Not everyone needs an app. Given the success of Apples App Store and now the launch of Google Chrome’s app store the buzz has created a feeling of needing an app in a mobile world. There has been such a rush to keep up with the cool factor that many have lost site of a consumer’s more typical means of accessing your content – via the web. Most are aware that if we try and access a regular website on a mobile device frustration inevitably is the outcome. The font is so small it can’t be read or you have to scroll across or down repeatedly or images don’t render correctly (if the page will even load) leaving large gaping holes on the page. I tried to access CBS’ KROQ-FM on my phone. Here is a screen shot on my iPhone.
I clicked on the “Listen Live” button on their website accessed via my phone (can you even read it?). Yes Apple does not support flash but this did not have to happen if a mobile web site was created note: even though the player stated I could access an older version it was still flash based and would not load. Am I the only one who as ever tried doing this? Do you think audience has been reduced due to these types of issues? This problem can be resolved by developing a mobile web application that automatically redirects a user to the mobile site.
Apps are static and for the most part you need to return to the developer to make changes. Apps are much more costly to develop especially considering the need for a different version for the three major operating systems. They also involve approval in whatever store they are being listed in which takes time.
One of the reasons apps have been popular is that someone actually took time to think about how content would be rendered on a mobile platform. Being mobile adds another dimension to what consumers need in a website. Not every business needs an app and soon I am going to need an apps manager to manage all my apps. There are a number of platforms that allow the user to create a mobile web site. They are significantly more cost effective than developing an app and changes can easily be made and published immediately. Creating a mobile website also involves thinking about the small screen size and important features someone in a mobile environment needs.
Angel Street Capital is currently considering an investment in one such company, MoFuse, Inc. MoFuse is a DIY platform and is easy to use. I will be covering MoFuse in more depth in a later post.