The battle between mobile websites and apps is over. Who’s the winner? Both of them.
Over the past 5 years we’ve been developing hundreds of apps and mobile websites for brands across the world. During this time most of our clients seem to believe that they need to make a choice between mobile web and apps. They couldn’t be more wrong.
So why does an app need a mobile website? There are 5 simple reasons:
- Discoverability – The mobile website can easily be search optimised and found on Google and Bing whereas app discovery is in the hands of Apple and Google
- Sharing via text or email – To enable users to share an app or content within an app you need to provide a destination link. Just sharing a link to one appstore is not acceptable since you dont know if the receiver has an Iphone, Android, Windows Phone, tablet or a laptop. The mobile website is platform agnostic
- Social network sharing – When the user shares the app on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter you want to ensurethe experience on the receiving end is as rich as possible. By sharing a text to a mobile website you have the option of adding an image or even a video with any post.
- Convenience – Sometimes we just want to find information quickly to a brand or service which we’ll only access once. In this case having to download an app is a barrier and definitely less convenient.
- Technology – With HTML5, hybrid apps and automated tools it’s no longer a question about technology but how consumers discover you or chose to access your products and services; they want both.
Does this mean the mobile website needs to be a copy of the apps?
Not at all. The mobile website can range from a simple landing page to a full fledged mobile website with all the functionality available in the app or on the web. And just like a mobile website acts as a compliment to an app, an app can provide specific functionality to compliment a mobile website but this is a another topic for a future blog.
Next weeks topic will be the latest development in hybrid apps which allows for more cost efficient development of mobile web and apps in one go…