With the advent of mobile devices and the availability of the high-speed Internet, people nowadays tend to browse the Internet with the help of smartphones, tablets, and other similar mobile devices. People no longer have to sit in front of their desktop computers and wait for the dial-up connection to access the Internet! Nowadays, people can socialize, make purchases, and voice their opinions even through mobile devices. All you need to do is download a suitable mobile application corresponding to your preferred social media platform. People also prefer to make purchases using various e-commerce portals. However, certain features that distinguish mobile applications and mobile websites, and some of these have been discussed below.
As telecommunications technology has advanced, so has the method of accessing the Internet and, subsequently, human behavior towards information technology. E-commerce portals and other similar online platforms are migrating towards the development of mobile applications or ‘mobile apps’ as these are commonly known. Companies that do not wish to invest in developing mobile apps, at least develop mobile websites. All business organizations nowadays are keen on developing mobile applications and mobile sites to help clients access the services and facilities offered by the respective firms with ease. These mobile applications and Internet sites provide business organizations with greater market visibility.
The appearance of a mobile app is different from that of a mobile site. A mobile application has to be designed differently from a mobile website. For a mobile website, all you need to do is optimize the web pages to make it easier for users to see these on a smaller screen. However, mobile apps more precise and offer more excellent navigability. Mobile websites do not provide the same images and flexibility of navigation as a mobile application. Say, for instance, you want to purchase something from an e-commerce portal. One thing you can do is download the mobile app from Google Play Store, Windows, or Apple store, depending on whether you are using an Android or an iOS device. After you have downloaded the application install it on your smartphone. Once the installation is completed, you can open the app and quickly check out the product you wish to purchase. The images and the interface are so user-friendly that you can even place an order for the product directly from the mobile app. However, while you are checking the product, you will find that the image has been optimized in such a manner so that you can view it within a small screen. If you were to open the company’s mobile website, then you will find that the optimization has been done differently. Mobile Internet sites use the same HTML pages that are consistent with the standard Internet browser. Hence, the appearance of the page will be similar to that of a webpage. Sometimes these are optimized to fit the screen size. Thus, there is a difference between the appearance of a mobile application and a mobile website.
Mobile applications provide a more compact view, which makes it possible for clients to navigate the entire app with ease. The interfaces of mobile apps are developed in such a manner that these are more user-friendly than mobile websites. You can use the filter options to access precisely the item that you are looking for and purchase it. Similarly, for social media platforms, there will be separate options provided, which will take you directly to the page you wish to visit. When it comes to mobile websites, then you have to check the specific options and click on the links accordingly. Most social media platforms have mobile web sites as well as applications. People nowadays prefer to access social media platforms through mobile apps because of the user-friendly Graphical User Interface (GUI). However, if you were to check the mobile website, you would find that navigating it is much more difficult in comparison to mobile applications. A mobile web site would have an appearance similar to a regular or standard webpage but only optimized to the size of a mobile phone. If you try to increase the size of the image, sometimes the image pixelates, making it difficult to view the image. However, that is not the case with mobile applications. The size of the photos can be easily increased to make it easier for you to view the image. Similarly, if you were to check out multiple images, then all you need to do is scroll down or follow the instructions provided by the application. This makes a mobile app more user-friendly than a mobile website.
The cost of developing a mobile application is more than that of a mobile web site. A mobile app is a cost-effective solution only if you are sure that your app will be visible across various social media platforms. Additionally, it is quite expensive to develop and maintain a mobile application. You will have to keep upgrading and updating the app.
In comparison to a mobile app, a mobile website is easier to maintain and is less expensive. Once the web site is developed, you will have to maintain a single website. If required, you can keep adding additional pages, but it is not necessary to keep upgrading the site. For a mobile application, you need to continuously keep updating the texts, images, and videos available on the app. But with mobile websites, such as up-gradation or maintenance, is not necessary. The pictures on mobile applications should be upgraded to ensure maximum visibility. Moreover, the images should be designed in such a manner that clients are easily able to understand the products sold by your firm by viewing it within the small screen of a smartphone.
Say, for instance, your company offers area-specific services, or you are developing a social networking platform. Then you will have to keep upgrading the geographical navigational facilities regularly. This should be visible through the images displayed on the mobile application. Your clients should easily be able to understand the areas in which your company offers its service.
Additionally, when you develop a mobile application, you will have to design separate versions that can be accessed through Google Play Store, Windows, and Apple Store. The applications have to be developed, and the images, navigational facilities have to be upgraded depending on the operating system of the mobile device. Thus, designing two or three separate versions for the same mobile application can prove to be quite expensive. Hence, unless you are sure of the revenue and visibility you hope to achieve after the launching of mobile apps, you could consider developing a mobile website for your company.
Thus, there are many advantages to mobile websites and mobile applications. Similarly, both of these have certain disadvantages as well. For example, developing a mobile app is more expensive than developing a mobile website. Nevertheless, if you take into consideration navigability, graphical user interface, and image resolution, then a mobile application is better than a mobile web site.