In a world where more than 65 percent of digital time is spent on a mobile device, companies are using every method available to get on the user’s screen. Because of this, a multitude of app development methods have come about. It’s easy to get a little whiplash when trying to wrap your head around each of these different mobile engagement options, so we’ll help you break it down in our mobile engagement dictionary series.
Mobile-friendly websites are just that: websites that look great on mobile devices! These sites make content easy to read, view, or watch regardless of which device someone is using. Google states that the easiest way to begin making your website mobile friendly is to use responsive web design (RWD). RWD refers to a layout that changes based on the user’s needs. Mobile-friendly websites take this a step further by optimizing content for mobile devices specifically.
Native apps are made-for-mobile applications that are downloaded through an app store and added to the phone’s home screen. These are currently the most popular option for providing mobile-specific experiences thanks to their high engagement rates, but with the advent of new technologies combined with users experiencing download fatigue, this may be changing soon. Native apps have the benefit of working offline, having access to hardware, and being secured via app store malware scanners.
Web applications are applications that are accessed via a web browser. Common web apps are email clients, instant messaging services, and online retail stores. Websites that are normally referred to as “web apps” generally act like a mobile app, and can include functions such as single-page applications (Think: pages that load completely on one page with more content loaded as users scroll, such as Twitter)
Stay tuned for Part Two of this series, where we’ll cover Hybrid Mobile Apps, Progressive Web Apps, Micro Apps, and more!