Building a Mobile App vs Optimizing for a Mobile Website

by | Feb 5, 2020

As the usage of mobile devices continues to grow, companies need to adapt and find alternative ways to reach their customers. Nowadays, mobile phones have become an integrated part of everyone’s life and have brought up an important question for companies. With everyone inseparable from their mobile phones, do you need to build a mobile app for your web application? Or is it being mobile-friendly enough?

As a self-taught web and mobile app developer, I can tell you that knowing if you’re going to make a web app mobile-friendly or create a custom mobile app from the start will make your life much easier. Choosing the appropriate route for your web application will undoubtedly save you time and money from redesigns and additional development efforts that may be required if chosen incorrectly. Anastasia Galadzhii from LitsLink does a great job explaining the difference between the two routes, as well as breaking down the custom mobile app route into two development methods, native and hybrid mobile apps.

So what development method should be used to build a mobile app for a web application? Galadzhii describes the pros and cons of the following three development methods in her article:
  1. Native Mobile Applications
    These are mobile apps that are built specifically for a platform such as iOS, Android, or any other mobile operating system out there. These types of apps are usually available by downloading them from the operating system’s app marketplace.
  2. Mobile Web Applications
    Unlike native mobile applications, this type of mobile app development doesn’t require you to download a specific app onto your device. Instead, your web application is able to run on the web browser on your mobile device.
  3. Hybrid Applications
    These types of apps are a mix of native mobile apps and mobile web application features. They are developed using a single code base that can be used on various mobile operating systems, but does not need a browser to run them.

Every company is different and understanding what your application needs is what will help you weigh the available options. Read Galadzhii’s article to dive deeper into those options to make an informed decision.
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