Phone Apps vs Mobile Websites

Posted & filed under Mobile.

The two methods for delivering mobile content to your audience – phone apps and mobile websites – are different in how they are constructed and used. Which one you choose to build depends on the type of content or functionality you want to make available to your audience.

Mobile websites are usually stripped down versions of existing sites. Fancy design elements are removed, and layouts are reorganized, leaving basic navigation and text that phones can easily navigate. A benefit to the website owner is that content is easily updated, using the same tools for updating the main website. Users benefit by not being forced to download or purchase an app from iTunes or the Android market. They can quickly load the site in their browser. The cons are some phone functionality may not be possible with a website, and it is easier to click an icon than type in a URL.

Phone apps are useful if you need to make use of mobile device functionality, such as the gyroscope, camera, offline usage or push notifications. Mobile websites will not be able to make use of these. And, an app could be sold rather than offered for free, bringing in extra revenue to a business. Phone apps can also make ecommerce easier for customers, using iTunes billing rather than a checkout section on a website (if it is an iPhone app). The downsides are users are forced to find and download an app before they can begin using it. And, for widespread availability, separate versions of an app would need to be developed for iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices.

Plenty of tools and services are available for building either app or mobile sites. CAWOOD can help you make the right decision and guide you to making a decision that works best for your situation.

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