Websites vs Apps - what I recommend
September 04, 2015
With the increasing number of ways to get your information into the digital world, it’s important to know the best one for you. Choosing between web, social media, print, apps etc can be confusing, so this article will discuss the benefits of websites vs apps, some of the most popular digital platforms.
To make an informed decision on which platform to go for, we must compare the difference. Websites are great for showing information and leveraging the power of a desktop or laptop computer, which are often more powerful than even the latest mobile devices. They also typically have larger screens so can show more information in one view.
Apps are great for holding information for the user to view on the go, and perhaps without an internet connection, but the main advantage an app has over a website is it’s native functionality. Apps can make use of a mobile device’s native features which include the camera, accelerometer, contact list, image library etc, all of which desktop and laptop computers can’t use as effectively, if at all.
In recent years the lines between apps and websites have been slightly blurred due to the massive increase in mobile friendly websites, which can often emulate apps to save time and money for businesses. There are even software packages/frameworks to make hybrid apps such as Phonegap and Sencha Touch which enable mobile websites to act like apps by accessing native features of a device. As you can see, the options grow even more.
Businesses want to look like they’re at the forefront of innovation and that they’re following the latest trends, but I’ll often advise against this. In my opinion, it’s not worth having an app developed if the same end product can be achieved from a website. For example, an app which enables a user to share the photos on their device with their social media accounts is a good use of an app, whereas showing a brochure style product catalogue is more suitable for a website.
Senior web developer at indigoRiver