3

I have noticed that many websites have their own mobile apps.

For developers, What is the benefit of creating mobile app for a website? In which cases it is better than viewing it using browser?

From users point of view it is not always good. Why should I install separate app for every website I often visit? Mobile app seems not always to be faster than browser, and they can take a hundred of MBs in some cases. UI of mobile apps is not always better than that of their websites, and functionality is usually less.

Which points can be crucial when determining if there is a need of mobile app for a website?

closed as unclear what you're asking by gnat, user22815, user40980, Arseni Mourzenko, GlenH7 Dec 26 '14 at 14:21

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about a conceptual programming topic as defined in the help center – user22815 Dec 23 '14 at 20:08
  • Thanks, I have edited the question to highlight the point. – progmastery Dec 23 '14 at 21:02
  • 1
    mobile apps can potentially work without a network connection – Dan Pichelman Dec 23 '14 at 22:06
  • @DanPichelman web apps with html5 as well ;) – Knerd Dec 24 '14 at 8:05
4

I gonna go through your question paragraph by paragraph:

For developers, What is the benefit of creating mobile app for a website? In which cases it is better than viewing it using browser?

If your app needs to use stuff like SMS, addressbook access, or so then you have to use an app. But, many things can be done by now in HTML5 and JavaScript, just as an example, Geolocation.

From users point of view it is not always good. Why should I install separate app for every website I often visit?

Push notifications. For news sites for example for headline etc. Another example is for facebook the incoming messages.

You actually can implement push notifications with websites as well, but it isn't very pretty, because you would send an SMS or an email with a link to the new message or headline.

Mobile app seems not always to be faster than browser, and they can take a hundred of MBs in some cases.

The first part is sad but true, the second part is, to say it nicely, wrong. When a mobile app, that replaces a website takes 100MB place, it is just very crappy programmed. The usual app I install is under 5 MB and even that is fairly much.

UI of mobile apps is not always better than that of their websites[...]

That is not nessacerly true. For WP, Sailfish OS or Firefox OS users the UI of websites is often everything but native. The other question is, what is a good UI? But that topic is discussed on https://ux.stackexchange.com/

[...]functionality is usually less.

You can decide that when you develop the app. I personally would develop apps with the same functionality like the mobile website.

Which points can be crucial when determining if there is a need of mobile app for a website?

Like I said earlier, if you need special technologies or if you want to provide all users a native UI. But that is a hard topic, cause there are too many systems out there.

Conclusion

With HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript webapps kinda grew up. But there is still a range of things that you cannot build with a mobile websites.

Here is a quick list:

  • Push notifications
  • Native UI for everybody (could get tricky)
  • SMS
  • Addressbook
  • Camera
  • Compass
  • Some more system components
  • Cryptographics on clientside

I hope it helps :)

2

Using Mobile app from websites instead of browser view is useful in the following conditions:

  1. The mobile application of the website has additional functions that can't be done on the website alone, for example (stack-exchange) which you can use easily from the mobile application and you can jump to several sites on stack-exchange network in seconds without having to browse for each site on the network, also you can edit your questions and view your answers and status in seconds.

  2. Some websites doesn't have mobile compatibility, which means it is designed to be accessed from desktop or laptop rather than from mobile, because is not designed for mobile browser (unscaled for mobile devices), and you use that website frequently, it will be better to use the website application on your mobile.

  3. Some websites are huge for example news websites like (BBC.com, AlJazeera.net, CNN.com), when you are looking for news of certain region or category you need to deal with the website interface directly and may be end up using the website search for results, while all that and more can be accomplished using the website's application on your mobile in less time and effort.

  4. Some mobiles doesn't support high speed Internet or subscribed to limited bandwidth packages, when you access a website with relatively large pages (most modern websites are large) it will take time to load in your phone Web browser and may consume large portion of your limited bandwidth, by using the website's application you can access the data required and save some precious time and money without having to load the whole Website or web pages.

  • 2
    Kindly support your answer by providing few real time examples? – FaizanRabbani Dec 24 '14 at 14:37
-2

Most of the websites now are programmed to work on the mobile as well with HTML5, what is known as the responsive web design. But the mobile apps are specifically required when you want to reverage native mobile functionalities as well.

For example: Facebook. It has a website which can run on mobile as well but there is an app as well which can leverage mobile specific technologies to enhance user experience like GPS to just find location and check-in or directly take pictures and upload simultaneously. Also the mobile UI is adapted according to different phone sizes and platforms giving it more intuitive feel to make it better usable.

I hope that clarifies your question.

  • 1
    Your answer is full of mistakes, first: HTML5 has nothing todo with responsive web design. Second, the example with GPS is the worst you could pick. HTML5 Geolocation. And the third mistake: "Also the mobile UI is adapted according to different phone sizes" That is the point behind responsive web design. – Knerd Dec 24 '14 at 8:24

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.