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Paul Kent, Freelance Web Designer, Brighton, East Sussex.

Affordable web design for ambitious organisations

Mobile app or mobile website?

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With the rapid advancement of mobile browsing technology a website can function very much like a standalone app – providing it is developed using intelligent design techniques and has a well thought out UX (user experience). So in most cases a mobile friendly website is the perfect solution for most projects.

Projects more suitable for app development might utilise the mobile device for local data storage, camera functions or GPS. Good examples are Google Maps, BBC iPlayer and the many games available via the AppStore. All these native (or hybrid) apps are reliant on the devices hardware capabilities and memory storage.

Apple have their own criteria about what constitutes an app experience. So if you want your app to pass Apple’s guidelines and get it into the AppStore you should first consider whether your idea is better developed as a responsive website.

You should also consider the cost of developing a native app for each platform e.g. Apple iOS or Android. A hybrid app is an option to consider and is a great compromise if you need standard functionality that is common to all devices.

Hybrid is a cross-platform solution built within a standard HTML framework and can be deployed as a single app across all platforms including Android and Apple. It’s a kind of one-size-fits-all solution and more cost effective than developing separate apps for each device manufacturer.