Though I'm experienced in website design I have not yet entered the mobile design arena. As I explore the needs for a client who wants both a site designed for mobile use and a mobile app. My question is whether both are necessary. Would it not be better to do one or the other rather than both, particularly when there is a limited budget? The obvious next question is if a choice is made, which is the better choice?
There are some 3rd party programs for wrapping html, css, js into a standalone app for mobiles such as phonegap, appcelerator, and others...
As far as a browser page vs standalone app, it depends on the functionality you're looking for. If you want access to the device information like gps, camera, etc you want a standalone app, if it's just showing a different version of the company website a mobile site should be fine.
If you don't use a "framework" you will have to write 2 versions of the app in java and objective c for native deployment on both platforms.
I make mobile games as standalone apps using a game engine called Unity 3d and it's awesome, but with the basic version there is a watermark on the app. But it allows you to write all your code in C# or jscript and it takes care of porting it to android and ios native formats, or to a web browser build.
The problem with writing apps is that it's that much more effort ... because you've got to write them for different platforms. At the very least, you need them to work on iOS and Android, but there are still plenty of us who use other phone types, and who are frequently left out in the cold (there's a hell of a lot of apps that I can't get on Windows Mobile, for example). And you've got to keep up-to-date with new OS releases, and you've got to get them into the app stores. Hassle.
Whereas if you write a responsive design website or a specific mobile site, it should work for any device, regardless of the operating system, and then you work to your schedule rather than the phone companies'.
Thanks for the detailed and most helpful information.
Thanks for this information. I am also in need of such things . I have started working in the field of mobile website designing and I was confused about from where to start. I want to explore in both mobile apps and website design. This information will really help me.
I think Mobile Website is better than the Mobile Apps. Because every one has a Mobile So any thing search through net in their Mobile. If website is open Proper in Mobile then get visitors in Online Business. Mobile Apps is a one type of software in which we install in Our Mobile then we can use and Obviously its not proper install in Every type of Mobile. There are different types of mobile so need that type of apps Such as for Android Mobile, make a Android Application, For iphone Mobile use Iphone Apps.
A mobile optimised site should be your first action given the number of people using smartphones to browse stores online. If they have one bad browsing experience they will shop elsewhere. get your house in order first and then look at creating an app.