Choosing between a mobile app and a responsive website design can be a tough business decision. This is because the same customers that could potentially access your site on desktop computers or laptops could also connect with your brand on their mobile devices.
Apps have become a great medium for companies to reach out to their customers, same as websites. They are both extremely effective. So, which approach is better for your company? Before we delve into that, let’s make sure that we understand all of the different options.
Native Mobile Apps
Native applications are developed for specific operating systems such as Android and iOS. These apps are found in app market places such as Google Play and the App store. For example, the iPhone’s camera app is a native app for iOS devices.
A native app can function without an Internet connection, and makes good use of the operating system in the device. This creates a high-quality user experience. The drawback of going native is that it can be quite expensive to build. In addition, a user needs to actually download the app from the marketplace, which sort of creates a possible barrier with your audience. People are picky about the apps they keep on their smartphones.
A mobile websites, or sometimes referred to as a web app, is a website that functions very similar to a native app. It allows users to use swipe functionalities, tap buttons, etc. Unlike the native app, a web app is not stored in your device, and is instead accessed through the Internet.
Mobile apps allow your users to conveniently view your website on their smartphones and tablets through a regular web browser. However, they are limited because they are unable to deliver all the pages of your desktop website, thus limiting marketing and business opportunities. These types of sites also require different versions from different devices such as IOS and Android, which can increase costs.
Lastly, we have responsive design, an approach that can create a continuous user experience across a wide range of devices, regardless of model or operating system. It is the most efficient and cost effective option available if you are budget conscious.
Implementing a responsive design for your company’s website will automatically give you access to desktop, smartphone, and tablet users. This option automatically resizes and repositions the orientation of the display according to the specific device, as well as change the font and image sizes to give the users a smooth experience. This is all done from the same source code, which means that you can easily make changes to the whole site without updates or deployments.
Users can access your website through the Internet without needing to download an app. Updates and additions can be marketed quicker as you don’t have to worry about marketplace restrictions or regulations. Responsive designs are also more cost effective than hybrid or native apps, and can be scaled a lot easier.
Native apps and mobile sites deliver a truly unique mobile experience, as they are built for their specific operating systems. These options take full advantage of a device’s hardware and software capabilities. These types of design could fit your organization perfectly.
However, if you are limited on time, budget, or resources, then a responsive design is an efficient and effective option that can get the job done just as well.