The raging debate that has taken mobile internet by storm is mobile app vs. mobile web. Which of these platforms is better for a business or are both necessary for a solid presence on the increasingly crucial mobile world? If you are a business owner and need to decide whether you need a mobile app or mobile web presence, you need to look at the benefits of both platforms.
In the mobile app vs. mobile web debate, one must first be clear about what they are. A mobile app is an actual application that you provide to your customer. It is stored in their mobile device after being downloaded from online application stores such as Google Play or iTunes. A mobile website on the other hand, is like any website, but it is specially customized (such as, hand-held display optimization) for use on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Mobile websites contain HTML pages that can be accessed by using mobile internet such as, 3G or Wi-Fi.
Benefits of Mobile Apps
- User interaction: We are talking gaming, social networking, messaging services and banking. A mobile app for these businesses will establish direct contact with the customer and will be available to them at all times.
- Offline content: For businesses that need to provide offline content to their customers, mobile apps are better. Once the user has downloaded the content and stored it in their smartphones, they can access it easily without using the internet. Banking services, investment agencies and news providers are some businesses that need to provide offline content.
- Regular use: If you are in a business where your customer uses your services regularly, then a mobile app should be your best bet. This way, your services will become more accessible and the user won’t have to first load the content on their browser and then use it. Businesses that provide calendars, schedulers and online diaries will benefit more from mobile apps.
- Complex actions: Services that require complex actions such as calculations, charting and data interpretation will reap more benefit more mobile apps. It is easier to navigate such actions on a dedicated app, as the actions are more localized.
Benefits of Mobile Web
- Easy access: Users can just load a mobile website on their phone’s browser without having to download the app first. This increases your websites visibility tremendously.
- More compatibility: Because mobile websites simply use the browser of the device, they are generally more compatible with devices. This increases the reach of the business as it is available to more people.
- More presence: mobile websites will show up on browser searches but an app will most like not. They can also be listed on industry specific directories. Moreover, if your business has customers who frequently use your regular website, then they will be automatically sent to your mobile website when they are using their mobile devices.
- Upgrade ease: One can easily upgrade their mobile website. It simple requires you to upgrade the content on your end and the job is done. On a mobile app however, the upgraded content has to be sent to the user, because you cannot access your app, downloaded by them, on their devices.