8 Differences Between Mobile Websites and Mobile Apps

Investing in a mobile app or mobile websites for your small business? The decision here has always been tricky, especially since each has its own pros and cons. So here are 8 differences between mobile apps and mobile websites you should consider when developing any mobile marketing strategy.

Mobile Apps and Mobile Websites

mobile shopMobile Website Casts the Net Wider

A website has a broader scope than apps, which can be used only if you download and install it first. In fact, 80 percent of all searches are made on a mobile device. However, browsing websites requires internet connection, so you can’t use them anytime.

Apps are generally more interactive (i.e. more addictive) than websites, which is why they can retain the visitor only for as long as they are finding the thing they are looking for. Furthermore, apps can offer more functionality than mobile websites such as push notifications and GPS location abilities.

So websites take less effort to use, but apps are more fun.

Apps are Meant for Your Best Customers

Websites attract all sorts of visitors. Not all of them are prospects though. You can run an expensive marketing campaign and see a tremendous boost in the number of your site visitor, but not necessarily in the actual sales.

Apps, on the other hand, are meant for prospects as users typically spend much more time inside of a mobile app when compared to mobile websites.

Custom Apps are Costlier

Like any other professional tool, apps come with the drawback of high cost. If you don’t use a simple app maker, whose apps work fine with all platforms, you’d have to spend a lot of money on making your app compatible on all operating systems. Mobile websites on the other hand can be very inexpensive to create for your small business.

Apps are Active and Sites are Passive

Turning a website into a handy marketing tool is difficult. People don’t visit a website often, so they wouldn’t know if you are offering sales. Most marketing emails end up in the spam folder and don’t get opened.

Apps enjoy a significant advantage here. Once a user has installed them, they can lie silently in their phone and pop a small notification when you want to reach them. Messages on phone are shorter and less annoying, so they do get read most of the times.

Websites Attract Customers but Apps Retain Them

People come to your website before becoming your client. After that, they prefer to go through the app. Surveys show the average app user spends almost ten times more time on the app than on the website.

In addition to this, apps keep you posted on frequency of use. Your apps serve as a 24/7 finger on the pulse of your users, which helps a great deal in retaining customers.

People Spend More on Websites than On Apps

Studies show that people are more willing to make a purchase on the website than on the app. You may use this fact to avoid spending energy on giving your app payment processing functionality and making it more centered on retaining old clients and marketing new products.

Recently, Nielsen’s Cross-Platform Report for reconfirmed this fact when it reported that 89 percent of time spent on a smartphone is spent on apps, while only 11% is spent on the mobile web.

People Spend Less on Apps but They Spend More Frequently

People trust apps for making small transactions. According to a study by Facebook, customers spend 1$ on websites for every 42.7 cents they spend on apps but purchase much more frequently within mobile apps. If your small business has a lot of repeat purchases a mobile app would likely benefit your customers.

You Can’t Do With Having Just One

Essentially, a website is different from an app. You use the former to draw the customer in, and then gain trust through your product. An app, on the other hand, is more about retaining the customers you have already won. It’s about getting more business from your existing customers.

So both mobile apps and mobile websites are needed for a complete mobile marketing strategy—each for a different purpose. Happy mobilizing your small business!

Mobile Shopper Photo via Shutterstock

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Android Safety

Will Automated bots kill Smartphone apps?

It’s been six years since Steve Jobs introduced to the world the App Store. Since then, apps have changed the way the average smartphone user accesses content. Today, the $50 billion app industry faces its biggest threat ever. Welcome to the brave new world of bots—software that automates things people do regularly. While Microsoft faced problems when its chatbot Tay resorted to racist comments, Facebook at its annual F8 developer conference announced the arrival of bots to developers via its Messenger app that has 900 million users. This should, at one go, give a shot in the arm to the bot space. However, Facebook has been beaten to the draw by Telegram, Teamchat and Kik, which have already launched bots.

What is a bot and what does it do?

Bots have been there for years. In earlier days, if you were thrown out of a chatroom because what you wrote was abusive, it was because of bots. Nowadays, a bot is a software which automates things that most people do on their own, such as check news, order food, book flights or arrange meetings. They do tasks that are simple and repetitive; at speeds that no human can match. A simple online Q&A which, while appearing to be with a person, will in all likelihood be with a chatbot. Since chatbots reside on the server, they are easier and cheaper to develop. Bots work on any device, irrespective of the operating system. Already there are CNN and Burger King bots that provide news feeds and help you order a burger.

Who all are building bots?

Microsoft has been testing its chatbot Tay. It has also unveiled a new version of Skype that features chatbots. Facebook has launched its bot on Messenger. Most messaging platforms like Kik and Telegram are already there. Kik’s bot shop has tied up with retailers H&M and Sephora. Then there is Botlist, which offers a range of services including news, entertainment, lifestyle and games. The idea behind Botlist is to provide a centralised directory for all the bots that a person needs, almost similar on the lines of Google Play for Android apps today. Kik, with 275 million users, has announced a bot store. Two companies that are a bit slow in the space are Google and Apple. Google is reportedly working on a chatbot that will reside in a mobile messaging product.

Will bots replace apps?

Much of the demand for bots is because people are gradually getting tired of apps. There are multiple reasons. While there are millions of apps on offer, the top few garner almost 80% of the market. These are largely messaging apps like WhatsApp, Line and WeChat. It has been noticed that while people download many apps on their smartphones, they regularly tend to use only a handful. That apart, there is limited memory on smartphones (16GB largely) to download and operate a number of apps.

