Phone Contact Us +1 (833) 442 2711

The digital world we live in is always evolving. With almost everything interconnected via technology, imagining life without a smartphone is near impossible as the handheld devices have become part of ourselves to communicate with others, access instant information and even run entire businesses on the go.

As a matter of fact, the post-pandemic remote working allowed companies of all sizes and operating nature to adapt to the trend, offering ultimate flexibility and comfort for both employees and employers alike. But then, there may be times when the need to meet, greet and discuss can’t be ignored especially if there’s critical work or a long-term business strategy requires execution.

Same goes for companies that are working on particular niches of app development for instance, an iOS app development company when it comes to discussing technical stuff and even deciding if one should develop phone apps or tablet apps. That said, you might be wondering what’s the difference between both so we’ve outlined all the details to clarify about smart applications for mobile and tablet. Read on and decide which works best for you, your business and most importantly, your end consumers and clients.

Phone Apps and Tablet Apps: Key Differences

Photo Credits: Alamy

Before digging deep into smartphone vs. tablet apps, it’s worth knowing that the context is different than that of Hybrid app development as it takes into account certain applications that work on both iOS and Android operating system. Let’s peek into some of the basic differences between phone and tablet apps.

Screen Resolution & Display Size

The most obvious is screen size of both the devices which vary significantly as smartphones have a smaller display as compared to their tablet counterparts. Screen size of smartphones can exist anywhere between 4-to-7 whereas it’s 7-to-10 for tablets, depending on the brand and maker.

Photo Credits: Altamira

With this, interactive elements such as buttons, texts, images and overall display is larger on tablets whereas some or almost all of the same elements needs to be recalibrated to fit the smartphone screen, and that too without any discrepancy. Responsive design is a technique which automatically adjusts a website and app display based on the device’s particular screen size.

On the contrary, smartphones have a higher pixel density than that of tablets which means, graphics, texts and various display features will appear brighter, sharper and crisper on phones. This is challenging for mobile app designers and developers to meet the standards of user experience and interface without sacrificing functionality.

Navigation & User Interface

Next in line is yet another major difference and that’s page navigation and overall user interface of both mobile and tablet applications. For smartphones, it’s an accepted fact that all the applications can be placed and quickly accessed from two or maximum three taps or screen sliding.

Photo Credits: Petapixel

But the case with tablets is a little different as the larger screens are built initially to accommodate detailed information, be it textual or graphical. It’s thus clear that features on tabs are likely to be spreaded across multiple screens or within a sidebar display for richer and enhanced view.

Hardware: Performance & Capabilities

With variation in display aspects, hardware capabilities and performance also differs to match device’s compatibility and user expectations. Smartphones are integrated with processing chips of lesser power as compared to tablets which at times (though not always and with every maker) also affects usability, overall performance and loading of the apps being slower than usual or as compared to tablets.

Photo Credits: Mytcr

Speed is a crucial element when it comes to staying ahead in the digital game thereby any variation directly impacts on users’ performance and preferability. Take for instance a futuristic Augmented Reality (AR) app with heavy graphics that your smartphone mightn’t even support or do by compromising speed significantly. 

Development Cost & Considerations

Now comes the most important feature of all, the cost of developing apps for mobiles and tablets which of-course varies from a client to another as well as features, timing and complexity involved in the entire process. Speaking of which, smartphones require more detailed and complex coding plus optimization as compared to tablets thus higher would be the cost.


In addition, smartphones come with many different variations in screen sizes and resolutions which eventually put added responsibility on developers in terms of creating a separate version of application for each specific device while ensuring its compatibility and more.

If, for instance, you’ve partnered with a creative app development services provider such app development company, the entire process can be streamlined and executed with utmost efficiency. All you need is access to the latest, powerful and high-quality software and developers’ expertise to ensure a flawless, high-performing app be it for phone or tablet.

Good to Know: A little bit of extra details and information always comes in handy and helps you make an informed decision on choosing between smartphone and tablet apps. Between 2017 and 2022, the global market share and usage of tablets dropped to nearly 60% which means listing and optimizing the app on Google Play Store or Apple App Store for tablets would take longer and even difficult. With tablets, the large screen size and hardware capabilities leads to a cost increase as well as consumption of time.

Considerable Factors When Choosing Between Mobile & Tablet App

There are a few consider-worthy factors when deciding between phone and tablet applications. Let’s have a look below.

User Behavior & Target Audience

Photo Credits: interaction-design

Understanding the target audience and learning about their behavior and usage of tablets or phones is the first phase to help you decide in accordance. Take for instance, accessibility, usage and handling of phones on-the-go is much easier as that of a tablet which makes smartphones a preferable option. Whereas, tablet users mostly prefer the device either at home or at work only when there’s a need. If your goal is to get people to consume more content anytime, anywhere, then phone apps are good to begin with.

User Experience & Business Goals

Photo Credits:

Desired user experience and corporate goals you wish to achieve are important in determining between the tablet and mobile application development. Each platform features its unique and custom design considerations to ensure a personalized experience for every device. For example, a tablet may require extra functions due to its size and screen resolution whereas speed and usability attributes are specific to phones. 

Such features are also considered when you need an app that’s compatible on both Android and iOS platform and this is where cross platform mobile app development service comes in handy however, the process and context overall is a bit different but it’s always good to know thus avoiding ambiguity.

