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Before assessing the benefits of a mobile website versus an app, one must understand the critical differences between the two. Mobile apps and websites remain accessed from portable devices such as smartphones (for example, iPhone, Android. And Blackberry) and tablets.
A mobile website remains similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages linked together and accessed over the Internet (for mobile devices, typically Wi Fi or 3G or 4G networks). The prominent feature distinguishing a mobile website from a standard one is that it remains designed for a smaller handheld screen and touch screen interface. Responsive web design increasingly remains the new standard for mobile-friendly websites and can also scale to devices of any size, from desktops to handheld tablets and smartphones.
mobile website/responsive sites can show text content, data, images, and videos. They can also contact mobile-specific features such as click-to-call (to dial a telephone number) or location-based mapping.
Apps remain actual applications downloaded and installed on your mobile device rather than displayed in a browser. Users visit device-specific portals such as the Apple App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World to find and download apps for a particular operating system. The app can pull content and data from the Internet, similar to a website, or download the content to remain accessed without an Internet connection.
When deciding whether to build a native app or a mobile website, which option is right for you depends on your end goals. An app is probably your best option for developing an interactive game. But if your goal is to deliver mobile-friendly content to the broadest possible audience, then a mobile website is probably the way. In some cases, you may choose to need both a mobile website and a mobile app, but it’s pretty safe to say that it rarely makes sense to build an app without already having a mobile website.
I am generally speaking. A mobile website should be considered the first step in developing a mobile web presence. At the same time, an app helps develop an app for a particular purpose that cannot remain effectively achieved through a web browser.
If your goals relate primarily to marketing or public communications, a responsive/mobile website will almost always make sense as a practical first step in your mobile outreach strategy. This is because a mobile website has several advantages over apps. Including greater accessibility. Compatibility. And cost-effectiveness.
Users can now access a mobile website through a browser on various devices (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry. Etc.). On the other hand. Apps require the user to first download and install the app from an app market before the content or app can remain viewed. This remains a significant barrier between initial engagement and action/conversion.
A solo mobile website can reach users across many different mobile devices. While native apps require a separate version to remain developed for each device type. Additionally, mobile website URLs easily integrate with other mobile technologies. Such as SMS. QR codes. And Near Field Communication (NFC).
A mobile website remains much more dynamic than an app in terms of flexibility in updating content. If you want to change a mobile website’s design or content. Publish the edit once, and the changes will be visible immediately. On the other hand, updating an app requires updates to be pushed to users, which need to remain downloaded to update the app on each device.
An application or software application cannot remain directly accessed on the Internet. And instead. It must remain downloaded to a smartphone or tablet.
Mobile websites are responsive sites that automatically scale to fit the screen size of your viewer’s device.
The benefits of having an app are that it allows you to send push notifications to your customers (with their permission. Of course). And it can often remain used offline.
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