Choosing between a mobile app and a responsive website can be tough. There are many things a responsive website can do which a mobile app is not able to perform and vice-versa. Many factors need to be taken into consideration before choosing the platform your dream project will be used on. Here’s a walkthrough of things to be kept in mind before going for the kill-
1) You need to use the functions of native smartphone and tablet?
This is the first question to ask, as well as the most important. If your project requires you to have access to resources such as the camera, compass, accelerometer, etc. then you always have to opt for the creation of a mobile application, since these features are not accessible from a normal website. But if on the contrary you do not need access to this type of features, then you might consider the idea of creating a responsive website.
2) Need to create complex interface?
If you need an application that needs to have an interface with a fairly high level of complexity, then you should opt for a mobile application. As you already know, a responsive website has to adapt to all possible resolutions and types of screens, so when you create a site like this you are forced inevitably to find compromises and solutions that work “fairly” well in all types of browsers and devices.
On the contrary, if you develop a mobile application, you will be able to focus your resources for the optimization of only one type of device (2 if we consider the tablet as a device quite different from your smartphone).
3) Have a limited budget and time restricted?
As mentioned earlier, the budget is one of the main points to decide which approach to follow for the project. Usually (not all cases are the same), creating a Website Design is much less expensive than create an application, especially in terms of time: for a web designer it is much easier and faster to publish a project responsive to a movable app.
It follows that you should choose the path of the web site to be responsive even when you have very short delivery times.
4) Need a payment gateway?
If you need the user to make purchases (such as might be the case of an e-commerce website), then the best solution would be to opt for a website. In fact, a mobile app to provide a good user-experience during the purchase is much more difficult, and if done incorrectly, you risk losing a large slice of the profit.
5) Is SEO an important factor for your project?
If visibility must be part of your project and it should be the main source of traffic and visibility, then choose to build a responsive website. Even if you could enjoy the visibility of millions and millions of users, with a mobile app you cannot take advantage of the most common techniques of SEO, web marketing and content-based indexing.
6) Do you need to update the project?
If you can predict that your project may need many updates, then you should choose, even in this case, a responsive web site, on which you can directly intervene as and when you want, and easily make changes and various improvements.
As you can see the cases in which you should choose a solution responsive rather than making a mobile app are many. And perhaps this is the reason why many applications become “Zombie app” soon after their publication in the various stores and don’t offer anything more than a normal responsive website.