Organizations should be clear on the difference between native mobile apps and a mobile website.
Ankeny, Iowa (PRWEB) August 21, 2012
For organizations considering developing a mobile app, QA Graphics can help determine whether a native mobile app or a mobile website will best fit their needs.
Organizations should be clear on the difference between native mobile apps and a mobile website. A native application is mobile phone software that is published in the online stores (App Store for iOS for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and Google Play (formally the Android Market) for Android devices). Then it is downloaded by users, to be stored and run locally on their device. A mobile website is accessed through a Web browser rather than downloaded. It is not available in the online app stores.
To help determine the right type for an organization’s needs, QA Graphics suggests a few things that should be considered:
Who: First off, who will benefit from the app? Identify whether it will be marketed to customers or the general public. Or if it will be used internally by sales staff, admin, etc. The audience is an important consideration when determining the right type of app and how it will be made available.
For example, if it’s to be marketed to the public, it can be made accessible through the web or downloadable from one of the online stores – App Store or Google Play (formally the Android Market). If the app is for internal use, it can also be installed directly on their mobile device, so internet access isn’t required. Employees can quickly access interactive sales tools, product demos or presentations out in the field to help streamline the sales and quoting process.
What: Next, what information or service will the application provide? Determine if the information is static or dynamic, and whether it will need to be updated frequently.
If great amounts of information need to be provided, different than what’s on the existing website, a mobile website is a better option. Education, news, or more detailed information can be presented in an easily accessible manner. For example, a restaurant could provide a full menu or nutritional information, or a company could provide training materials.
For a more interactive experience or a service that will benefit users, a native app will better fit the organization’s needs. For example, an app to make reservations, a tip calculator, custom weather reports, etc. To really get creative, offer a game or fun way to entertain and engage users.
Another consideration is whether the content will remain static or dynamic. If there is static content that would require significant updates, a mobile website allows those changes to be instantly reflected. Whereas with a native app the users must receive notification and download the updated version to see those changes. For example, if there are errors or bugs that require a new version to be released, a mobile website can just be updated. With a native app, the users will need to download the new version. For native apps, it can be a benefit to periodically release an updated version; this allows organizations to reconnect with users and stay fresh on their mind.
When: It must also be determined when this information should be accessible, and whether or not internet access will be required. If the main goal is to display online content, a mobile website is the best choice. If the content or service needs to be used offline at the user’s convenience, a native app is more optimal. If the native app has dynamic content, an internet connection will also be required.
Where: Last, but certainly not least, where should the app be made available? If the information will be found through an existing website, it must be a mobile website. If the app is to be available for download through the App Store for iOS for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, or Google Play (formally the Android Market) for Android devices, then it must be a native app.
Here’s a quick overview of the key differences between mobile websites vs. native apps.
Mobile Website Features:
Compatible with most mobile devices.
Through a web browser.
Changes are instantly reflected.
Performance is not as fast.
Usually less expensive.
Content will appear in online searches.
Native Mobile Application Features:
Different versions required for operating systems (iOS, Android, etc.).
Download and install through online store.
Internet is required if there is dynamic content.
Allows for increased engagement and interaction. Adds element of convenience.
Users must receive a notification and download the updated version.
Allows for personalization and customization.
May be more costly. *QA Graphics offers multi-platform solutions.
Content does not appear in online searches.
QA Graphics provides custom mobile application development for Apple iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) and Android devices. To learn more visit: http://www.qagraphics.com/multimedia/mobile-apps.html.
About QA Graphics
QA Graphics is an Iowa-based creative design company specializing in interactive applications, 3D design and animation, mobile app development and other multimedia. The company is also a leader in the building automation and green building industries, providing HVAC graphic development services and energy dashboards to help organizations educate occupants about building performance and sustainability. Learn more at http://www.qagraphics.com.