Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites

Posted by Matt Milloway on Nov 15, 2012

Mobile apps and mobile websites represent two extremely popular methods of displaying content to users on smartphone and tablets. As a complete solutions provider, AppBurst offers both mobile apps and mobile websites to our clients, ensuring each and every user can easily access important content. Yet our focus remains on building high-quality, native iPhone mobile apps, iPad mobile apps, and Android mobile apps.

The reasoning is simple; as of September 2012, approximately 87% of mobile users in the United States use either Google or Apple’s platform (comScore report). Furthermore, native apps provide many benefits over mobile websites in terms of a stronger feature set, better reliability, and a superior user interface -- all of which can be provided to the vast majority of your user base. While a mobile website is always a great idea to give users a single location to access basic content regardless of his or her device, the following differences in mobile apps vs mobile websites will illuminate the important benefits of mobile apps as a method to provide engaging content to your user base.

Mobile App vs Mobile Website: Features

Mobile apps are able to take better advantage of a device's built-in features, such as cameras and location services, while also tapping into a device’s existing programs such as email clients and social media sharing. Native, downloadable apps also have a significant advantage in displaying various types of multimedia including videos, podcast, and PDFs. Media can even be downloaded to a user’s device during the initial install, enabling users to enjoy quick and easy access to a host of content. Mobile websites, on the other hand, cannot easily utilize the existing features of a phone or tablet. The user interface is relatively static and cannot easily integrate with other apps, resulting in less interactive features to engage your user base. 

Reliability of Mobile Apps vs Mobile Websites

A mobile website must be accessed through a web browser and requires a constant internet connection. The performance is slower as a result, and areas with limited wifi connectivity or spotty cell reception will pose a challenge to users attempting to access the site. Mobile apps, however, are downloaded to a user’s device and perform much faster and more reliably as a result. A majority of the application’s content is typically downloaded upon install -- mitigating the need for a consistent internet connection, while making interaction with the app a seamless experience. 

Design Differences in Mobile Websites & Mobile Apps

As most users will be viewing the app or mobile website on a phone or tablet, it is important to keep in mind the significant difference in design quality. At AppBurst, we build native apps to accommodate the differences between iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. A user will instantly feel at home with the "look and feel" of the app, as each version of the app is optimized for the specific device. In other words, an iPad app is HD-optimized and takes full advantage of the larger screen space to provide users with the best experience possible. Mobile websites are not optimized per device and subsequently provide a very generic user interface limited in its design and functionality.

The Final Verdict

Mobile apps will ultimately provide the most engaging, reliable experience to your user base. While it’s true mobile apps require an approval process before publishing in Apple’s AppStore and Google Play, we handle the entire process and have years of experience building high-quality, engaging mobile apps that are approved and ready to promote to your user base in a timely manner. 

Contact us for more details on our pain-free development process and how a mobile app can greatly benefit your company or organization. AppBurst is a mobile application development company located in Palm Beach County, Florida.