The advantage that bots have is they are capable of reaching people on platforms they already use, like SMS, chat apps, etc. While bots are not likely to kill apps immediately, they are expected to replace some apps pretty soon. The plus point that Facebook has is that it has huge amounts of data on its 1.6 billion users and the 900 million on Messenger. As a result, it is in a position to create chatbots that can do mundane tasks, like booking tickets or making restaurant reservations. That means you could practically do everything you want to by just being on Facebook Messenger. It also means more space in your smartphone for other things.

Will bots do everything for you?

In the initial phase, expect bots to do the routine, mundane stuff that you would rather get someone to do for you. Now that assistant will reside in your messaging application. It will take some time before more real-time core stuff is handled by bots. The way Microsoft’s chatbot Tay reacted is a classic case study. So it will be awhile before major things are handled by bots.

Who should be worried of bots?

The big threat is for Apple, which has benefited the most from the app empire, followed by Google. While Apple earned $20 billion from the App Store last year, it is believed that Google earned close to $7 billion from Google Play. The big gainers would be Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon.

However, it is not going to be all that easy. While it is easy to build an app and get users to download and use it, that’s not the case with bots. Here, the computer has to understand the language and carry on a sensible conversation. That’s where Tay stumbled. While there are many words that have multiple meanings for the user, it is difficult for a computer to comprehend what exactly the user meant. So, while bots will shake up the app world initially, it will be awhile before it can be overthrown.

Android Safety

Mobile Friday: Ten Commandments of Android User Safety

The Android mobile platform has come a long way since its introduction in 2008. Almost 80% of smartphones activated last year (2013) were powered by the “green robot”. But the customizable interface and other open source advantages come at a price. Android is ridden with vulnerabilities.

Android’s biggest convenience is also its biggest security issue. These smartphones are activated with one centralized Google ID, which controls all major functions such as emails, app management and calendar syncing. The risk is high.

Besides this inherited problem, the open-source nature of the market-leading OS is prone to cybercrime. Pirated ROMs and unauthorized apps that can be downloaded from underground markets put the unsuspecting users in danger.

Android users are advised to embrace the following safety guidelines:

1 – Use only official operating systems and enable automatic updates.
Mobile phone manufacturers release their products with proprietary software that is secure and patchable with future updates.  This software should not be replaced with insecure pirate versions.

2 – Install apps only from the Play Store.
Android is an open source platform and encourages the development of third-party software to enhance the user-experience. Unfortunately these apps and ROMs are full of vulnerabilities and loopholes.

 3 – Check permissions before installing apps.
The app installation process in Android devices is quick and easy. But it’s extremely important to inspect the permissions needed by the app. Shady apps asking for a long list of permissions should be blacklisted.

4 – Add a remote-wipe feature to your phone and back-up information.
Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. Unfortunately, robberies and losing of phones are also quite common. It’s very important to have a remote-wipe option to avoid identity and data theft.

5 – Choose strong passwords and change them frequently.
A common mistake many mobile users make. As mentioned earlier, Android phones are powered with one unified Google ID. It’s very important to implement strong passwords and also double-authentication.

6 – Implement good anti-virus software.
More than two million new Android malware threats were created last year only, according to a report released by Panda Security. Your phone is a powerful computing device that must be protected.

7 – Don’t root your device.
Die-hard Android users like to root their devices and gain system-level access. While this gives them the ability to tweak the smartphone to their liking, malicious codes can also wreak havoc within the device.

8 – Don’t connect to unknown WiFi hotspots.
People with limited data plans thrive on WiFi connections. While usually a convenient and easy way to access the net, a free hotspot is the hacker’s best friend. Connect only to secure trusted networks.

9 – Don’t answer text messages from unknown numbers.
While typical phishing attacks are hard to execute on mobile devices, text messages have become a common way to scam unsuspecting users. Responding to SMSs from unknown sources is a recipe for disaster.

10 – Don’t do business via your phone.
Performing monetary operations via Android handhelds is not a good idea either. Banking platforms still cannot promise end-to-end encryption, making money and data transfer a risky proposition.

Its also important to understand that Android security begins at the development stage.

App programmers must develop their products in a secure Software Development Life-Cycle (SDLC). CISOs and InfoSec Executives must make sure that proper security tools are in place to bring out products with minimal security issues. These can include DAST, SAST and also Pen Testing, which is an effective way to check finished software.

Source Code Analysis (SCA), belonging to the SAST testing methodology, is a unique security method that scans Source Code. This early examination has numerous advantages including the shortening of production times and reduction of repairing costs. The seamless integration in the development process also enables full automation of the testing process.

Secure your app now. For a free Source Code Analysis trial – Click Here

Source: checkmarx.com

Ericsson, Nigeria, China Mobile push for 5G development in Africa

Ericsson says it has joined its stakeholders in Nigeria and China Mobile’s 5G Joint Innovation Centre programme. This is so as to accelerate development of next-generation wireless networks, which will be faster, more powerful and offer even greater opportunities. They want to set up an open lab to provide a platform for new products and applications, and to foster new business and market opportunities.

The Chairman of China Mobile, Shang Bing that his company pays a lot of attention to the developing trends of this industry. He said that it is crucial for China Mobile and Ericsson, as the two ships of this industry, to stride forward in the right direction in the coming five years. He added that Ericsson has been an important partner to China Mobile for a long time. He said that they value the partnership with Ericsson and hope to have more cooperation with this important partner and Nigeria during the coming five year transformative period. President and Chief Executive Officer of Ericsson, Hans Vestberg said that 5G will enable people, industries and things to connect on an unprecedented scale, and this ability to connect will bring with it a whole new galaxy of devices and services. Read more at punchng.com