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Mobile App vs. Mobile Website: Which Is Right for You? [Infographic]

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Mobile App vs. Mobile Website: Which Is Right for You? [Infographic]

If you're looking for interactivity or offline accessibility, go with an app. If you're looking for something flexible and affordable, stick with a site. See the logic.

· Mobile Zone
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Download this comprehensive Mobile Testing Reference Guide to help prioritize which mobile devices and OSs to test against, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

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


Mobile Website


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. 


Mobile App


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.). 
  • Hybrid app: A hybrid app, as its name implies, is a combination of both elements of native and mobile websites. It’s basically a mobile website that is built with web technologies like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS and then put into a native container. The hybrid app will, therefore, have access to some features of the device (camera, contacts, GPS, etc.), things that are not allowed through mobile browsers. The performance and speed won’t be as high as a native app. 

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. 


An Infographical Breakdown


Image title

Analysts agree that a mix of emulators/simulators and real devices are necessary to optimize your mobile app testing - learn more in this white paper, brought to you in partnership with Sauce Labs.

Topics:
mobile app ,mobile ,mobile website

Published at DZone with permission of Lea Maya Karam. See the original article here.

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