- What’s the difference between an iPhone app and a website built for an iPhone?
- Is an app better than a website?
- Can someone who builds websites build an iPhone app?
- How big is the app market?
- Who has an iPhone app?
- Do I need an iPhone app?
- Will I be able to continue to update my app?
- How long does it take for Apple to approve an iPhone app?
- If there are so many apps, how will my app get noticed?
- Do you create app for mobiles other than iPhone?
- Is the iPad just a big iPhone?
What’s the difference between an iPhone app and a website built for an iPhone?
An iPhone app (application) is built by a specialist developer then submitted to Apple, and once approved, downloaded from Apple’s iTunes App store and installed on the iPhone itself.
A mobile website is accessed as you would a website on any computer with internet access, by typing in the address and viewing it through a browser (normally Safari on an iPhone). However, most do not accommodate an alternate for viewing a website on mobile and therefore you view the same website (the one built for a big screen) on a mobile (the one with a little screen). The experience is awful! The experience may be further compromised when a website is built in flash, as the iPhone cannot currently view flash websites.
There is a time and place for both apps and mobile websites.
It’s not a case of either/or. You’ll increasingly find mobile sites and apps becoming part of a more extensive online offering to cover different communication channels, markets and objectives.
Mobile is truly personal mass media. It’s always on, it’s portable and consumers have a more personal relationship with their phone (even sleeping with it in many cases!). The phone knows who’s in your contacts, who you call, what apps you download, transactions you make, and exactly where you are at any given moment.
Mobile commerce is also growing. According to eBay, shoppers purchased 1.5 million items through either their mobile site or iPhone app during ’09 Christmas season – 300% up on 2008.
iPhone apps are incredibly powerful because, unlike websites, they can take advantage of the functionality existing within the phone itself.
- Options include the Global Positioning System (GPS), maps, compass, camera, click to call, contacts, touch, accelerator (iPhone’s ability to respond to any physical motion of the handset).
- They enable you to interact in real-time, on the go, in context.
- They enable a brand to create their own, self-contained experience.
- Push notifications – SMS-like messages and alerts, may offer unique messages specifically tailored to the iPhone user, even pertinent to their location.
The location-aware features of a mobile, in particular, enable new and unique opportunities.
iPhone apps are coded in a specific language, Objective C using the Cocoa framework. If your developer knows how to code in Objective C, then yes, however, it is not a language commonly used to build websites and most developers are proficient in html, java, flash etc. Like anything, there are hacks and ways around this, but then, they are hacks…
It’s also worth considering that the experience on a mobile phone is different to a website. Content for mobile is less indulgent. There’s less room or ‘real estate’ to play around with and the user needs to get to content with fewer clicks. Generally activities undertaken on a phone are much more purpose driven. You need people who can think big on small.
Australia has the fastest mobile internet growth worldwide, with 85% of mobile internet traffic being iPhone related. Apple broadcast the latest figures in their quarterly updates, which we summarise in the stats section of our blog.
In short, numbers are HUGE.
The success of Apple’s revolutionary app ecosystem has spawn rival stores and an increasingly competitive marketplace. Though Apple’s App store is by far the biggest, Blackberry, Android, Nokia, Palm (US) and Windows Mobile all now have app stores, with plans for expansion. Stay tuned to our blog for updates on high level stats and research.
The iPhone has revolutionized mobile communication and personal productivity – email, web browsing, entertainment, mapping, social networking. The range of applications is exhaustive and expanding rapidly. If you can think of it, there’s probably an app for it. And ones you’d never of imagined.
Stay tuned to our blog as we start to showcase some apps in the Lifestyle category, the area we focus on.
The apps we produce are predominantly free to download, incorporated as part of a marketing budget to:
- extend brand awareness and align with the Apple brand and demographic;
- connect with your fans, followers, customers;
- engage your audience with music, video, photos;
- inform your audience of events and disseminate information when they’re out and about, in context;
- capitalize on the synergy with iTunes music;
- pave the way for mobile commerce (m-commerce).
You may also find you save money or enhance your brand in any number of ways:
- target your audience more specifically or court a new one;
- ultimately save on print (& reprint) costs (not to mention being kinder to the environment);
- offer something distinct from your competition;
- demonstrate you’re on trend & understand how the web is now consumed…
If you should have an app and don’t, it’s also highly likely that, given the freedom the app store provides, that someone will create an ‘unofficial’ version on your behalf…
Any app we create incorporates a content management system that empowers you to continue to add content.
Any technical functionality added after launch normally requires another submission to Apple, with existing users notified of an update to the app for download.
There’s no control over how long Apple take to approve your app. This is quite frustrating for those on a timeline. It can take 2-4 weeks, sometimes more, sometimes less…
It may be new(ish) media, but good ol’ fashion marketing principles still apply.
Just like any new product, you should create a marketing or communication plan utilising both online and offline channels. Use the distribution networks you already have. Set up a page or site to promote your app (iTunes links are not particularly user friendly) and think about how you can incorporate a link to your app wherever possible.
You should also ensure there are viral tools incorporated into the app – the ability to share via email, Facebook or Twitter.
There are more formalised ways to promote your app also. Some brands looking for high volume traffic may invest in advertising on other apps, through networks such as AdMob.
The fact that there are so many apps is both a blessing and a curse. A variety of new iPhone app recommendation services are also emerging to meet this need.
At the moment we only work with iPhone, however, we may expand this offering in the future.
No. Whilst they are both portable devices, they can be consumed in a different context and have distinct opportunities. We’re seeing traditional media and publishers adopting iPads for magazines, airlines for in-flight entertainment units, restaurants for their menu and wine lists, stores, museums, hospitals, schools… The list of creative ways businesses and individuals are using the iPad and its adoption rate is staggering.
Stay tuned to our twitter and blog for updates on how iPads are being used.
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