Why a Mobile App?
As our society, and indeed much of the world, has shifted to mobile communications, cell phone ownership and use grew dramatically. No longer are people stuck to a desk in order to access the internet. No longer are laptops, which were the initial answer to portability, the cutting edge of technology. Smartphone and tablets are the cutting edge and they are in high demand. The battle between manufacturers like Apple and Samsung for example, is essentially in determining what the optimal device size, shape and weight is for the customer to carry and use it, as well as the speed in which it will connect to service providers and the internet.
Now, look at your cell phone and tell me which is easier to do – type in a website in a search engine on your cell phone, or to simply ‘tap the app’ on its screen and let it take you to the site? What Mobile Apps do you have on your phone? Now ask yourself why you have them on your phone instead of taking the time to “tap your search engine browser icon/app” and then type in the website and push search or send? It’s easier, quicker, to just ‘tap the app’ and be taken directly to the website. With an app you eliminate having to type (miss-type, auto-correct) in a browser. A website may be scalable for mobile devices, but you have to get to it first. Now consider that this same Pew Internet & American Life Project Spring Traveling Survey reported there had been a 400% increase in mobile searches over the previous year, and that by 2016 300 billion apps will be downloaded annually. The indication is that search bars will be rarely used as folks tap their apps for weather, news, cooking, creating business correspondence and reports, and do their banking.
Having said all of this, think of the advantage the business or organization has once someone downloads their app! It goes everywhere they go because their cell phone goes with them. They can access it in seconds wherever they are at the time and, they can share it with others easily. The difference between having just a website, no matter how scalable it may be, and having a Mobile App as well, is the difference between waiting for folks to come to your church ‘cause your there, or going to and with them, and inviting them to get to know you on their own terms. Once they’ve downloaded your Mobile App, wherever they go you will have a presence with them, on their phone, the most important communication device of this age.