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Are Mobile Apps better than Mobile Websites?

Chander Mohan
Chander Mohan

We live in the mobile era. For every small or big task we use mobile phones.  Just with a gentle touch, one can do numerous tasks like shopping, studying, booking air/railway tickets, making hotel reservation, ordering food etc. And recently a student has developed a Mobile App for the job seekers. Now you can find the job of your choice in your mobile phone through this app.  Shri Chandrashekhara, V D a student himself has developed the App named "My Job My Choices".

The number of mobile users today is greater than the number of desktop users. Consequently, businesses have realized the need to effectively use mobile channels for attracting customers. They have started new operations through mobile websites and mobile apps. While businesses with large wallets can afford to employ both mobile websites and apps, other companies might have to choose one of them. The choice between mobile apps and websites depends on their cost, usability, required features and the audience they serve. 

Studies have shown that users prefer mobile apps more than mobile websites. This makes for a strong reason to have mobile apps for reaching out to potential (and existing) customers. 

You are busy, your life is hectic, you don’t have a lot of time for job searching, and you don’t want to be stuck to your laptop or use your work computer to job hunt. Just like everything else in your life, job searching has gone, mobile and you can do it on the go. Taking it a step further, some of the apps will enable you to create a resume, match you with open jobs, and apply directly from the app, saving you search time. 

There are many apps to choose from for both iOS and Android devices. This app can feel too much like a mobile extension of the desktop platform. It is search-based, making it harder to passively discover new positions. The app also requires you to fill in some job-specific information in order to apply to some positions, including items like cover letters, portfolios and samples. That can be an anxious process when you’re doing all that from a handheld device. 

In addition, there are various other reasons, too, that make mobile apps better than mobile websites. Personalization is about offering tailored communication to users based on their interests, location, usage behavior, and more. Personalization is critical in making a mobile User Experience delightful.  With mobile apps, it’s easy to treat users with a personalized experience. 

Mobile apps can let users set up their preferences at the start, based on which users can be served with customized content. Apps can also track and observe user engagement, and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates to users. Furthermore, they can also identify the location of the users in real-time to provide geography-specific content. Mobile apps also have the advantage of utilizing features of a mobile device like the camera, contact list, GPS, phone calls, accelerometer, compass, etc. 

Mobile websites can also use some features of a mobile device like camera, GPS, etc. Still, there are technological constraints in utilizing all the multimedia features of a device (which mobile apps can use).  It is probably the most fundamental difference between a mobile website and an app. 

Although apps too might require internet connectivity to perform most of their tasks, they can still offer basic content and functionality to users in offline mode. 

A mobile app can be designed with a lot of elaborate functions, based on advanced gestures like ‘tap,’ ‘swipe,’ ‘drag,’ ‘pinch,’ ‘hold,’ and more. Apps can use these gestures to offer innovative functionality that can help users perform a task better. For example, an app can let users move to a next or previous step using the swipe gesture. Going a step further, companies can build mobile apps specifically to transition into a new brand style for themselves. 

Additionally, a mobile app can also allow users to customize its appearance, as per users’ liking. This can further help in the personalization front of the app. Mobile apps can be used to acquire both top-of-the-funnel (ToFu) and bottom-of-the-funnel (BoFu) users.  For instance, utility apps can bring-in ToFu users, which can be later nurtured into BoFu leads. On the other hand, apps like eCommerce already have BOTF users, who have a higher possibility of converting. 

Since mobile apps are much more targeted in nature (through their content and utility), they can be used to tap specific users in the funnel. Mobile websites, in contrast, reach out to a diverse set of audience. 

A well-designed mobile app can perform actions much quicker than a mobile website. Apps usually store their data locally on mobile devices, in contrast to websites that generally use web servers. For this reason, data retrieval happens swiftly in mobile apps. Apps can further save users’ time by storing their preferences, and using them to take proactive actions on users’ behalf. 

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