Web and mobile apps: How to not mess them up

27 April 2017
Creation, Development, Fortunesplaining, Marketing, Web

«I have this idea for an app for my business. Should I get a web app or a mobile app or both? Can we launch them at the same time…?»

Programmers and digital strategists hear this one a lot.


Before we get into the pros and cons of each type of app, let’s get our vocab straight:

Web application: Any tool that users can interact with through a web browser, and that require an internet connection. Unlike a website, which is strictly informative, the web app is a tool that lets users buy. create, communicate, etc. The web app may or may not have a mobile version that comes up when the page is used on a mobile device.

Examples of web apps: Youtube, Skype Google, eBay (when used on your computer).


Mobile applications: Unlike the web app, the mobile app has to be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play. It is a tool, like the web app, but it is used through the operating system of a mobile device.

Examples of mobile apps: Instagram, Uber, Angry Birds.


“Why not both?”

Web or mobile: why not both?

If you’re asking the question, chances are your project could exist in both platforms.

The actual question becomes: which not both at the same time?

With the technologies used today, technically speaking, they can both be done subsequently relatively easily. You strategic objectives will be what will guide the decision of which one should come first.


The commercialization process is different

Commercializing a web app requires a completely different strategy than with a mobile app. For a web app, we will use SEO (search engine optimization), while a mobile app, strategy will include maintaining a good rating on Google Play and Apple Store. All in all, these are two completely different campaigns, with different objectives and strategies.


It might be harder to go viral

With the immense popularity of mobile app, when an app is launched, it often comes with an important visibility campaign to make it go viral. If it manages to seduce bloggers, writers, and other tastemakers, chances are it will become viral. To do so, we recommend investing all your time in a single campaign, instead of trying to do everything at once.


Target audiences are wildly different

Younger people and those more comfortable with technology are more likely to download apps and to let it become a part of their daily life.


You won’t lose sight of the main goal of your project

From a project management point of view, it’s always smarter to start building one platform and to do it right than to start out with an overly complex project that will only get more complex (and complicated) as the whole things gets going. Which brings us to the last point…


Development time (and costs) will go up

For all these reasons, developing both types of apps can easily make costs sky-rocket in no time. Our advice: start with the one that suits your immediate needs. The other can follow suit later. Here is a side-by-side comparison to help you figure it out.


Web Apps vs Mobile Apps
Web App Mobile App
No downloading necessary Must absolutely be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play
Accessible with any operating system Requires a separate development work for the different operating systems (iOS, Android, etc)
Requires an internet connection Can be used without internet
Is meant to be used at home Is meant to be used on the go
Is aimed at a wider audience Is generally aimed at tech-savvy users who are more likely to download a mobile app
Less advertising needed Much more advertising is needed in order to convince users to go through the steps to download it
Is used only once or less regularly by users Is meant to create a relation with users as people often carry their mobile devices with them everywhere
Cannot send users notifications if they are not using the app Can easily send users notifications to remind them of using the app: much more proximity is possible

Basically, is comes down to basic marketing strategy: what are you selling, and to whom. From there, we can extrapolate a strategy that makes sense for you and for your app.
Do you still have questions about web apps, mobiles apps, or websites in general? Contact out team pour a quote, and ask them all the questions you want. It’s right this way.


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