Mobile App or Mobile Web?

AUGUST 1, 2016 // By Russ Miller

At the outset of many new mobile initiatives there’s a debate about whether it will be best to develop the desired mobile capability as a mobile app or mobile website.  Each approach has its virtues and fans and, over the last several years, much as been written about the effectiveness of both approaches.

For scenarios where a single approach—a mobile app or the mobile web—will be selected there are a number of comparison points that will decisively sway the argument, depending on the unique characteristics of your business objectives and technical environment.

The tables below identifies key points of comparison, which we’ve grouped into three categories:

  • Strategic and Operating Concerns
  • Target User Engagement
  • Devices and Hardware Integration

Next, we’ve rated the relative strengths of each approach on a simple scale.  Please note that the priority of each comparison is completely dependent on the nature of your targeted business capabilities and objectives.

Strategic and Operating Concerns

Strategic and operating concerns are those factors that will directly impact important mobile initiative planning, including:

  • Time and Cost
  • Security
  • Product Marketing
  • Product Development Roadmap



Clearly each approach has its strengths.  The mobile web is fast to deliver, cost-effective, has great reach, is easy to deploy and update.  Mobile apps are highly flexible and have few boundaries, are highly secure, and provide rich data to drive business insights.

Target User Engagement

Next, target user engagement highlights those factors that most likely to indicate whether a mobile initiative will be well targeted to the intended users and able to influence desired behaviors, including:

  • Quality of User Experience
  • Online/Offline Support
  • Ability to Actively Engage Users

 Comparison point Mobile app vs mobile web


By almost every measure mobile apps provide a richer, more interactive and engaging user experience.  That said, the mobile web is still great at enabling a user to quickly lookup information such as a store location.

Device and Hardware Integration

Lastly, device and hardware integration factors will indicate which approach is best given the following needs:

  • Access to Device Hardware
  • General Device Integration
  • Device Support

 comparison point 2 mobile app vs mobile web


Again, mobile apps are much more completely and capably integrated with users’ mobile devices in just about every case.  The mobile web, however—even with browser support challenges, still shines as the best way to go to market on the greatest number of devices.

How Magenic Can Help

Planning the best approach for your mobile initiative is a complex task.  Making the right decision—mobile web or mobile app—is just one of many decision points along the journey.

Magenic’s mobile practice can help you understand the far-reaching consequences of the decisions required to bring a mobile product to market that will deliver desired business outcomes.  Our experiences with clients who’ve elected to follow the mobile apps or mobile web path have provided us with a significant knowledgebase of what works and what may lead to unnecessary challenges down the road.

Contact us and we’ll help you understand all the decision points so that you can be certain you’re taking the right approach to your mobile journey both today and in the future.

Categories // Mobile
Tags // Mobile, Mobile Apps, Mobile Web, Enagement, Mobile Security, Mobile Integration

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