What’s the difference between WebAR and MobileAR?

WebAR vs Mobile AR

There are two primary ways for people to experience AR. One is application-based, and the other is web-based.

Mobile AR 

Mobile AR augmented reality experiences that are accessible through downloadable apps. This method can often allow for a wider range of features, and performance is simply better on an app, where there’s capacity for more memory and therefore better visuals/animations and improved interactivity due to its data allowance! This also means that apps can enable offline usage while Web AR usually do not.

Due to larger file sizes and compatibility, Mobile AR is developed using tools that allow powerful lighting recognition, target detection, and interactivity. This allows for a more immersive and better quality experience for customers through extensive placement and tracking of objects in detailed rendered environments. Mobile AR can provide personalised and customer binding AR solutions and complements a brands image due to its digital experience, thus boosting brand loyalty. Mobile AR is therefore a long-term focused solution.


Web AR refers to augmented reality experiences that are accessed through your web browser rather than an app, so all you need is your smartphone or tablet and an internet connection. This method allows you to avoid the data-intensive step of downloading an application directly onto your phone. Additionally, from the lens of businesses trying to adopt AR through Application AR, it can be a more tedious task to create an app that is compatible with all the different types of phones and operating systems.

Web AR can also be more convenient and accessible as it can be reached through simply scanning a QR code that links to an AR-enabled website.  Due to this reduction in steps, Web AR has generated huge demand from companies looking for a frictionless AR option. While it may not have the power of full AR and will be more basic than that through an application, it will provide your customers with the simple (yet effective), short-term usage focused option. The convenience of the web rather than the necessity to download an application can make your customers more inclined to view and share your content. This can enable comparatively more engagement, translating to higher sales

So what is best for your business?

If you’re looking for a long-term solution for customers, Mobile AR is the better alternative for you, to provide customers with a better quality experience. However, convenient short-fixes and content distribution is much better served by Web AR. 

As previously discussed, the biggest drawback of Mobile AR is the data-intensive step of getting users to download an application. In a world where content attention spans are shrinking and there exists a growing demand for quicker and instantaneous access to content, having audiences download an app is an honest stretch for your customers and is no way to please them.

Furthermore, it can usually be more challenging and require more QA testing to develop an app that’s compatible across different phones and operating systems, creating large business costs. The application for Mobile AR is usually the largest item, therefore incurring the largest cost. In addition to that, costs of development, features and complexity of apps, project management, launching/publishing in app stores, post-launch support and maintenance can often mean only deep-pocketed budgets of larger firms can afford to maintain and develop apps.

Nevertheless, the potential of Web AR technology is rapidly growing as mobile browsers fast-track support. Browsers now allow Web AR to use the camera, gyroscope, magnetometer, and accelerometer of devices, giving developers the tools needed to produce creative and more immersive experiences than ever before!

Appearition can help you deploy Web AR or Mobile AR to your business

At Appearition, we offer low code application development for Mobile AR, Web AR, VR and XR. Develop your business’ solutions with Appearition’s intuitive, low code application development tools designed for any device including: Visual Studio, Real-time Data Connectors and more. With us, you can rapidly build and showcase immersive tech applications without having to write code or hiring a software development team! To know more about our solutions, read here.

The future is here – create your own augmented reality experiences

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