Mobile Websites v Apps

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Advantages of Mobile Responsive Website Design vs Apps

by | Jan 29, 2014

Introduction

Although mobile-friendly websites and apps are both accessed on mobile devices such as Smart Phones and Tablets, there are some key differences that need to be understood before you decide which will deliver the most benefits for your business.

Mobile-friendly responsive websites are similar to a regular desktop website, coded in HTML and viewable through an internet-connected web browser, except that they adapt dynamically to the size of the screen that is being used.

Apps, on the other hand, are mini software programmes that you download and install on a specific device for a specific purpose, in the same way as you would download and install programmes such as Microsoft Word on your desktop computer. Although many apps do use an internet connection to access data, many do not and can be used offline, running directly on your Android or iOS operating system.

 

So How Do You Decide Which is Right for You?

Your decision should be lead by determining your ultimate goal. In the vast majority of cases, a responsive website will be by far the best way to deliver information to the largest possible market. In fact, even if you are planning to develop an app for a very specific purpose that is not possible to achieve on a web browser, you will still need a website as a means of promoting it. Therefore, it would be very unusual scenario where you would just have an app developed without having a website in place as well.

 

Benefits of Mobile-Friendly Web Design Perth Over App Development

There are a large number of significant advantages in using a mobile website as the basis of your marketing strategy, as outlined below;

  • Speed of Delivery: Whereas an app must be first downloaded and installed on the users device, a website can be accessed immediately
  • Multi-Device Compatibility: Websites, if they are designed properly, will display on the whole range of devices, operating systems and browsers. Apps, on the other hand, need to be designed specifically for each operating system, such as Android and/or iOS.
  • Web Based Functionality of an App: Its also important to realise that in many cases the functionality of an app can be delivered via a mobile responsive website
  • Easy to Self-Management: With a mobile web design running on a CMS platform such as WordPress, the website owner can easily update the content themselves, whereas changes to an app would have be undertaken by the developer
  • Easy to Increase Scope & Functionality: Again CMS WordPress website offer a huge range of plugins which can be used to easily expand the scope and functionality of the website
  • Easy to Find: Websites can be found easily and instantly accessed through Google and other search engines and online directories, whereas apps are found in less visible media such as app specific stores like Google Play
  • Social Media Friendly: Websites can be easily shared via a simple link through Social Media and email, in a much easier and more organic manner than apps
  • Longer Shelf-Life: Apps have a much shorter life cycle on any individual device, with the average app staying on a users phone or tablet for an average of less than 30 days, according to TechCrunch.com

 

iPhone App Usage Statistics

iPhone App Usage Statistics

 

Source: TechCrunch.com

 

  • Greater Cost Effectiveness: The need for only a single website that functions across all platforms and devices, with the ability to self update and all the other benefits listed above means that the cost of website development is much lower than app development

 

The Advantages of Apps Over Websites

Although the list of general benefits is heavily in favour of web delivery, apps are still hugely popular in much more specific and defined contexts, where the following are factors;

Speed of Functionality: If the interactivity needs to be really fast such as for Gaming etc then apps are much more suitable for this type of purpose as opposed to slower interaction via the internet

Offline Availability: If the functionality needs to be available with no internet connection then an app would be the best choice

Device Function Integration: Many apps need direct access to the wider functionality of the mobile device, such as the camera or microphone etc, in which case this is much easier to deliver via an installed app.

 

In Conclusion

Mobile-friendly websites are much more versatile and have a wider range of benefits and cross platform capabilities. However if you want to offer something very specific, then you may need to develop an app on top of a web based solution.

Please feel free to contact us for personalised advice on any of the issues outline above.

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