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The buzz around mobile apps is getting even louder. So, every business should hurry and get a mobile app developed. Am I right?
There has always been this fuss around which is better between mobile apps and mobile websites for your business.
A mobile website is mainly a smaller version of a normal/native website that’s optimised for the smaller display area that’s typical of feature phones or smartphones. A mobile website is generally accessed via a browser application on your handset While mobile apps are basically small applications that can be downloaded and run on a feature phone or smartphone. An app will run locally on a handset and might not need web access to update and refresh the content.
If you are planning to establish a mobile presence for your business, one of the things to consider is if you want to create a mobile application for users to download or a mobile website, or possibly both. Mobile websites and apps can look very similar at a peek. Before you can weigh the benefits of a mobile website against a mobile app, it is important to understand the basic variances between the two, this is because both mobile apps and mobile websites can be accessed via handheld devices such as smartphones and tablets. Deciding which best suit your business will depend on some factors, which include target audiences, budget, intended purpose and required features.
Apps are applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, this means that apps are not accessible within a browser. Users have to visit device-specific portals such as Apple’s App Store, Android Play Store, Windows Marketplace or Blackberry App World in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. An app can be accessed without an Internet connection.
A mobile website is like any other normal website which is browser based and can be accessed over the Internet with 3G or 4G networks or Wi-Fi connection. The evident factor that differentiates a mobile website from a standard/normal website is just that fact that a mobile website is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.
What makes Mobile Apps Stand Out
- Mobile Apps can be used for push notifications; this enables you to send text messages to your subscribers. Sending push notifications is a huge plus, whether you are selling products or publishing articles.
- Instant access online or offline. Apps are better for accessing content offline.
- A well designed app can be faster than a mobile website. Mobile apps can help your audience get to your content faster, and keep them engaged better.
- Mobile apps are less cluttered as apps tend to have less junk.
Research has shown that mobile users of recent now spend about 86% of their mobile time on mobile apps. They are not just using apps to access daily information, but their commitment and engagement with brands are equally migrating to apps, with 68% of mobile users engaging with brands via apps.
The benefits of mobile apps are numerous, but the most noteworthy is its functionality to offer immediate support and information to customers everywhere and whenever necessary. Mobile apps enable users to instantly access key information on their mobile device at the click of a button. It generally enables users to do everything they could normally do on a mobile site, but faster and more efficiently.
Mobile websites, in contrast, require logging in order to show a specific user’s key information, making this process slower and more difficult. Push alerts are also not available on mobile sites, which depend on traditional alerts such as email.
Finally, the benefit of mobile apps is many and has outshined that of mobile websites. But that is not to say that mobile sites are inadequate. Companies can decide to combine both mobile sites and mobile apps to offer a wholesome experience to customers.
When it comes to deciding whether to build a mobile app or have a mobile website, the most suitable choice depends on your end goals. A mobile app should be considered your first step in developing a mobile web presence.