|Mobile Apps VS. Mobile Web
There have been countless debates about the expiry of the mobile web in the hands of mobile apps. Who is winning? No one can agree.
If you are planning to start a mobile presence for your business or organizations one of the first considerations that will come to your mind is whether you want to create a mobile app for your customer to download the app or only a mobile website or both. Many people think that you don’t need a mobile app, you just need a website which looks better on mobile devices. While others feel that mobile applications have more benefits that a website cannot offer. So what is right?
What is the real advantage of mobile apps for a business? Let’s consider some statistics from the last year. Recent research shows that mobile users are spending 90% of their time on mobile apps. They are not only using apps to access daily information, but also their engagements with brands such as shifting to apps with 65% of mobile users engaging with brands using apps.
Now it’s the time for companies to implement their apps, both internally and externally, in order to improve engagement with clients and employees. However, web development
companies are looking to develop apps which are being faced with the dilemma of whether an app is really necessary or a mobile website will serve the purpose.
Everyone wants a responsive website which looks great on the mobile device. It’s not that difficult to get a responsive website and one thing is good, there are no downsides here. People are going to view your site and you have to support that. It’s obvious that you need a responsive website, but the main question is do you also need a mobile app? Or is mobile app better for your business than your mobile website?
Although, mobile website and mobile apps may look similar in the first impression, and determining which is the most suited to your requirements will depend upon a number of factors, including target customers, available budget, and required features.
Understand the difference between a Mobile Website and Mobile App
|Difference b/w a Mobile Website & App
Before you analyze the benefits of a mobile website and mobile application, it is essential to understand the key difference between the both. Both mobile site and apps are being accessed on the handheld devices such as a tablet, a Smartphone, which may be Android, iPhone, or Blackberry.
A mobile website is alike to any other website which consist browser based HTML pages that are inter-linked together and accessed over the web using the internet. The specific characteristic that differentiates a mobile website from a standard website is that it is basically designed for the smaller display and touch screen interface. Moreover, responsive web design is becoming the newest and latest standard for websites that are not mobile-friendly but also they can scale to any screen size – from desktop to tablet and handheld Smartphone.
Like other standard websites, responsive or a mobile site can display content, information, data, image, link, and video. They can also access features like click-to-call or mapping feature which is location based. Mobile apps are downloaded and installed on your smart phone or tablet rather than being delivered to a browser. People like to visit device specific portals like the Apple App Store, Android Play Store, and Blackberry App Store in order to find the app and download apps for a specific operating system. The app may fetch content and data from the web, in a similar way to a website or it also may download the content so that it can be accessed without any internet connection.
Which is better mobile website or an App
|Which one is better
When it comes to determining whether to create a mobile app or a mobile site, the most common choice depend on your business requirements and goals. If you want to develop an interactive game app, then it is possibly going to be your best option. But if you want to offer a mobile friendly content to the maximum people, then you must go to the mobile website. In some case, you may choose both a mobile app and a mobile site, but keep in mind that it rarely makes sense to get into mobile app development without having a mobile site in place.
In general, a mobile website should be considered your first step in creating a mobile web presence, while, an app is useful for building an application for a specific purpose that cannot be successfully accomplished using a web browser.
Advantages of Mobile Website over Native Apps
|Advantages of Mobile Website
If your primary focus is on marketing or client communications, a responsive website is always going to make essence as the first stage in the mobile outreach strategy. It is just because a mobile site has numerous benefits over apps, including wide accessibility, reliability, compatibility, user-friendliness, and cost-effectiveness.
Instant Availability– A mobile site is quickly accessible to users using a web browser across a wide range of devices such as Android, iPhone or Blackberry. On the other side, mobile apps require the users to first download the app then install from an app market before your data or app can be viewed that may turn out to be a major obstacle between initial engagement and conversion.
Compatibility- when it comes to compatibility test a single mobile site can engage users across multiple mobile devices while native apps require a separate version to be developed for every type of device. For example, you have to create a separate version of your application for Android and iOS users. Moreover, mobile website URLs are easily integrated within the other mobile technologies such as QR codes, SMS, and NFC.
Mobile site can be searched easily- the mobile sites are easy and simple to reach because their web pages display in the search result and also may be listed in industry-specific directories which make it easy for your visitors to reach you. Most importantly, visitors that are coming to a regular website can be automatically migrated to your site when they are on Smart devices. While the visibility of mobile apps is highly restricted to manufacturer application store.
Upgradability- when we consider in terms of flexibility to update content, a mobile site is more dynamic than a native app. If you want to change or update your web page design, content and layout you can simply edit and once the changes are done they are immediately live. While updating a mobile app requires the updates to be pushed which must be downloaded in order to update the app for each device.
Time and cost- it is cheaper to develop a mobile website rather than an app. It is considerably time effective too, especially when you require a presence on different platforms or multiple apps.
Maintenance and Support – It is always much more expensive and requires more support in the development of a mobile app because investment doesn’t end with the initial launch.
Life cycle – According to research, the average shelf-life of an app is usually short and less than 30 days, so unless your mobile app is really unique and useful, it’s doubtful how long it will stay on a user’s device. Whereas a mobile website is always available for people to return to them.
Well, there are some advantages of the mobile app where mobile website fails.
We have visited many websites on the mobile device that were poorly optimized and made us go elsewhere. Some mobile site can be jumbled with ads, popups and poor quality content. Let’s take a view at the benefits of the mobile app.
Push notifications- The mobile apps have the ability to send an instant notification to your subscribers and this is the biggest reason many businesses choose a mobile app first.
Offline access- you can read articles, listen to podcasts or browse a product easily when you don’t have internet connections.
Great performance– A well-developed app can perform faster than a mobile site. Apps generally store their data locally on mobile devices, while mobile websites usually use web servers. For this reason, data retrieval occurs quickly in mobile apps.
Less cluttered– It depends on the design of your app or website, but generally mobile apps are considered to have less other stuff such as ads and pop-ups.
Get in the app stores– it’s another way to reach your customers, you also get a button on their home screen.
Developing both a mobile website and mobile app for your enterprise can prove to be a costly thing. You might have to choose one of them, and it is based on your budget and business goals. Although, both platforms have their own pros and cons mobile apps, especially, can help you reach greater conversions. For example, if you are a casual blogger, then you should go with mobile website and if you want to develop a platform like Instagram, then you must choose a mobile app.