Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Sites
People think that they have to decide wether a native app or a mobile site. Both are useful, depending on what you need. Every company should have a mobile site. But native apps are becoming a really powerful marketing tool. If you are a SMB, you should have your own apps! Here you have some reasons for having one or more apps by your own!
Published on: Mar 3, 2016
Transcripts - Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Sites
To build an App or To build a mobile site? That’s the question 4th of March, 2013
Table of contents1. What benefits do native apps bring?2. Native App Vs. Mobile Site. Each of them has its mission!
1 What benefits do native apps bring?1. Apps offer the best user experience2. Apps let you show your business in GooglePlay, iTunes, Amazon, etc.3. Apps run offline4. Apps offer advanced functionality (camera, GPS, databases, etc.)5. Apps optimize remote data access6. Apps keep an icon in the device’s applications list7. Apps allow to send push notifications to users that installed them8. Apps are browser independent9. Apps are trendy!
1.1 Apps offer the best user experienceMobile sites are not installed on the device and they have to be downloaded every time people want to access them. Therefore mobile sites normally offer a slow user experience. When navigating through them, every time you click on a link to jump to another page, all its content (layout, pictures, texts, etc.) has to be downloaded from the server and this process might get too slow.Native apps are installed on the device. All pages’ layout and styles are preinstalled, so page transitions are really fast. Pictures and other resources are normally preinstalled too, so the loading time is also fast. Even if the App shows remote resources, they are accessed directly, so downloading times are optimized. This makes native apps offer a great user experience. Device events (touch, release, drag, scrolls, etc.) are better handled in native apps. For example, dragging a Google Maps view on a mobile site can be really annoying, since the browser might think that the user wants to scroll the whole site and it gets crazy.
1.2 Show your business in iTunes, GooglePlay, SamsungApps, Amazon, etc.Smartphone users are used to access AppStores in order to look for content. They just have to press the AppStore icon on their device’s menu.But Mobile sites can’t be published on AppStores. If a company wants people to visit their mobile site, they have to put a lot of effort to promote their site’s URL. Apps can be published and pushed to AppStores so they make downloads even if you don’t do any promotion.
1.3 Apps run offlineMobile sites do not work if the device goes out of service, since they are hosted on remote servers. This makes the navigation badly slow when the device’s signal gets low. Because of the high telephony roaming costs, people normally don’t make Internet connections from their Smartphone when they travel abroad. So mobile sites are normally visited only by local audiences.On the other hand, native apps run offline because they are installed on the. So a bad device’s connectivity doesn’t make the app go slow. If they show some remote content, only that content is not shown when the device’s connectivity goes down, but the rest of the app will keep working. Being offline let users keep playing native apps when they travel abroad, since they don’t need data connectivity to work.
1.4 Apps offer advanced functionality (camera, GPS, databases, etc.)Mobile sites can’t communicate with the Operating System’s functions so they can’t offer advanced features: camera, GPS, compass, databases, etc. Well, html5 mobile sites can theoretically access some of these functions, but this is still a Utopia.Since native apps communicate with the Operating System, they can offer all the advanced features that the OS has. So native apps can offer camera access, augmented reality functions, GPS location, SQL database management, compass, etc.
1.5 Apps optimize remote data accessFinding the right content from a mobile site might get the user frustrated. Have you tried looking for the NBA scoreboards of the last weekend in the nytimes.com mobile site? You have to load several pages in order to get there, which needs a good Internet connection, since every page has to be downloaded from the NY times server.Native apps don’t need to download the full content of all screens from an external server. It has all the content preloaded and only downloads all those resources that have to be updated in real time from an external server. So the data traffic is much lower.
1.6 Apps keep an icon in the device’s applications listA mobile site is accessed from the device’s browser through a URL. Once visited, users exit the browser and might not remember the URL in the future. The device doesn’t create a direct access on its menu unless a user decides to save the URL in the favorites menu.Native apps create an icon on the device’s menu every time they are downloaded. If the user doesn’t uninstall the app, the icon will stay on the menu, so users might access the app in the future when they see that icon on the device’s menu.
1.7 Apps allow to send push notifications to users that installed themThe company can’t communicate with users that visited the mobile site. Visitors to a mobile site are anonymous. So the owner of a mobile site doesn’t have the possibility to send messages to those visitors once they left the site, unless they ask visitors to fill in a form and give permission to receive messages.Native apps let companies send notifications to its users even if they already exited the app. App visitors are not 100% anonymous. The device ID is tracked and let the company who owns the app send notifications to all users that have installed the app. This is a powerful marketing tool, since it makes relationships with potential customers longer.
1.8 Apps are browser independentMobile sites need an Internet browser in order to be accessed. But a mobile device can have several Internet browsers installed. When accessing a mobile site, the user decides what browser to use. A mobile site can behave differently when visited from different browsers in the same device. They will even behave differently in two different devices with the same Operating System.Native apps communicate with the Operating System directly. Therefore, one app will behave always the same every time you access them from the same device. Native apps will behave the same in two different devices with the same OS even if their OS version is different.
1.9 Apps are trendy!App usage is more popular than mobile web, according to business insider:• Apps have finally taken a slight lead in overall penetration: The percentage of all U.S. mobile users accessing a mobile browser increased from 29% in February 2010 to 50% in May. The percentage of U.S. mobile users accessing downloaded apps rose from 28% to 51% over the same period.• People spend far more time in apps: Americans spend more time per day on apps that they do on the web — both desktop and mobile combined.• Time spent in apps is surging: According to Nielsen, the minutes spent per month on apps more than doubled from March 2011 to March 2012. Many of our most time- consuming mobile activities — games, social networks, and music — are accessed through apps. Time spent on the mobile web was basically flat.
2 Native App Vs. Mobile Site. Each of them has its mission!We all know that every SMBs must have a traditional web site. But more and more people are browsing the Internet from this type of devices. Therefore a mobile site shouldn’t be a new product, just a way to allow people access the regular website from a mobile device.Native apps didn’t come to replace mobile sites, they are here to complement them. Apps help SMBs in many different ways: • Drive new visitors to their mobile site (those who come from AppStores) • Earn loyalty from their visitors (they will download a complement and keep it in the smartphone. • Create additional tools (product presentations, events agendas, etc.) • Create internal apps for their work force. • Take advantage of all benefits mentioned in previous sections of this presentation. • Etc. If your are a SMB, DO NOT DECIDE among an app or a mobile site… PICK BOTH!