If you’re aiming to establish a mobile presence for your business or organization, one amongst the primary considerations that may come to mind is whether or not you would like to have a mobile application for users to download or a mobile website, or perhaps both. Mobile websites and apps can look very similar at first-glance, and determining which is most suited to your needs will rely on variety of things, including target audiences, available budget, intended purpose and required features.
Before you can evaluate the advantages of a mobile website or an app, it’s important to grasp the differences between the two. Both apps and mobile websites are accessed on handheld devices like smartphones and tablets.
As with a regular website, a mobile website is a browser-based way of accessing internet content. Unlike regular websites, it’s designed specifically for mobile devices, and it does not render well on desktop screens. The plain characteristic that distinguishes a mobile website from a typical website is the incontrovertible fact that it’s designed for a smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface. Increasingly, responsive web design is becoming the new standard for websites that don’t seem to be only mobile-friendly, but that may scale to any sized device – from desktop all the way down to tablet and handheld smartphones.
Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on a mobile device, instead of being rendered within a browser. Users visit device-specific portals like Apple’s App Store or Android play store to find them. The app may pull content and data from the net in similar fashion to an internet site, or it could download the content to be viewed offline.
So which one would work for you?
When it involves deciding whether to make a native app or a mobile website, the foremost appropriate choice really depends on your end goals. If you’re developing an interactive game, an app will be your most suitable choice. But if your goal is to supply mobile-friendly content to the widest possible audience, then a mobile website would work for you. In some cases, you may decide to have both, but it’s pretty safe to mention that it’s rare to have an app without a website already in place
A mobile website should be considered your start in developing a mobile web presence, while an app is beneficial for developing an application for a really specific purpose that can’t be effectively accomplished via a browser.
Advantages of a Mobile Website
To evaluate your choice between a mobile website and a mobile app precisely, let’s trot out the advantages of a mobile website while bearing in mind that the largest limitation to a mobile website is that the undeniable fact that it cannot work offline.
Compatibility: A website enhances the user experience across differing kinds of mobile devices. In contrast, a mobile application requires developing a separate version for every software system and device type. Users who own differing types of devices may especially appreciate the advantages of compatibility that responsive websites provide. Besides, they support easy integration with other mobile features like QR codes and text messaging.
Wider Usage: Because a mobile website is accessible across multiple platforms and might easily be shared among users, similarly as search engines, it’s far greater reach capability than a native app.
Support and Maintenance: The investment considerations of app vs website don’t end with the initial launch; properly supporting and maintaining an app (upgrades, testing, compatibility issues and ongoing development) is very important and involved than supporting an internet site over time.
Unlike mobile websites, which you’ll reach via browsers, mobile applications must be downloaded from specific portals like the Google Play Store, App Store, or other markets depending on one’s operating system.
There are about 2 million Apps on the Apple App Store and about 2.9 million Apps available for download on the Google Play Store with an expected revenue generation of $935 billion by the year 2023.
Despite the benefits of mobile websites, mobile apps seem to be far more popular. Before rummaging the importance of mobile apps, let’s first work out when it is sensible to create a mobile app. When it involves specific business needs, there are common scenarios when building an application is the best solution. For example, if you intend on fitting features linked to native device functionality, like GPS, click-to-call, cameras, or scanners, then an application is going to be more practical than a mobile website.
Advantages of a Native Mobile App
Convenience: Analysis shows that applications are more popular than equivalent websites, as they’re more convenient. Mobile apps provide better user experiences, load content faster, and are easier to use. Besides, unlike websites, apps have push notifications. Sharing updates, special features, and reminders within an app increases customer loyalty and retention. Also, the look of mobile apps fits different screen sizes more elegantly than websites.
No Connection Required: If you would like to provide offline access to content or perform functions without a network connection, an app is a smarter choice. This means that information will have to be stored locally and uploaded once a connection is established.
Easy Personalization: If your target users prefer using your app in an exceedingly personalized fashion on an everyday basis like (Facebook or Twitter) then a native app provides an excellent option.
Interactivity: For highly interactive engagements like playing games, an app is probably going to be your most suitable option, at least for the foreseeable future.
As mobile use continues to grow worldwide, the “app or web” question will remain an awfully real consideration for organizations seeking to determine a mobile presence. If your goals are primarily marketing-driven, or if your aim is to deliver content and establish a broad mobile presence that may be easily maintained, shared between users, and located on search engines, then the a mobile-friendly responsive website is considered a more logical choice.
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