Ramsay Taylor, partner at the firm who specialise in designing websites with a ‘twist’, said: “Mobile apps are certainly the very latest craze to hit the world of marketing and, along with websites, have their place within the business environment.
“Sites can be designed well enough to function on any device with a web browser, but apps have to be specific to the target platform (JavaME not withstanding). A huge benefit of the website in its traditional form is that it can be easily updated and any update will instantly affect all devices with web browsers. Mobile apps on the other hand have to be distributed to each user, although applications like iTunes makes this process easier.”
On the flip side of this, mobile apps can take advantage of platform dependance to make use of platform features like GPS or specific interface features like Apple's multitouch.
Many businesses are using the two tools in conjunction. The browser based site has always been a great point of reference for news items, event details and product catalogues. This is especially important for fast moving businesses where a users mobile app might be showcasing something which is no longer in stock or if the user needs to sync their mobile phone to get the latest news.
Ramsay added, “Here at Zombie Tuesday we recently carried out a web design project for Knowledge Magazine to develop an events listing system that displays both on their site and on an iPhone app and it makes use of features like GPS location to filter the events by proximity. By having the app use an XML feed from the site we were able to use the advantages of both approaches. Although the site is yet to be completed, it demonstrates that sites and apps can be used in conjunction quite nicely.
“We are inundated with customers seeking an app as an extension of their site, as an extra way to get noticed. In my view the traditional browser based site will always have its place, but whether the app will stand the test of time will depend on whether advances to mobile web browsers – with things like HTML 5 support - will negate the advantages of platform specificity.”
For more information on ZombieTuesday Ltd, please visit, www.zombietuesday.com.