Times when mobile websites make more sense than apps

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Where would we be without our favourite apps? For instance, if you want to keep in touch with friends today, what’s the easiest way to make contact? For most of us, it’d be via Facebook’s Messenger or WhatsApp on our smartphone – these two apps play a dominant role in keeping us all connected.

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Social media apps are just one example, of course. We all spend more time on our mobile devices more than any other these days, and with the huge number of apps that are available for every aspect of life, it’s logical that we’ll download the ones that are most relevant to us. According to statistics from Nielsen, 89% of US consumer media time is spent in mobile apps, while only 11% of that time is spent on mobile websites.

However, apps aren’t always the most convenient way to access everything on your phone. It can sometimes be a bit of a hassle to find the app you actually want at the AppStore or on Google Play, and whenever you download a new app, you’re always slightly conscious of the space it’s consuming on your phone’s limited storage. That’s when using mobile-friendly websites can offer an advantage.

So, when does a mobile website beat an app in terms of user-friendliness and accessibility? Here are just a couple of examples.

Games

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Of course, there are thousands upon thousands of gaming apps out there, and most of us have at least a few of our favourites downloaded on our phones. They’re our ‘go-to’ entertainment when we’re waiting in line at the supermarket, or standing at the train station waiting for a connection.

That’s all well and good when a game has been designed as an app, but for those times you want to play games that you usually play on a website, it makes more sense to play on the mobile-friendly site instead. For instance, the mobile version of vegas casino allows players to access their favorite games whatever device they happen to be on. And as players use bitcoins both to place bets on the games and for cashing funds in and out of their account, they know their gaming cash is secure and immediately accessible.

Shopping

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Every big retailer has an app that’s available to download, but what if you don’t always shop at the same store? Maybe you don’t want to fill up your phone’s memory with different shopping apps. It’s easy enough to just use the store’s mobile-friendly version of the site via the internet browser on your phone. Amazon and Ebay are just two examples of e-retailers that make it just as easy for users to make their purchases using mobile friendly sites as it is with an app.

Another benefit of not downloading shopping apps is that you don’t get bombarded with push notifications trying to sell you more stuff. Using shopping mobile sites rather than apps means you can shop when you want to, rather than being constantly reminded of what’s on offer, etc. Of course, you can choose to unsubscribe from push notifications, but can you really be bothered to do that with every app you download?

While apps are generally great for personalised content, for many users, they can be more fiddly to navigate and lack many of the features that are available on the equivalent mobile website.

Although we’re always going to have a few of our favourite apps on our phones, it’s always worth checking out the mobile website before downloading another. You just might find it gives you a better user experience – and frees up some precious space on your phone, too!

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