If you're planning to establish a mobile presence for your business or organisation one of the first considerations is whether you want to create a mobile application for users to download (app) or a traditional website, or perhaps both. These can look very similar at first-glance and determining which is most suited to your needs will depend upon a number of factors, including target audiences, budget, and what features you want.
So what’s the difference between the two? Apps are actual applications that are downloaded on to your mobile device. Users visit portals such as Apple’s App Store or Google Play in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. Apps can be made to run without any internet connection as well which can make them appealing.
A traditional website on the other hand can be made to respond to the size of the users device. They might be using a laptop or a web browser within their phone. The website will appear with all the features possible on the users device.
When it comes to deciding whether to build an app or a website, the most appropriate choice really depends on your end goals. If you are developing an interactive game an app is probably going to be your best option. However, if your goal is to offer mobile-friendly content to the widest possible audience then a website is probably the way to go. In some cases you may decide you need both an app and a website where people can input information at a later date - think of mobile banking apps you have on your phone.
As mobile use continues to grow worldwide, the “app vs web” question will remain a very real consideration for organisations seeking to establish a mobile presence. If your mobile goals are primarily marketing-driven, or if your aim is to deliver content and establish a broad mobile presence that can be easily maintained, shared between users, and found on search engines, then the a mobile-friendly responsive website is the logical choice.
On the other hand, if your goal is to provide a user experience that feels more like a gaming interface or a computer program than a website, or if you need access to a user's phone storage and native functions, then an app is probably going to be required.
As you consider your options don’t forget that the team here at Utopia have experience in designing and implementing apps and traditional websites. Contact us to discuss your needs and we can give you guidance on what can be achieved to meet your goals.