Preparing for Mobile Learning – Part II
There’s an App for that!
- They want to be hip/trendy for those millennials entering the workforce,
- They’ve been told to do something with “mobile” or “modern learner”, or
- Someone else has an app and they want one too. (This one is more common than you would think.)
- APP: An app is software that is developed to do certain tasks on a device. Most of us think of mobile apps when we say app, but these days we now have to consider tablets, laptops and even desktops when looking at apps. This software is designed to be downloaded and run within the operating system is was installed on.
- Mobile Website: A mobile website, or commonly referred to as a website designed with responsive design, is, for all intensive purposes, a website. The main difference is that it functions well with the device you are accessing it from. Without getting geeked out on all the details, there are plenty of sites to do that; mobile websites are designed using HTML5/CSS3 to change the layout of the website to modify the size and items displaying to adjust to the device you are viewing it from.
- APP Pros:
- Offline Access: You can use the app without being connected to a network.
- Gaming: You can utilize the devices processing power to load and run the game and you are not depended on the connection speed.
- Complex Tasks: Think similar to gaming, if you are running reports, spreadsheets or other tasks that are memory hogs an app is the better choice.
- Device Functionality Usage: If you are using things like the devices built in camera or geo location then an app is perfect for this.
- Mobile Website Pros:
- Compatible Across Platforms: This is a huge advantage to responsive design! With all the different devices out there with a mobile website with responsive design, you only need to build and more importantly, maintain, one site.
- Cost: Generally mobile websites tend to be a lot less expensive than and app.
- Quicker to Market: I am a huge advocate for Rapid Application Development, RAD, which gets your site at that 80% readiness and allows you to move into usability testing far quicker than developing multiple apps.
- Easier to Update: Content seems to change the minute you hit publish, and with mobile websites you just need to make the changes and the next time your user visits your site they have the latest and greatest. With an app, you are looking at pushing out updates and then balancing the number of updates you release so you aren’t negatively impacting your users.