You’ll Always Have Your Apps
(February 24, 2015) – Has this ever happened to you before? You’re without a data connection—maybe you’re camping, maybe you’re in the car or on a plane, or maybe you’re just in a place with bad reception. You reach for your phone to look something up or access important information and you can’t. You’re just going to have to wait until you have internet access again. (#firstworldproblems)
Your saving grace? The apps you’ve already downloaded on your phone. With the ability to store local data, most mobile apps are still useful to you even without internet access. The best examples of this include tourism, retail, church, gaming, conference, downloaded media, and even map apps. Because some or all of the app’s data has been locally cached, you can still access GPS information until you get to your destination.
There’s still a place for mobile websites—after all, they’re used most when you’re researching or surfing. But true engagement comes from apps—the things users have chosen to download and carry with them on their phones, no matter where they are.
Not only do apps save you hassle and anxiety, but they also save you data plan usage. Because much of the app’s data is downloaded directly to your phone, no matter how much time you spend using them (which research tells us is 86% of all smartphone usage), you won’t be chipping away at your monthly allotted data plan—saving you money and frustration at low availability. Mobile sites require reloading every time you use them. With app data, you download once and it’s kept forever.
It’s not often that we view “offline media” as a good thing. But consider what information is most important to you and where you are when you access it. You’ll thank me the next time you’re in a pinch.
Want to see other sites vs. apps comparisons like this one? Check out our new Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Sites Cheat Sheet to help you compare. Plus, check out the first installment of our apps vs. sites blog series, “How Many Touches Does It Take to Get to the Center of a Mobile App?” and check back as we post new comparisons.
Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps Cheat Sheet
What’s the difference between a mobile site and a mobile app? Do I choose one or both? Find out in our quick and easy Mobile Sites vs. Mobile Apps Cheat Sheet!