Similarity between mobile web and mobile app & the Differences : Which will suit your Business
While mobile applications (apps) and mobile websites (also known as Web Apps) are both used on the same media (smartphones and tablets), they are very different in their functionality.
A mobile app is a programme that can be downloaded and installed onto a user’s mobile device, whereas a mobile website is simply a website that has been optimised for tablet and smartphone display sizes and formats.
Mobile applications( Mobile Apps) and mobile websites (Mobile web)- Similarities
Both approaches have their advantages, so sooner or later the idea of unifying those into a synergic hybrid technology had to emerge.
As a balancing act for the two, developers attempted something called hybrid cross-platform mobile development.
In a nutshell, it’s web development using special technologies to make a web application run in a wrapper and serve not as a mobile version of a web app but as a standalone application.
Just like a normal app, you download those apps on App Store or Google Play, they require installation, but are also accessible from a browser, and have a separate icon.
The key difference is that hybrid apps are hosted inside a native application that utilizes a mobile OS’s webview.
The idea that general capabilities of any mobile OS include similar browser behaviour, there has to be no problem converting hybrid apps for any OS by means of customizable wrappers.
One of the most popular technologies in hybrid cross-platform development is Apache Cordova.
The web-view of a mobile application runs the mobile version of a web app. The device’s native capabilities like camera, sensors, buttons, etc. are triggered by the Cordova API.
Check out LinkedIn’s article about their attempts to build a viable mobile experience using HTML5. Something they call The Native/Web Messaging Bridge and WebSockets.
Why Go Hybrid
The obvious pros of native speak for themselves, but there is a chance to blur the edges and make use of developers’ existing skills in web development.
Developers generally don’t like to be constrained by the limitations of proprietary platforms. Instead, they want to leverage the best of their ability to compile and invent.
In that sense, hybrid is an attractive business approach.
At the same time, Android’s version inconsistency and Apple’s innovations from version to version impose a lot of responsibility on hybrid app developers in terms of staying relevant and being able to take into account all the variables.
Perspectives Of Hybrid
The alternative approach is nowadays being extensively studied with a view to discover whether there are ways to reach the all-round potential of hybrid development and develop heavy-duty native apps without learning the intricacies of native dev tools, but using some sort of flexible, versatile, and conventional technologies.
For example, the NativeScript framework is capable of building iOS and Android apps that utilize the iOS/Android APIs and web-view to leverage performance.
With NativeScript you can also ditch the plugins that might cripple the potential of a hybrid application.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter to the end user which type of app they are using as long as it does what it’s supposed to.
To illustrate this thought, here are the examples of some of the super successful hybrid apps:
A Quick Navigation
Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Web- Similarities
As the businesses struggle to find out the best method to reach the target audience, connect with them, & serve them, both mobile website & mobile apps have their say.
Though, these are two different means to connect with audience & entertain them, they have some inherent similarities too.
So, when it comes to choosing between the mobile web & mobile app, you need to go through both similarities & dissimilarities. In this question, I am focusing on the similarities only.
1. Both are accessible on mobile devices which is a great craze these days.
You can even access them while you are on the move through smartphones, Tablets, & other mobile devices.
2. Both are accessible over internet. So, whether you have a mobile web or mobile app both connect with internet to fetch information & capture information.
3. They have visual similarities. They have smaller fonts, fewer page elements, & comparatively less white spaces in comparison to full blown applications & websites.
4. With mobile web & also with mobile apps you can reach a wide audience base.
5. They are scaled & optimized for mobile devices.
6. Both may be used for sharing information with the audience.
7. They are of adequate size on the smaller screen & you can navigate them using touch & other elements of the mobile.
8. Both are useful for public campaign & marketing endeavours in their own way.
Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Web-The Differences
Both have different method of gaining access
A mobile website is accessed through an internet browser by typing the website’s URL into the navigation bar of the browser on the device being used.
This means that there is no need to download anything. However, in order to gain access, you will need to have an internet connection.
A mobile application must be downloaded from either an online store such as the app store or Google Play, or from a mobile device itself.
The application is then downloaded and stored on the smartphone or tablet, and in most cases, it does not require an internet connection in order to function properly.
Both have different Purpose
A mobile app, on the other hand, remains on the user’s smartphone, making it ideal for frequent and repetitive use.
As a result, it meets a specific need while simultaneously increasing customer loyalty.
While a mobile website is designed for mobile communication with the purpose of informing (large audience, large time window), or for specific events and promotion, a mobile app is designed for mobile communication with the purpose of selling (targeted audience, limited time window).
They both have Various configurations for updating
An update to a mobile website takes place without the user being aware of it. It is an online process that has been automated.
Users of mobile applications, on the other hand, are required to download and authorise each update.
The frustration level of users is rising, while the level of company flexibility is decreasing.
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Mobile Apps Vs. Mobile Web
Similarities & Differences between websites and mobile apps
- You can develop apps such as websites if you are using hybrid technologies.
- If you go for native, it is complex technologies.
- You need to work with databases.
- Screens not pages.
- When an app is shipped… it is shipped.
- An app can work offline.
- Tracking users in real time is hard because it is consuming a lot of battery.
Mobile Website vs. Mobile App: Which is Best for Your Organization?
Treating your website as if it were a fixed asset helps to improve the balance sheet of your company.
It also implies that you will not be required to deduct the cost of developing the website from your profits for the first year.
Of course, this isn’t something that everyone is interested in doing.
When it comes to website development, for example, there will be instances where it makes more sense to include the cost of the website in your profit and loss statement.
That is a judgement that only you and your accountant can make based on your own circumstances.
The main thing to remember is that you have a variety of options dependent on the long-term usefulness of the website to your organisation.
Which is more effective: an app or a mobile (responsive) website?
