Mobile usage has been increasing over the past few years and is here to stay. As it represents such an important part of our lives, we know it’s not something to be ignored. In this write-up and following infographic, you will get a clearer overview of the differences between mobile apps and mobile websites, including which would be more appropriate for you, from our point of view at Apiumhub.
Here I am not talking about web development. When we talk about mobile websites, we are basically talking about a website that fits the screen of mobile devices and that is designed for touchscreen devices. In fact, like any other website, a mobile website is accessed with a browser (Safari, Chrome, etc.) through the Internet. The main difference would be the fact that everything that is displayed (images, videos, text content, etc.) will be adapted to the screen of a mobile phone, tablet, etc. Another characteristic is that, through a mobile website, you can have access to a few features of the mobile phone or device, as for example placing a call.
One of the main differences between mobile websites and mobile apps is that a mobile app is purchased on an app store, downloaded and then installed on a device, while the mobile website is accessed through the browser. In mobile app development, you’ve got native and hybrid apps.
- Native app: A native app is developed specifically for one platform, like iOS or Android. It takes full advantage of the device’s features (camera, GPS, contacts, etc.).
Now that we know what the difference is between a mobile app and mobile website, why don’t we figure out how to choose between those two? So let’s get down to business!
Mobile App vs. Mobile Website
What You Should Take Into Account
- Your goals: What are you building? What is your product and what is its purpose? What is your mission and vision?
- Audience: Who are you trying to reach?
- Budget: What is your budget, how much are you willing/able to pay?
Advantages of a Mobile Website
- Convenience: Users won’t need to download it, it is directly accessible from their browser.
- Compatibility: Easily accessible on any device that has a browser, regardless its operating system.
- Flexibility: You just need to update the content on your website, it will immediately be visible.
- Pricing and easiness: It is much easier and cheaper to develop a mobile website.
Advantages of a Mobile App
- Regularity: If the app will be used on a regular basis, like WhatsApp or Gmail, having an app is much more convenient, and it's easier to increase engagement and send notifications.
- Internet: If you want your user to be able to access the functions of your app without being connected online, a mobile app is needed. Let’s take the example of Babbel, which enables you to download lessons and then access them offline.
- Functionality: If it's a more complex product and you want to have access to certain functionalities of the device, go for a mobile app.
- Gaming: If you plan on providing your users with a gaming experience or something interactive.