The boom for mobile devices has been happening for a few years, and it seems that it’s slowly turning into a permanent trend. More and more Internet users are connecting to the network employing a smartphone or tablet, which forces the creation of solutions adapted to the limited functionality and little displays of those gadgets. There are three new creations: a mobile website, a phone application, and a responsive website. How are they different from each other? Which of them must you opt to promote yourself online and not lose the interest of Internet users? Let’s check.
A mobile website could be a website created specifically for mobile devices. When designing such a structure, it’s crucial to require into account:
the size of the display (in the case of smartphones, usually approx. 4 inches),
limited connection speed (mobile internet is sometimes slower than a permanent connection),
touch operation – buttons must be large enough and placed at appropriate distances from others, so the user has no problems with clicking,
the browser and mobile system – devices with Android, iOS, and Windows Phone dominate at this time,
technologies supported by the mobile device – smartphones can have severe problems with flash technology and movie playback, which must be considered.
A mobile website usually (but not always!) It has limited functionality compared to its standard version. Users of mobile devices appreciate the minimalism of form, because of which they’ll easily browse helpful content. A more modern and, at the same time, better option for everybody could be a responsive website. It’s a complicated website that recognizes the device downloading it and adapts to its capabilities – it’s mainly about changing the resolution. A responsive website allows you to avoid wasting lots of trouble when designing – one, universal version of the website is formed, without making separate variants for various resolutions and devices.
Applications for the Phone – for whom?
Who is going to be more beneficial to a mobile application than a mobile website? This is often quite a difficult question. There are many variables to consider-for example, whether an internet site is updated frequently (e.g., a news portal) or whether less frequent improvements will suffice. Another thing is the nature of the service – if you’re talking about something frequently used, where you wish an account, then a phone application is also the most effective solution. An example could be a banking website or a portal where you’ll quickly check the most superficial connections publicly transport. For infrequent searches only, a mobile website could be a better idea.
Going further – if the project requires the utilization of native functions of a smartphone or tablet, like a camera, calendar or GPS, then a complicated phone application is better. The camera may be necessary for programs supported by augmented reality technology and GPS for determining the position on a map for a navigation application – although geolocation is additionally setting out to be utilized by mobile websites. Another situation where phone apps have a foothold is when using offline data. If you wish to permit the recipient to look at specific content without a web connection – e.g., cinema repertoire – choose an app that may download the required data only if the Phone is online. Users can appreciate such an answer.
Phone applications, unfortunately, have serious drawbacks. As already mentioned, the existence of the applying is justified by its usefulness, the features it offers. In practice, it happens that developers overestimate the magic of mobile software and build something that duplicates the functions of a mobile website. Which doesn’t make any sense – who will bother to download (let alone buy), install and run the appliance once they can get the identical information and functions with just some clicks within the browser? Another thing is that they must promote the application for the Phone – if you do not advertise it effectively, it’ll be lost within the maze of tens of thousands of programmers within the AppStore or Google Play.
Application and mobile website – an ideal combination
The truth always lies somewhere within the middle – and during this case, that old adage has been confirmed. So it seems that the universal idea is the coexistence of a phone application with a mobile website made in responsive technology. The purpose here is to place the stress on the website, and treat the phone application as an addition, an extension of functions. A separate mobile program will be created either permanently (as in the sports application’s case) or as part of a brief campaign (e.g., associated with an occasion or promotion of a selected product). This can be an affordable solution, but it should be approached rationally – if the character of the service doesn’t require the requirement to form a separate application for the Phone, there’s no point in doing it. In such a situation, it’s an unnecessary expense – both for creating the program and its promotion. Better to specialize in mobile website development.