What does the mobile app need
App or mobile website?
Mobile website or app for smartphones
The origin of websites goes back to the early 90s. They were and still are created primarily for viewing on desktop PCs, i.e. for the office or home computer. Since 2007 there have also been smartphones like the iPhone or other types, websites have been optimized for viewing with these devices. That means in detail - you change the view from landscape to portrait format, display texts larger, adjust navigations and buttons in size, type & function, etc., because smartphones are mainly used in the vertical position.
A tablet PC, on the other hand, is used more horizontally, i.e. in landscape format, when it comes to viewing websites. If the user turns the device to a different position (horizontal / vertical), the website should adapt accordingly in the display. Not to forget the multitude of screen sizes that need to be considered. However, none of this changes the actual function of the website: namely to display content mainly in text and images.
An app can simply do more than just display text, images or videos.
Apps are small programs (applications) that are specially developed for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs. These programs can fall back on all technical requirements of the respective device type for which they were programmed. Apple's iOS and Google's Android system have become the standard. With these systems we cover almost 95% of all mobile devices.
So what can these apps do?
An app can access all the technical components of the end device: display, display touch function, headphone connection (audio output), loudspeaker, microphone, vibration mechanism, GPS sensor for location functions, internet connection, WiFi, camera
Example: A tourist can display the route from the train station to the museum as an active graphical route and, in addition to the destination, also sees his current position on a map. Even the exact number of meters that the tourist has to cover can be calculated. The app could now suggest using a taxi because the walk is too long. At the same time, the phone number for the nearest taxi company is displayed. The user confirms the call with a touch of a finger on the display and is chauffeured to the museum shortly afterwards.
Another example: Our tourist is still using the "take me to the museum app". He activates the smartphone's camera and aims at a building that has piqued his interest. The app recognizes the building and shows the tourist further information about this house, such as the year of construction, the history of the house, etc. Augmented Reality - the reality is thus expanded to include visual content.
Such complex services cannot be implemented with a website. Even in the mobile view on a smartphone, GPS positioning cannot be carried out and the device's camera cannot be used at all. It is and remains a website with the previously programmed functions. However, an app is specialized on the mobile device and uses all the technical requirements of this device, depending on its purpose. The presentation of content is only one of many possible functions of an app.
App functions even without a mobile internet connection
A website, also as a mobile view, will always need an internet connection. It cannot be reached without mobile internet. In rural areas in particular, the data network is not yet sufficiently developed, but it is a must for tourist destinations, for example! But even within large buildings such as shopping centers and similar reinforced concrete buildings, a mobile internet connection can hardly be achieved. Depending on the version, an app does not require a mobile internet connection, as content and functions are already stored on the end device. They therefore offer great independence.
Customer loyalty with the app - another and enormously important advantage
The app remains on the owner's device. This means that there is permanent contact between the user and the operator of the app. For example, so-called push notifications can immediately inform the user about news and offers from this app. For example, even if he is currently in the vicinity of the provider of a special offer.
Of course, the user can delete an app from his device at any time. But the more valuable an app is and the more useful an app has for the consumer or customer, the higher the chance of retaining them as a permanent user or customer. As app developers, we have access to extensive statistics and can make statements about how many users load the app, use it permanently, delete it, or carry out updates or app updates.
Customer loyalty through an app
At the beginning there may be a search process by the customer in the app store. Perhaps he also became aware of the associated app on a company website. Regardless of how the information came to the customer via this app, he must then download it from the store (Apple or Google) and install it on his end device. This relatively high initial effort that the user has, but also increases the inhibition threshold to delete the app again. This means that customer contact with an app is much closer than you could achieve with a website. A website can be found and accessed more quickly, but it can also be left and lost sight of.
There are several app variants: native apps, hybrid apps and mobile web apps.
Native apps contain all of the content, which means that content in words, images, audio, video and all other functions hardly requires a mobile data connection. Above all, they are optimized for the respective terminal system.
Hybrid apps are programs that work across platforms, i.e. on many types of end devices. However, no optimization can be guaranteed here and specialized functions are hardly possible. Mobile web apps only load content from the Internet and are more likely to be viewed as mobile websites with isolated scripts. Long loading times can occur here. The functionality hardly exceeds that of a website.
A mobile website display is of course still absolutely justified.
However, when it comes to displaying content coupled with complex functions, an app is the right choice.
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Advantages and disadvantages of a mobile website view
Advantages and disadvantages of an app
- enormous variety of functions (GPS, camera, push messages, WLAN, Internet, etc.)
- individual presentation of content
- there is no need for an internet connection
- high customer loyalty
- worldwide availability
- the app is always absolutely unique because of its name
- high image gain
- the app can pick up the existing content of a website and take it over cyclically
- absolute customer numbers / statistics
- Development costs exceed those of a website
- Depending on the target group, several systems may have to be taken into account
- lower development costs compared to an app
- Websites are displayed on almost all end devices, even if some with weaknesses or compromises
- permanently requires a mobile internet connection
- no special functions possible
- no image gain
- no high customer loyalty
- mobile view is almost 100% a representation of the content of the regular website
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