June 28th, 2012

Apps vs Mobile Web: Every app should have a mobile website

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:
  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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…
Tags: App development mobile apps mobile website

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