Both use the browser. It’s just out of sight. I’m not the developer, just a user telling the workaround to get native M1 performance now, take it or leave it.
On the left is dynalist running natively on the ARM M1 cpu. On the right is dynalist running x64 code in the rosetta2 emulation layer. The difference is Progressive Web App (just using the browser) vs electron (using an older version the browser, baked into a fancier package).
The point of making the app was to enable offline saving, change the title bar appearance a bit, and make the install process a bit more familiar to folks. The downside is that you lock in the version of Chromium, so when a new laptop, like the ARM M1 macbook, comes out, it’s not going to run the newest engine. But you can just package the app yourself with the ARM version of chrome.
App is a bit of a misnomer - any packaging of functionality is technically an app, there’s not much magic difference between an app vs website, especially with Progressive Web Apps.
One way to make an app is to compile the Electron version of the Chromium browser engine, which is how the Dynalist app was made. They compiled the x64 (intel) version of chromium, so it runs in rosetta2 emulation. Some people call electron apps “fake” apps since they arent made from scratch in native MacOS xcode, but are rather fancy websites in a fancy shrinkwrap, so to speak. But I disagree, it’s just another way to make an app.
Another way to make an app is to go to a website in Chrome, click More Tools, then Create Shortcut in New Window. An icon will appear on your desktop, and it will appear as though it were an app. Since there is this extra step, and less visual customization options available, it’s less popular than electron. But it gives you M1 performance.