Application vs. Web Application for Video Editing
In general, both web and desktop apps have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s consider all the facts in close relation to video editing:
1. If you have desktop video-editing software, you are tied to the machine where it is installed. With an online video creator, you are free to use it anywhere with internet access.
2. Desktop tools may be demanding in terms of hardware, while web-based applications don’t depend on your computer’s characteristics.
3. Web tools are also comparatively cheaper than desktop software.
4. On the other hand, online apps are usually limited in the number of tools. Desktop software users have more opportunities to work with professional special effects and advanced features.
A good analogy to a web app vs. a desktop app is comparing a car with a bicycle. We use both these machines almost every day, but the car has a motor that makes it move, and the bicycle does not. So, while the car moves faster, it cannot move everywhere, whereas a bike is more flexible when choosing a route. Just like that, you get more power and tools with desktop apps and more freedom with the web ones. Consider all of the factors before deciding which way you prefer the most – a handy online tool or powerful, heavy desktop software.