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October 28, 2023

| 6 mins read

The Best Choice for Your Business: Web AR vs App AR

The Best Choice for Your Business: Web AR vs App AR

Augmented reality on web has become a huge part of our lives. Yes, you might not even notice it at times but it’s right there. From being just for entertainment, it has now become more mainstream and an expectation of a tech-savvy customer base. Consumers are increasingly displaying a desire to engage with brands through AR experiences. By the looks of it, and supported by research, by 2025 there will be up to 4.3 billion users engaging with AR. Though ‘Web AR vs App AR’ isn’t a new conversation in the world of augmented reality, the practical use of AR has exploded more recently. It has become more than just a tech trend and it’s not just the techies who are loving it. 

Let’s dive deeper into understanding Web AR vs App AR and find the right one for your business.

What is Web-based AR?

It might sound like confusing tech words, but it’s not. It’s just augmented reality on web. Web-based AR involves using standardized web technologies to generate AR encounters.

It works on the web browser on smartphones or any other device in real time. There’s no need to download an additional app to experience web-based AR and that’s the real beauty of it because existing applications already support the use of web-based AR. 

Suggested Read : Integrating Web AR into eCommerce

Web-based AR is super easy to access. 

Scan a QR code, insert a URL link, or tap on an NFC tag. Accessing WebAR is simple. It makes AR encounters possible and accessible on a wide range of devices and web browsers without the need for users to install a separate app. This extensive accessibility results in WebAR being available on twice as many devices compared to its app-based counterpart. This reduces the entry obstacles for users and guarantees a more extensive reach for content creators.

Experience unparalleled AR with our AR mobile SDK and revolutionize your customer engagement starting today!

Now that you have an understanding of Web-based AR

Let’s get into App AR. 

It is exactly as the name suggests. App-based AR refers to a collection of AR experiences that can be accessed through a dedicated mobile application. In such instances, users need to download an application from an app store, such as Google Play or the App Store, before being a part of any sort of augmented reality experience.

(Though the cost of developing AppAR is a tad bit higher than WebAR, mirrAR can provide you customized pricing plans to execute your preferred AR route.)

Now that the introductions are out of the way, here are the root differences between Web AR and App AR

The Simplicity of AR

When it comes to simplifying AR tools and accessing them, Web-based AR wins by a landslide. Accessibility has to be thought of across a large spectrum, it’s an extra step and uses valuable space and data (and a bit more commitment) which can be a barrier. Scanning a QR or tapping on an NFC makes it easier for them to make AR a part of their everyday lives. 


Creating and introducing WebAR demands a shorter timeframe, typically around two weeks (depending on how soon the inventory gets rendered and uploaded), compared to the development of AppAR applications. The more complex the application's architecture, the longer it will take to bring it to fruition. It’s easier to create and access Web-based AR because of its simplicity. It’s effective, and fast for a performance that’s smooth like butter. 

Easy Analytics

Augmented reality on web or Web-based AR is easier to track since it works on the web. And it gives you access to detailed analytics. It will make factors such as understanding your consumers and how they engage with your content easier. For example, with mirrAR’s integration, you receive access to a central dashboard to manage inventory and get analytical data.  

Collecting and reporting usage data within an app can be a complex, expensive, and error-prone endeavor. It's counterproductive to craft exceptional experiences if we can't easily gauge their outcomes and influence on the end user.

Less Monies, Less Care

You still have to care and love your product. But since Web-based AR is essentially low-cost tech, it demands low maintenance. In contrast to the intricate task of creating and sustaining AR apps, augmented reality on web is akin to operating a website. The available tools make this process relatively simple and controllable. 


Just like all of us in the 21st century seeking validation, apps require it too. Web-based AR is the superhero of instant updates. It doesn't need Apple or Google's permission – making changes is as quick as making a cup of tea. But with apps and AppAR, it's like planning a grand adventure – development and deployment are the prep work, and app markets act like guardians checking for permission. Time? The difference can range from mere minutes to what feels like a little longer. 

Moreover, the initial validation procedure for an app, particularly in the context of Apple, can be a headache for developers and project managers sometimes. It is crucial for them to factor in these time frames during their planning and to anticipate the client's requirements well in advance, given that Apple's App Store enforces a comprehensive set of restrictions for inclusion.

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When it comes to App-based AR, the possibilities are limitless. App-based AR is ideal for extensive, ongoing campaigns or brands with future expansion plans. An AR application serves as an autonomous platform where users can engage and foster a community. It offers a comprehensive range of features within a single app, including locations, detailed stores or showrooms, products, high-quality videos, and images, as well as additional elements like creatures and characters, transforming storytelling. It supports surface tracking, markers, and the placement of 3D objects. In essence, app-based solutions provide greater content flexibility and facilitate detailed two-way interactions. 

Unlike Web-based AR, app-based AR functions without the need for an internet connection. Users can access downloadable content and utilize applications offline.

Hopefully, you now have much better clarity on the AR service you might be leaning towards, and the story of ‘Web AR vs App AR’ is understood. No matter which medium you opt for, it's crucial to consider how to captivate your audience with the content you wish to convey. While WebAR is the newcomer, it offers simplicity and the potential to attract more clicks as modern devices have become a steady presence in our lives. On the other hand, app-based solutions might garner fewer downloads but provide greater content flexibility, enabling a focus on details and interactive conversations. They can engage users to return through relevant push notifications. The precision and depth of content within an AR app can serve as an incentive for potential and current clients to download your solution

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