TJ Fletcher
Web Programmer/Trainer

Mobile Web or Native App?

Over the past few months, I've been asked this question quite a few times...and I'm still back and forth on the topic. I keep coming back to the idea that it's not a bad idea to create a native app. However, I know that this poses an issue in that it becomes harder and harder to maintain so many different code bases. Just wondering if others have been through this before, and whether you have advice to share? Anyone relying on responsive web design to serve up their mobile content?
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Dan Armstrong

Posted on 7/25/12 4:48:45 PM Permalink

As a user I have thoughts about this. I play fantasy football, I have options of using the mobile web site or an app. I use the App everytime. When I use an app I do not have to type except to enter my user name. Often with a mobile web I have to first navigate to it which is irritating. I like to just click the app and off I go. Also I don't have to wonder if "Southwest Airlines" has a mobile site, it just use the app and get what I want every time. just some user thoughts not a developer hope it helps.

TJ Fletcher

Posted on 7/25/12 4:52:32 PM Permalink

Dan, are you using an iOS device or Android?

Kathryn StAmant

Posted on 7/24/12 7:01:03 PM Permalink

Students are so excited to learn how to make apps. Not everyone is, or will be a developer. Responsive web design provides an avenue that allows everyone to get into the scene. Some websites don't need to be built out into a native app. Personally, I sometimes think a native app for simple sites, would be overkill. But, if the simple site works better because it is responsive... then it was built appropriately.

TJ Fletcher

Posted on 7/24/12 8:49:12 PM Permalink

Kathryn, Do you see a lot of people turning web sites into apps? What type of sites are they looking to convert? I try to suggest that the only reason to develop a native app for an existing site is because you are looking to provide some new feature that makes use of the native OS in some way...something that the current web site does not provide.

Jerrad Gleim

Posted on 7/24/12 6:50:23 PM Permalink

Tough question. I think to make the decision, the creator(s) needs to look at the TEARS of creating the resource. (feel free to add to the list)

  • T - Time - Does the process require time to learn how to create the resource? How much time will it take to develop the resource?
  • E - Expertise - Is the person developing the resource an expert at making the resource? Do other experts need to be involved?
  • A - Accessibility - How accessible is the resource? Are you limiting others by choosing one medium over another?
  • R - Resources - Do you have the resources to build the app or mobile web page?
  • S - Sustainability - Can the resource be sustained, maintained and updated often enough so it's still a relavent resource for others?

TJ Fletcher

Posted on 7/24/12 8:41:44 PM Permalink

Good share, Jerrad! I'll be passing this on to others...