what is the difference between using Capacitor and using a web-view inside a native app?

Hi everyone,

I’m trying to understand the big picture before deciding on how to go about building my business app. I understand that Capacitor involves a native app that employs a web-view component to render my HTML, CSS, and JS-based UI. However, I’m eager to fully comprehend the advantages that Capacitor brings to the table beyond just using a web-view component.

Additionally, I’m seeking insight into how Capacitor manages to serve files directly from my “dist/” folder without initiating requests to the server. Does this entail having a Node.js server operational on Android/iOS devices?

If someone could provide guidance on these questions, I’d be more than willing to reciprocate with my time and assistance.

Thank you!

Capacitor has a plugin ecosystem that allow to access native features easily.
If you don’t use Capacitor but need native access you’ll have to create the code to access the native features yourself. If you don’t need native access, then there is no advantage, but you probably don’t need a native app and apple could probably ban your app as one of the rules is to not wrap existing websites.

4.2 Minimum Functionality
Your app should include features, content, and UI that elevate it beyond a repackaged website.

Capacitor doesn’t use a web server, on iOS apple provides APIs to “serve” local files using a custom scheme and Capacitor uses that. On Android Capacitor intercepts the WebView requests and serve local files.