When deciding whether to build a native app or a mobile website, the best option really depends on your end goals.
If you’re creating an interactive game, an app is probably your best bet.
However, if your goal is to provide mobile-friendly content to as many people as possible, a mobile website is probably the best way to go.
In some cases, you may decide that you need both a mobile website and a mobile app, but it’s pretty safe to say that building an app without first having a mobile website in place is almost never a good idea.
In general, a mobile website should be considered your first step in developing a mobile web presence, whereas an app is useful for developing an application for a very specific purpose that cannot be accomplished effectively through a web browser.
The Benefits of a Mobile Website Over a Native App
The Benefits of a Mobile Website vs. Native Apps
If your primary goals are marketing or public relations, a mobile/responsive website will almost always make sense as a practical first step in your mobile outreach strategy.
This is due to the fact that a mobile website has several inherent advantages over apps, such as greater accessibility, compatibility, and cost-effectiveness.
Check Immediacy – Mobile Websites Are Available Immediately
A mobile website is instantly accessible to users across a variety of devices via a browser (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc).
Apps, on the other hand, necessitate the user downloading and installing the app from an app marketplace before viewing the content or application – a significant barrier between initial engagement and action/conversion.
Check Compatibility – Mobile Websites Are Device Compatible
A single mobile website can reach users on a wide range of mobile devices, whereas native apps necessitate the development of a separate version for each type of device.
Furthermore, mobile website URLs can be easily integrated into other mobile technologies like SMS, QR Codes, and near field communication (NFC).
Examine Upgradability – Mobile Websites Can Be Instantly Updated
In terms of content updating flexibility, a mobile website is far more dynamic than an app.
If you want to change the design or content of a mobile website, you simply publish the edit once and the changes are immediately visible; updating an app, on the other hand, requires the updates to be pushed to users, who must then download the app in order to update it on each type of device.
Check Findability – Mobile Websites Are Easily Found
Because their pages can be displayed in search results and listed in industry-specific directories, mobile websites are much easier for users to find, making it easy for qualified visitors to find you.
Most importantly, visitors to your regular website can be automatically redirected to your mobile site if they are using a handheld device (using device-detection). App visibility, on the other hand, is largely limited to manufacturer app stores.
Check Shareability – Publishers and users can easily share mobile websites.
A simple link allows users to easily share mobile website URLs (e.g. within an email or text message, Facebook or Twitter post). Publishers can easily direct users to a mobile website from their blog, website, or even print. An app cannot be shared in this manner.
Check Reach – Mobile Websites Have a Wider Audience
A mobile website has far greater reach capability than a native app because it is accessible across platforms and can be easily shared among users as well as search engines.
Check LifeCycle – It Is Not Possible to Remove Mobile Websites
According to some research, the average shelf-life of an app is less than 30 days, so unless your app is truly unique and/or useful (ideally, both), it’s questionable how long it will last on a user’s device. Mobile websites, on the other hand, are always accessible and ready for users to return to.
A mobile website can function as an app!
Mobile websites, like standard websites, can be created as database-driven web applications that function similarly to native apps. A mobile web application can be a cost-effective alternative to developing a native app.
Check Time and Cost – Mobile Websites are Easier and Cheaper
Last but not least, developing a mobile website takes far less time and money than developing a native app, especially if you need to be present on multiple platforms (requiring development of multiple apps).
CheckSupport and Upkeep
The investment considerations of app vs website do not end with the initial launch; properly supporting and maintaining an app (upgrades, testing, compatibility issues, and ongoing development) is much more expensive and involved over time than supporting a website.
When Is an App Necessary?
Despite the many inherent advantages of the mobile web, apps remain very popular, and there are a number of specific use scenarios where an app is the best choice. In general, an app makes sense if you require one of the following:
Interactivity/Gaming – For highly interactive games (think Angry Birds), an app is likely to be your best option, at least for the time being.
For simpler games (such as puzzles), there may be less of a difference in user experience between a browser-based version and a native app.
Regular Usage/Personalization – If your target users are going to use your app in a personalised manner on a regular basis (think EverNote, Facebook, online Banking), then a native app is a great way to do so that is easily accessible in almost all scenarios.
Complex Calculations or Reporting with Visualization – If you need something that will take data and allow you to manipulate it with complex calculations, charts, or reports (think financial or scientific tools), an app will be extremely useful.
Native Functionality or Processing Required – Mobile web browsers are getting better at accessing mobile-specific functions like click-to-call, SMS, device libraries, and GPS functions. However, if you need to access a user’s camera or processing power, an app will do so far more efficiently.
Push Notifications – One of the inherent capabilities of apps is the ability to send push notifications to users who have the app installed on their device, allowing app publishers to send messaging directly to users.
Of course, this assumes that the user has enabled the app to send push notifications in their settings (not everyone does).
It’s also worth noting that many browsers now support web-based push notifications, which allows website owners to send notifications to visitors who opt-in on both desktop and compatible mobile devices.
No Internet Connection Required – If you need to provide offline access to content or perform functions without a network/wireless connection, an app makes sense because it can store data locally and then upload it once a connection is established.
When developing an app, you want to ensure that you are getting the best return on your investment, just like you would with any other project.
What you want to avoid at all costs is the unnecessary and costly exercise of developing an app to do something simple that can be accomplished with a mobile website.
The dilemma of “app vs web” will remain relevant for firms seeking a mobile presence. A mobile-friendly responsive website is the obvious choice if your mobile goals are primarily marketing-driven.
A user experience that feels more like a game or computer programme than a website is likely to require an app, as is access to a user’s phone storage and native features.
A mobile/responsive website and a native app are not mutually exclusive. Many companies have both a mobile-friendly public website and a downloadable native app to meet specific needs. Choosing the correct instrument for the job is crucial.