We sometimes get asked why did we choose to have a mobile responsive site for mobile access to expensemanager rather than a mobile app? So we thought we’d give you some insight into our thought process around this and we think, the smart decision!
But let’s start first with understanding the key differences between the two, because apps and mobile websites can look very similar and both are accessed on a handheld devices such as smartphones.
A mobile website differs from a standard website because it has been designed for a smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface. Mobile responsive sites can display text content, data, images and video. They can also access mobile-specific features such as click-to-call or location-based mapping.
Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on a mobile device. Users will visit device-specific portal such as Apple’s App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World in order to find the app and then they will download the app for a given operating system.
So which is better?
Well, it really depends on the end goal. If our software was for interactive gaming, we probably would have gone down the native app route, but our goal was, and is to offer mobile-friendly access to the widest possible audience in the easiest way possible. Here are some of the key advantages for our clients.
Our users can access expensemanager on a mobile instantly via a browser. So for companies to roll out our solution to their many users, all they have to do is tell them their unique company url. Apps on the other hand require the user to first download and install the app from an app marketplace – a significant initial barrier to first engagement.
On any device
Our mobile website means users can have any type of mobile devices – iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc – we don’t care! Whereas native apps require a separate version to be downloaded for each type of device and for companies with many users, this often requires IT support.
Our mission is to make our solution the best on the market so when we make a change to our design, content or functionality (and we’re proud to say we do this often!) we simply advise of the upcoming changes. It’s then immediately accessible. Updating an app on the other hand requires the updates to be pushed to users, which then must be downloaded in order to update the app on each type of device.
One simple access point
We give you just the one url for your users. expensemanager is built on HTML5 and responsive web design (RWD), which makes our solution incredibly fluid. It scales the size of the application layout to the resolution and shape of the device it is displayed on. When users go to our solution either from their desktop or their mobile we automatically detect this.
New users – quick and easy to get started
This one single url can be easily shared to users via a simple link. On boarding of new users can be from a link within an email, text message, a twitter post, a blog or straight from a company website. An app simply cannot be shared in this fashion.
For all of these reasons, a mobile-friendly responsive website for us was the logical choice. A fast and fluid mobile solution that means limited training or IT support to get users up and running, and with a modern user interface so users can snap receipts, create, submit and approve reports with a minimum of fuss.