Mobile App or Mobile Website?

22nd July 2011

A lot has been taking place in the mobile world, the use of mobile is more than that of computers and TV right now. Hence, it is significant for businesses to have their mobile presence.

Speaking with clients, 3Squared found that there is a lot of confusion amongst businesses whether to go for mobile apps or mobile websites?

Below are few points which will help you to understand the difference between a mobile website and mobile application:

Mobile Websites:

  • Developed for navigating websites on the small screen of Smartphone.
  • Runs on the mobile’s browser. It opens like a regular website on your Smartphone.
  • Approvals for running mobile websites are not required by any authority.
  • A mobile website does not use the native handset applications like camera and push notifications.
  • Available to all, no matter which company’s Smartphone you are using. You don’t need to create phone specific mobile website.
  • Developed for the purpose of creating awareness about the company’s offerings and making the website accessible to mobile users.
  • It is possible to use features like GPS, offline data storage and video from within mobile websites using the latest mobile browsers which support HTML5. Access from the web to some native capabilities of mobile devices is still limited due to security and privacy concerns (e.g. access to address book or calendar)
  • Easier to support and maintain as developer has complete access to the site. No need to upgrade, all users see the latest version

Mobile Applications:

  • Developed for increasing the use of Smart-phones E.g : Utility apps, Game apps etc.
  • Runs when you download and install it to your Smartphone from the respective apps stores like iTunes, Android market place, Blackberry app world etc.
  • Approval from the concerned app store is required to publish a mobile application. E.g: After developing an iPhone game. You need Apple’s app store approval before you release it in the app store.
  • A mobile app might use native handset applications. E.g: Your video chat app uses your phone’s camera for its function.
  • Available to specific device users only. On your iPhone, you can use applications from the Apple’s app store only. Android apps won’t run on your iPhone device.
  • Developed for purpose of earning per downloads from app stores.
  • Able to use all device capabilities (GPS, camera, voice, RFID, address book, calendar, etc.)
  • Difficult to support and maintain after app is downloaded. Every new release with bug fixes requires to go through the entire approval process of the app store. After new version of application is placed in the store, it requires all existing users to upgrade in order to get it, this is a big barrier for app publishers

Get in touch with 3Squared – we can help you decide what the best mobile option is for your business.