It's hard to argue that mobile phones rule the world. Today, there are more than 5.13 billion mobile phone users worldwide, accounting for 65% of the population. All these audiences need to be satisfied with high-quality mobile applications and fast mobile websites. However, not all companies can develop both solutions at the same time. They are on the verge of choosing between mobile applications and mobile websites.
The difference between an application and a website
First, let's start with the basics. A mobile website is a set of pages that are connected to each other and accessible through a browser. With the help of specialised methods, they can adapt to different screen sizes or completely change their design mode according to the device.
Mainly create mobile websites to provide content, they are usually not too interactive. When starting a website and comparing a mobile application, the first thing you will notice is the internet connection. Customers need it to use the full functionality of the website. From a financial perspective, the difference between a website and a mobile application is the price range. In most cases, the website is more budget friendly.
Mobile Websites – Impacts On User Experience
Before we start our apps and mobile websites, we will go further 5-6 years ago, and we believe that standard websites are the main and only necessity for prosperity. However, the development of technology has made its own adjustments to our lives and the share of mobile traffic on the Internet is growing every year.
More and more people are embracing the convenience of mobile devices and surfing through them, while putting laptops and computers aside. For example, the share of mobile traffic in 2020 is 52% and growth will not stop there. Therefore, companies now have new needs to create optimised websites for mobile devices, which is a good alternative native application.
Simply put, such a website adapts to any screen size and looks great on any device. They are like fluids, squeezing or magnifying their elements according to the environment. This method is considered the most cost-effective because it requires a website design and code base.
The adaptive approach, on the contrary, uses static layouts which are designed specifically for a certain device or screen resolution. In other words, a website defines from what device a user is currently surfing the web and displays the layout created for this very device.
This is a more expensive approach as every layout is designed and developed separately considering screen size of a device.
So, now you understand what it means to be mobile-friendly. Then, let's take a closer look at the benefits of mobile websites and thereafter consider their disadvantages.
When choosing between apps or websites, consider compatibility, as compatibility is one of the main advantages of mobile websites. No matter what device and operating system these devices run on, your target audience can use the product.
In contrast, mobile applications can only run on one platform, and you need a separate team of experts to add support for other platforms (for example, iOS applications cannot run on Android).
In other words, mobile websites provide you with a wider range of coverage. Everything can be accessed with a few clicks in the browser, and mobile applications need to be found, downloaded and installed before use.
When considering mobile websites and mobile applications, it’s hard to ignore important aspects such as updates. The updated version of the website is immediately available to users after being loaded on the server, and for mobile applications, this process is a bit complicated and time-consuming.
Each update must be verified by Google or Apple before it can be provided to users. App Store may take two days, and Google Play may take two hours.
SEO and brand visibility
SEO optimization is one of the main functions that help websites fight between applications and mobile websites. This is a great way to generate more potential customers and convert them into customers. Potential customers enter specific requests to search engines and see your website in search results (of course only if properly optimized).
In short, this optimization method will attract more potential customers to your website. In addition, they are directly interested in the products or services you provide.
As it was already mentioned, you need a separate specialist or even team specialized in development for one or another platform (it depends on project complexity). Thus, if you want to have an app for both popular platforms, you have to hire app developers since developing for these two platforms differs. They have different architecture and principles of interaction with users.
Downside of mobile websites
To completely cover the 'mobile apps vs mobile website' question, we should consider both negative sides of each solution as well. As we've already touched upon the benefits of having a mobile website, it's time to consider disadvantages.
No offline access
Unlike mobile apps, users can't access the full-featured website if they are offline. They can only view previously cached pages with content, but cannot interact with any elements as this requires sending queries to the server via the internet.
When choosing an app or mobile website keep in mind that mobile websites can't make full use of device capabilities as mobile applications can. Major limitations on iOS
>No access to push notifications;
>No integration with Siri;
>ARKit, Touch ID, Face ID, Bluetooth, and battery information are unavailable for websites.
>Major limitations on Android
>No access to the calendar;
>Such telephony features as calls and SMS are restricted.
One of the key advantages of mobile apps over websites is that they deliver a top-notch user experience. That's because mobile apps are designed specifically for a certain device and take into consideration it's peculiarities and screen size. Meantime, websites can provide a not-so-great user experience due to technical limitations that come with browser basis and the overall cheapness of mobile websites.
Mobile App – Impacts On User Experience
In order to fully understand the usefulness of mobile applications, it is worth referring to statistics. As we all know, we spend a lot of time on smartphones. For example, in the second quarter of 2020, the average American spends 3 hours a day on smartphones, an increase of 10% over the first quarter. In this case, it is clear why companies should consider developing their own mobile applications. Companies that adopt a mobile strategy can rely on a higher percentage of participating customers, who are more likely to switch and pay for the company's products or services. Now, let's talk about the advantages of mobile apps.
Comparing mobile applications and mobile websites, talking about the advantages and disadvantages of mobile applications,
It is difficult to ignore the fact that mobile applications are much more powerful than mobile websites. In this way, if you need to use a specific feature of the device (such as the accelerometer), then a mobile app seems to be more suitable for you.
This is another obvious advantage of mobile apps. Being initially designed to fit the specific device and OS environment, they make navigation and, respectively, usage much easier with the help of gestures as well as native UI elements.
Offline accessibility is one of the main advantages of mobile apps over websites. You should consider the creation of a mobile app in case your product concept implies offline access to certain parts of it's functionality. This trick doesn't work properly with mobile websites.
Brand promotion opportunities
One of the main advantages of mobile apps for business is an opportunity to promote a company brand with their help. It's a quite popular way of promotion that's adopted by a variety of companies from different industries. What's more, notifications make it extremely easy to remind your customers of your company and ship important information.
Downside of mobile apps
Each approach has its own pros and cons. Let's consider the disadvantages of mobile applications.
Mobile app development is always associated with significant expenses. The mobile app should be created specifically for the operating system. For example, if you have developed an app for Android and as a result, you will not be able to run it on iOS. As a result, to reach the maximum audience, you need to develop two separate applications, which is quite a significant investment.
Maintenance & upgrade
You have to support apps on a regular basis. What does it mean? Apps for both platforms should be regularly updated to new versions containing bug fixes, upgrades etc. Meantime, websites require less maintenance due to only one since the website is only on one platform which is a benefit of a mobile site over an app for businesses.
Long and complicated approvals
Any mobile application, regardless of the platform, goes through the approval process. And on both platforms, this process is quite long and can turn into a headache. This is the main difference between mobile apps and websites since you don’t need to approve your website.
For example, on iOS, the app passes a strict moderation that relies on App Store Review Guidelines. The average time for app approval is around four days. After that period, the product owner receives a verdict. If the app is bug-free and meets all rules, this app will be released to the App Store. Otherwise, it’ll be rejected.
As a business owner, you too should try to develop a mobile app that perfectly represents your business and allow your customers to browse your business listings right from your mobile app. When the customers have a mobile app already installed on your phone, they are more likely to visit the app and purchase something from it. You should consider hiring a Mobile App Development company that helps you with your app development.
So, if you are thinking about developing a mobile app for your business, you are thinking in the right direction. You can hire a mobile app development company and make your business mobile with Android and iOS Apps for your business. If you want to contact the best Mobile App Development company, then you can contact us or drop us an email at [email protected], and we will contact you very soon for your Mobile App Development project.