Native Mobile Apps Vs Mobile Web Apps You Should Know
As more and more intelligent mobile phones are sold, the buzz around mobile applications is increasingly high. So every business should rush and get a mobile application developed - right? The low down on mobile applications and mobile sites.
Mobile applications are essentially small applications that you download and run on your feature phone or smartphone. An application will run locally on your device and may or may not access services on the web to refresh and update the content that is displayed. However, a mobile website is basically a stripped down version of a normal website that is optimized for the smaller display area which is long typical phones and smart phones. Mobile websites are usually accessible via a browser application on your device.
What should I choose for my business?
Well, for starters, mobile apps are cool and thanks to the iPhone and Google Android Apple application store, they are easier than ever to access and download. You will need to develop a different version of your application for each mobile operating system much good - about 4 or 5 people at the time.
On the other hand, a properly designed mobile site can be viewed on virtually any mobile phone that has Internet access. You can not do much with them as you would an application, because they depend on web technologies and have access to all the features integrated into an application running natively on your device fancy - things like camera, GPS module, the address book. There's always a catch. The best choice will depend on your business. Public. Budget.
I really need a mobile application or mobile website?
Before you begin, it is worth writing your list of reasons for the creation of a mobile application or mobile website for your business. You try to create a new potential source of revenue? You are targeting other businesses or consumers? As customers to access their existing products and services? Does your product or display interactive content will be used as a portal static information? How often will you update the content?
What type of content will show you? You will need an Internet connection?
We could go on and on, but ultimately, it's not a question of whether you need a mobile website or a mobile application. If you do not have a website or are in the middle of building one, ask your web developer to build so it will optmised mobile. If your existing site is relatively static but wants to improve their online presence and get the benefits of mobile advertising, consider a mobile site. Site visitors coming from clicks on mobile ads will have a good first impression of your company when they are presented with easy to read well formatted information to your mobile phone.
If your product is for fun, very interactive, is designed as an independent marketing tool and revenue generator, is designed to be used offline, or forcing users to regularly access large video files or media probably makes more sense to get off the mobile route.
Who is the audience for my mobile application or mobile website?
When speaking in public, we refer to two very different ideas - the target market for your business and the total number of people who can actually access mobile applications and optimized mobile sites.
First, think about your existing customer base and how they currently interact with your business through your website, RSS, Facebook and LinkedIn profile. Since smart phones will become increasingly widespread, an application or a mobile website will give you a good platform to build relationships with existing customers and expand their reach to a population that is becoming increasingly mobile.
If your main goal is to increase the profile and presence in the mobile space, it is a good idea to start taking advantage of existing technologies. Bottom line - best to ensure that all link pages to your social media sites load quickly, displaying relevant information, and look good on the phone.
The main advantage of a mobile site is its vast audience. A site that is properly optimized for mobile phone should display well on most feature phones and smart phones that are web-enabled. The applications are mainly confined to smartphones, your target audience is limited to phones or platform (s) of your application is designed to run on and the percentage of people who actively use each platform.
How much should I budget for a mobile application or mobile website?
Answer: How long is a piece of string? If your website is based on WordPress or a similar system of content management, may be free or inexpensive plugins available to view pages optimized for mobile phones. If your main site is built using the latest technologies such as XHTML and CSS, optimize it for mobile should not be so difficult or expensive, assuming it has a more static content. If it has more dynamic content, with lots of bells and whistles, do not be tempted to simply replicate each page. Limit your website pages to be well transferred on small mobile screens.
In the next mobile application, costs can range from hundreds to tens of thousands depending on the complexity of the application and the number of platforms that will be developed for. There are web sites where you can create basic applications for free, but they will normally be limited to a predefined set of templates that allow minimal changes.