noun: app; plural noun: apps
In the “old days”, businesses were content to have things like business cards, brochures and TV commercials. These were, and still are, extremely effective ways of getting your message and image in the public eye.
Then came www dot (insert business name here) dot com.
The internet. Websites. Google. Words like “analytics” and “pay-per-click”.
The way of doing business changed just like that (fingers snapping).
Now, with over 130 million people using smartphones, it’s easy to see why businesses understand the need to have a website that is easily accessible via a mobile device. With the advent of the iPad, iPhone, and Android devices, a new term came into the public awareness. App.
So what is an “app”?
An “app” is a software application that is written in the “native language” of a particular platform, such as an iPhone or an Android phone (think Angry Birds or Kindle app) This gives it some great advantages such as:
It also has disadvantages:
Then what is a Mobile Website?
A mobile website is one that has been optimized, or made “scaleable”, for mobile browsing on your phone or tablet. That is to say, it is not just a small version of your existing site, but one that looks normal when viewed on a mobile device. It is reached through a phone’s web browser directly. Some of the advantages to having a mobile site:
As with the app, there are disadvantages too:
Now for the big question. Do I really need an app?
For most business, the answer is probably no. Or at least, not yet.
It is generally much less expensive to develop a mobile website, especially if you have an existing website that can be made scaleable for mobile devices. Most people will tend to utilize a web search tool such as Google to find information (and ultimately, your site), not an app store.
With the incredible rise in technology, the speed of web access on a mobile device is growing, making mobile websites not only easy to find, but faster for the user to get detailed information.
And lets face it, the web is probably here for a while but operating platforms can be fleeting.
Apps have their niche in the mobile world, and are certainly worth investigating whether your business will benefit from one, but for the moment it’s a better investment to stick with the web.