Mobile Website (WAP) vs. App

Welcome back to your Tuesday at 10am weekly appointment with your Mobile Marketing experts.

Apple may have coined the phrase, “There’s an App for that,” but in most cases the content of said App isn’t unique.  In fact, chances are there has been a website for “that,” for quite some time.   Yes, from games, to mortgage calculators, to sports scores… there has been a website for that for a very long time.  In 2010, more and more of those websites will be Mobile Enabled Websites.  There is a difference between mobile friendly, and mobile enabled.  Mobile friendly means it can be seen from a mobile phone with internet, mobile enabled was built for a mobile phone with internet.  This means enhanced functionality, the correct size and formatting for the screen and the use of only universal file types and technology so everyone can have the desired experience.  Does this mean that it has to have the lowest-common-denominator look and feel? Well, yes and no.  Yes you want to keep the information, flow and technology simple so as to not bog down the mobile device, but we’re not dealing with black text and white background here…  We’re talking video, RSS feeds, audio, pictures, streams…  Kind of sounds like an app, doesn’t it?  I guess I was always the kind of person who wanted to make sure that everyone could enjoy something.  Not just the elite.  So when it comes down to WAP vs. App, do you want to cater to 100% of internet enabled phones that your potential customers may have? Or the upper 5-10% of the smart phones?

At Mobile Card Cast we have clients that do both, but we always start with the Mobile Enabled Website (WAP).  Let everyone have the info/content they want on their device, then if you want to spend additional dollars for the upper tier of smart phones to have enhanced functionality, go for it.  Especially now, with the Gateway App which allows an icon on the device’s home screen similar to an App, that merely launches your mobile web site.  Is an App still all that important to you?

So in the end, it’s less of a Mobile Website (WAP) vs. App, and more of a Mobile Website (WAP,) and then App… If needed.

By Michael Batiste

VP Business Development at Mobile Card Cast

This weeks vocab:

WAP stands for Wireless Application Protocol.

This weeks homework:

Pull your website analytics and check to see how many visits you already get from mobile devices.  If your analytics don’t separate this for you, check the screen resolution page  to find your answer.

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