Mobile Website or App, their Differences and Benefits?

Smartphone and mobile device users access mobile websites and apps for specific tasks.  The distinction between the Mobile Websites and Apps dictates their usage and application.  Yet, the user uses these two terms interchangeably.  So, what is a Mobile Website and how does it differ from an App?

We will define of each of these two terms and then assess their advantages and disadvantages

A mobile website is similar to any other website accessed over the Internet.  The mobile website is distinguished from a standard website is by its device responsive design, so that it can fit within the small screen and touch-screen interface.  A great advantage of a mobile website is that it can work on any platform and can be readily updated as necessary.  A major disadvantage is a couple of steps that are required to bookmark the mobile website by the user.

Apps are software applications that are downloaded from an App Store and installed on your mobile device.  Once downloaded, the App, written in the ‘native’  language of a particular platform, can function independently and run with high performance.  The major advantage of an App is that it can be run efficiently and offline.  Major disadvantages of an App include its platform specificity and its static content, i.e., the content cannot be readily updated since it is stored on your mobile device.

Which is better? an App or a Mobile Website?  It depends on the specific application.  For an application such as a game, where data is relatively static, an app will be the optimal choice.  But, for data that is continuously changing, such as a directory, a mobile website is the best option.  Is it possible to combine the best features of a mobile website and an app for a given application? We’ll consider this option in our next blog.