CEO Talk: Should We Build a Mobile App or Mobile Website?

Harness one the greatest opportunities of our decade by choosing the right development path for your small business.

Mobile Website: In comparison, if your company already has a website it may just need some tweaking to become mobile optimized. And with a mobile site, you don’t need to submit it to the app stores for approval. If you build a mobile website once, it can run on nearly all devices with no additional work required (assuming you stick to proper W3C standards).

With the emergence of HTML5, the mobile website is more powerful than ever. It can now access nearly all advanced features of mobile devices, like the accelerometer to see if the device is being tilted, and the GPS to see where the device is currently located.

One important advantage in choosing a mobile (responsive) website is that you can always build a native app that “wraps” the mobile website and simply displays the screens you’ve already built. This is a less expensive variant of building a customized native app and it gets you a place in the app store.

And the Winner Is…

If your business is on a tight budget or a short time frame, then a mobile website is going to be the best fit. Furthermore, if you just want to be in the app store, and you don’t care about the speed or advanced UI features available through the native app, you can build an app that “wraps” your mobile website and you get best of both worlds.

In comparison, if you’re looking to build a very customized or CPU intensive user experience, the you should stick with a mobile app. Don’t underestimate the power of being in the app store and having a direct presence on the “deck” of your users mobile devices.

“Today’s real-time world of app development allows teams to distribute an application on Android instantaneously, and a week later, show up in the Apple App Store.”

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Photo: Blanco

Robert Patrick is Founder and chief architect of PhD Labs, a Southern California company that specializes in social media, mobile applications and web development solutions.




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