Mobile websites and mobile apps(applications) are very different although both are used on the same mediums (tablets and smartphones). Both mobile websites and apps can be accessed on hand held devices used by us, but the pattern of usage is still not the same. A mobile website is simply a page adapted to smartphones and tablet formats, whereas a mobile app is a program that is installed after downloading onto compatible device. But what exactly are the differences between a Mobile Website and an App?
A mobile website is not something new, and it is the same regular website which we see on our computer or laptop. However, the one we see in our phones is scaled version of the same website to fit in our smart phone and iPad size. The obvious characters are different in mobile website due to touch-screen interface, and smaller handheld display. It is designed a little different from standard website due to these reasons. Like any website, mobile websites incorporates video, images, data, and text content. Mobile related features are also added in few websites such as location based mapping and click to call feature.
On the other hand, mobile apps are application of installed and downloaded program. They are not rendered within a browser, and it comes with its own screen and features. An app caters a specific need of a user, and it fulfills a purpose and stays with the user for longer time. Its use is more frequent than mobile websites. Users can download their need based apps from device specific portals such as Blackberry App World, Android Market, and Apple’s App Store. Here are some specific differences between the two:
3 Main Differences
1. Means of Access
- A mobile websites also called web apps can be accessed through available internet browser in your phone. The navigation bar lets you type the website’s URL and takes you to the desired website by hitting a tab. No download is required, but an internet connection will be needed to gain access.
- A Mobile Application cannot be used without downloading it, so it must be downloaded first from an online store. After application being saved on the tablet or smartphone, it can be used with and without internet connection depending on the features.
- The purpose of a mobile app depends on the user’s interest. It remains in the smartphone until manually deleted by user. It means it is considered ideal for repeated and frequent use. Each mobile application caters a specific need of a user, hence increases customer loyalty with its regular usage.
- A web app on the other hand is more of an information source for larger window and audience. Any person owning a smart phone can get information from certain website related to specific promotion, event etc. Web app has contributed a lot in bringing ease by providing information anywhere, everywhere (internet connection should be available).
3. Updating Setups
- A mobile website is updated automatically without user realizing it. It is an online process, and it does not undertake customer’s suggestions.
- For mobile apps, users are asked to authorize and download each update. It not only reduces company’s flexibility, but also increases frustration.