Mobile Application development is simply defined as application software designed and developed for handheld devices which are low power consuming such as mobile phones, and any other handheld digital device. The application is able to produce a mobile version of any website. On the other hand, a responsive web design is a web application that helps make a design and development respond and adjust adequately to user behaviour and any environment presented such as a platform or a screen size and more, allowing for easy accessibility and usability on devices ranging from mobile phones to tabs and desktops.
It is evident these days that the use of mobile devices such as Smartphones play a vital role in contemporary business functions and in a similar ways, the mobile application development and the responsive web design help craft websites, enabling them to function in low power devices. For instance, websites being able to be seen on mobile devices such as iPhones, blackberry and Androids. The web as we all know has become an essential part of our lifestyle and is being accessed on a daily basis by a large number of people. Studies show that 50% of the population who access the web daily do so via their mobile devices because it enables them to connect to the web from anywhere and at any time of the day. Therefore, ensuring that your website is accessible on any mobile device is paramount and financially rewarding for any business.
In deciding whether to choose to have a website built to be optimized for mobile viewing or to have it developed into a mobile application will depend on features such as; the cost of building either option, the time it will take to perfect either option, considering the design approach needed, their individual performance, and the type of maintenance that will be required for either one. The advantage to using responsive web design includes that it provides for a single code base, which once built allows you to use as it is on different environment, can adjust adequately to any screen size, and is known to improve page ranking based on its single version, is less expensive, easy to control and flexible.
From many users experience; mobile application development is said to have a very fast access speed, and is available in all app stores, provides for phone features, camera use, location and map services, optimize best to mobile device, is available to use offline, has an interactive user interface and can be monetized. While Responsive web design has a normal access speed, and is not available in app stores, offers limited features on mobile phones, is less expensive, has a static user interface but is responsive to any environment and does not provide for easy monetization.
Therefore, although it is easy for anyone to simply conclude that the mobile application development is better off, but in all sincerity, choosing between mobile app development and responsive web design really depends on your business needs and its practical objective.