App or Mobile Website?


In today’s market, it’s imperative that companies provide an exceptional mobile experience for the success of their business. Have you ever considered asking your customers if they make purchases through an app or mobile website? If not, you may want to check in with them to find out. In 2012, 4 in every 5 smartphone users shopped using their mobile device.

But how does your company decide whether to invest in an app or mobile website-based solution? At Apptitude we are firm believers that an app is the most effective way to engage with your customers and provide them with an optimal experience with your product and brand. Several industry leaders agree with us.

Take this direct quote from Mark Zuckerberg, who said in an interview with TechCrunch Disrupt:

The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting on HTML 5 as opposed to native.

In other words, the founder of Facebook said the biggest mistake they have made as a company was going with a mobile website approach rather than a native app approach.

But enough with quotes and opinions, here are some important points to consider when deciding what would work best for your project.

Speed and connectivity

According to research by developer Drew Crawford , mobile websites are approximately five times slower than apps. Furthermore, apps work regardless of network or wireless connectivity, unlike most mobile websites.

User Experience

An app offers a great user experience because its highly interactive, easier to use, and more engaging than a mobile website. Apps have the capability to add interesting and interactive features and functionalities that make navigation more intuitive and fluid. Plus, the one tap accessibility through the app icon on a mobile device provides immediate access to the information instantly.

Visual Appeal

Mobile websites can be very limited because of their bandwidth and technology.  However, apps have capabilities for superior graphics and effects which allows a greater visual appeal.


An app is specifically built to have unlimited access and compatibility to the phone’s features such as GPS, camera, microphone, calendar etc. while mobile websites have little to no access to the phone’s features.


Apps are better optimized for mobile devices, because the code runs “closer to the metal” than with a mobile website. An app written in Objective-C for an iPhone simply has to call one API to display a simple formatted word on the screen. A mobile website has to go through several steps, including the longest one: downloading the HTML from a remote server.


It is much easier to monetize an app than a mobile website. Apps have the ability to charge a download price with an easy payment process that is handled by the App Store. Even free apps have several monetization models available such in-app purchases, advertisements, affiliate and referral programs, and the “freemium” model.

We are living in an app world, where mobile devices are deeply integrated into many aspects of our everyday lives. Flurry, an app analytics firm with a presence in over one billion mobile devices, recently reported that the average person spends approximately two and a half hours on their mobile device and about 80% of that time is spent on apps.

So ask yourself: When my product is launched and my users are looking for the best mobile experience possible, would they be more likely to find that in a mobile website or in a native app? If your answer is native app, we’d love to help you with that!