April 22, 2013

Should I Build a Mobile App or a Mobile Website?

So you say you want a mobile app, huh? Well that’s great! You want to expand your digital marketing to be easily accessible by smart phones and tablets? That’s great, you’re on the right track to staying on top of the worlds changing technologies. Now, let me ask you this: Do you need a mobile app or a mobile website?

Both a mobile app and a mobile website could support your needs, but it’s best to first evaluate your goals and situation. One might make more sense than the other.

Let me start by quickly detailing the differences between a mobile app and a mobile website. A mobile app is a self contained application that is downloaded to a smartphone or a tablet. A mobile website is accessed directly through a web browser on a device which displays either a specific version of a website (sometimes using a subdomain such as “m.website.com” or “mobile.website.com”) or a regular version of a traditional website that has responsive design (see my blog post on responsive design).

Teressa Catrambone

April 22, 2013

Best. App. Ever.

I am going to make a statement that may shock some people:

The Parks and Recreation Bobblehead App is the best app ever created.

“Woah.  Hold on a minute.  The iPhone Clock app is by far superior,” is what some of you may say.  To put it bluntly, you people are wrong.

Sure, the Parks and Rec app isn’t fancy, you can’t use it to cook your eggs or ask that hot guy over there on a date – those who are more astute will recognize the connection – but it will make you laugh.  A lot.  I am sensitive, however, to the fact that some of you require more out of your apps than pure, unbridled happiness.  Fear not tech heads, the app also connects directly to Youtube so you can watch clips of the best show ever created (scientific fact)!  I am so confident that this app will change the life of every man, woman and child on this planet that I will personally refund the $0 cost to anyone who is not completely satisfied.

In closing, through the immortal words of Leslie Knope, “You only get one chance to make a second impression.”

 

April 19, 2013

Navigating the Best Transportation Apps for iPhone

I admit I was one of those people who didn’t update my iOS for ages simply due to my fear of the bad juju of the Maps app. I rely on the Maps app almost to a fault. I love reading maps, but dear Maps app, please tell me whether I’m walking north or south. And show me where the closest train station in. And while you’re at it, can you show me where a nearby grocery store is?

April 2, 2013

Google vs. Apple App Development Process

Apple-vs-Google-app-development

We have always known that getting involved in app development can be a long drawn-out process that consumes time and money. Recently, I have been asked to join the Astek development team in our Apple account which has prompted this blog post.

I will begin by comparing the Google App Development application process to the same process by Apple.

Andy Swindler

September 28, 2011

Mobile Web Terminology

As the whole world goes mobile (2,600% increase predicted by 2015), two main options have emerged for bringing your business to the party: build apps or optimize your website.

I want to focus on the second option, optimizing your website/HTML, which is becoming a more appealing option as HTML becomes more capable of doing the things we’ve typically needed apps to do.

Once HTML 5 can do anything an app can, I see only three major advantages to building an app:

  • Push notifications (a common app feature that currently doesn’t work in HTML)
  • Distribution (selling/downloading an app that lives on a phone versus saving a bookmark)
  • Offline access (HTML 5 is already pushing this one off the list as it has built-in offline caching features)

Apps also still have a “cool” factor, but typically introduce more time and cost in development and maintenance.

mobile-optimization1.jpg

A number of terms have emerged to describe Web optimization for mobile devices. I’m here to tell you they all essentially mean the same thing: delivering a reduced amount of content to your users in a logical fashion to create a more efficient mobile experience. Ideally your website will detect the user’s device and optimize it on the fly since there are so many different mobile devices and screen sizes.

  • Mobile Optimize
  • Mobile Format
  • Mobile Template
  • Mobile Versioning
  • Multi-Siting
  • Adaptive Content Rendering
  • Responsive Design

I think “optimize” is the most logical and accurate, though “responsive” is rapidly gaining momentum. Whatever you want to call it, the effort is partly technical, but largely falls in the realm of content strategy. With less screen real estate to use for your message, you’ll need to make careful decisions about what’s most important to convey to your user.

Come to think of it, brevity might just not be such a bad thing for the future of digital content delivery.