Budget & Resources At-Hand

Your app development resources, technology and budget are important as well. This is because developing an entirely new and customized app consumes time, cost and may require additional team members to work, depending on the project’s scope and scale. For tablet app development, you’re likely to have more hardware capabilities and design of the device which also results in a price hike.

Purpose & Simplicity

What’s the aim of developing an application? Who is your primary and secondary target audience? What are you trying to achieve and how do you see an app to assist you in fulfilling your business goals? These are a few questions you should have answers for before entering the app development process as it’s possible that once you start moving down the road, the idea of a “great app” may diminish or seem useless. Backing out would cost you resources, time and of-course, money.

Photo Credits: Came

Whether tablet or mobile application development, design and user experience should be smooth, simple and swift. From an aesthetics point-of-view, chunks of text, bulky imagery, unsmooth flow and unaligned features in an app or even a website would result in total disaster. A flawed design would leave the users confused which is why you should go with simplicity and take the minimalistic approach.

Swift Navigation & Trendy Features

A navigable and smoothly running application for both mobile and tablet is a must. In-fact, the modern user-interface is so sensitive that apps function only with a gesture except for particular actions like image zoom-in and out, raising the volume of the speaker and so on. Integrating such features to the app is surely to result in a positive, carefree experience. Also, it’s worth noting that excessive scrolling can annoy users which means going with a smooth, liquid-like interface and navigation is a must-have.

Photo Credits: Justinmind

Integrating your app with the latest and trendy features is another key winning factor but, one should do it in a gentler manner as overusing functions would make the app complex and confusing. Now, all of this should be according to the budget and of-course, hardware and software specifications that vary for both mobile and tablet.

Best App Development Platforms for 2023

If you’re into app development, then knowing about some of the best platforms for the year would prove valuable. Have a look below:

  1. Quixy

Photo Credits: softwareadvice

Best for small to large enterprises, Quixy is a no-code app development platform that automates the workflow and builds applications that performs 10x faster, even with custom needs. A few noteworthy features include dragging and dropping more than 40 form fields with rich text editor, QR code scanner, e-signature, facial recognition and many other widgets. The apps are ISO 27001 and SOC2 Type2 certified too.

2. Zoho Creator

Photo Credits: capterra

For iOS, Android and web applications, Zoho Creator tops the list and has been featured in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAP), 2020. It’s a low-code software with key features like JavaScript, Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud functionality, enable third-party integration, multiple-language support, secure payment gateway integration, offline mobile support and many other amazing features.

3. Microsoft Power Apps

A highly professional, enterprise-grade toolset packing unlimited features that covers almost every aspect of the app’s user experience. Power Apps by Microsoft reduces app development cost by 74%, returns unchallenging user experience that’s 2-3x faster and leveraging at 86% by Fortune 500 companies. 

Photo Credits: softwareone

Features that may inspire you include flexible drag-and-drop editors for branded applications, pre-built templates and even a blank canvas to start anew, facilitate integration with custom code components developed in other frameworks for creating richer UIs and so much more. Region and industry-specific compliant including GDPR, SOX and HIPAA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What are the main differences between developing phone vs tablet apps?

The main difference is screen size. Tablets offer more space in which your app can present multiple sets of information at once. Tablets are more likely to be used by more than one user and are thus less personal and emotional platforms for engagement.

  1. What are the best practices for user experience and user interface design for phone apps vs tablet apps?
  • Know that UI and UX are interlinked
  • Know your audience
  • Test with real users
  • Adapt design for short attention spans, and process based on the product
  • Prototype before you build a real product but it’s always better to know about the cost and other relevant factors associated with app prototyping
  • Avoid Lorem Ipsum and dummy placeholders
  • Keep things simple and consistent
  • Design for a diverse set of users
  • Avoid dramatic redesigns
  1. Are there any specific technical considerations that need to be taken into account when developing phone apps vs tablet apps?

Higher speed and performance due to built-in features vary for both mobile and tablet whereas the programming language on which the app is being coded makes a huge difference. 

  1. How can you ensure that your phone app or tablet app is optimized for different screen sizes and resolutions?

Responsive/adaptive layouts provide an optimized user experience regardless of screen size, enabling your app to accommodate phones and tablets. When designing for specific breakpoints, design for the amount of screen space available to your app, not the screen size. When developers create mobile friendly pages, they use viewpoints, making the app viewable.

  1. How does the pricing for the development of smartphone apps and tablet apps differ?
  • Type of business model
  • Available resources working
  • App building platform
  • App design and functionality
  • App features and testing
  • App hosting and security
  • UI/UX, maintenance and updates
  • App security

About The Author

blog author
Ahsan Shahid

Meet Ahsan, the wordsmith behind some of the most electrifying pieces on app development. Armed with a keyboard, a cup of coffee, and an insatiable curiosity, Ahsan has spent years exploring the wild and wonderful world of app development. Currently working at Trango Tech, an app development company, Ahsan brings his expertise to the forefront. So buckle up, grab a cup of coffee (or tea, we won't judge), and get ready to dive headfirst into the exciting and ever-changing world of app development with Ahsan as your guide.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s level up your Brand, together

    Driving Change
    Through Technology

    Contact Us
    CTA Logo