Smartphone users prefer apps to mobile web experiences?

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Although I've been a proponent of 'There's a bookmark for that!' for a while, on many platforms, I do acknowledge that a 'pretty app which boots up within two seconds and takes advantage of platform features' (to quote The Register) has to be superior in terms of all round user satisfaction. El Reg summarises a report from Compuware, looking at what smartphone users want from applications.

From The Register's story:

A whopping 85 per cent of smartphone users reckon local apps are better than websites, but they're an impatient bunch and expect a gentle touch to be rewarded within seconds or they'll go elsewhere.

The numbers come from Compuware APM, which hired Equation Research to quiz three-and-a-half thousand global smartphone users and establish what they really want from a mobile experience. The answer, in short, is pretty apps which boot up within two seconds and take advantage of platform features which will be missed by the best of HTML5 content.

Trust seems important, given the focus on banking and shopping, and local apps seem to engender more trust than their browser-based contemporaries. Dodgy connections also play their part, although applications perceived as more responsive through clever use of HTML5 should mitigate that, so perhaps mobile sites aren't using the technology properly.

Chart showing why people prefer apps

Which is all fair enough, though for secondary platforms like Symbian and Windows Phone, which tend not to have a dedicated first party app for every service or store, the mere existence of the option of going down the bookmark/mobile web route should be acknowledged. Especially in light of the fact that web bookmarks can be installed into the Symbian app menu or pinned to the Windows Phone homescreen with a single tap, making them just as easy to access as a traditional application.

But I do recognise that such a bookmark-based system is less than ideal, especially for new users, as is borne out by the chart above, and I can't argue with the 'pros' presented for using mobile apps. I just like to have the mobile web as a fallback - I like to have options!

Source / Credit: The Register