It wasn’t that long ago that we realized that Facebook seemed to take painstaking measures to try to make their mobile web version almost identical in design to their Android app. The layout is now almost perfectly exact and it even works in a very similar way on both. This got me to questioning: which of these works best? (FYI: apparently this question is a popular one right now)
What brings us to such a question?
Example one: Facebook
The reason I came to this question is because in the case of Facebook, the newly designed Android app looked really cool, but it ran very slow, at least on my phone. It takes forever for the main screen to load and photos are almost as annoying to load. After feeling my frustration level increasing for the several stinking moments it takes to do anything, I eventually would check out Facebook.com in my phone’s browser, usually ending up with a MUCH better load time and an incredibly similar design layout.
Does this mean I never use the Facebook Android app anymore? No. They are working on improving the performance (although, IMO not quickly enough) and I do see some benefits but I just find myself going back and forth.
Example two: Twitter
Another tool I use all the time on my phone is Twitter. I’d been using the Hootsuite Android app for quite some time and I love it. I was running into a few issues, one of which Hootsuite was occasionally taking its time sending tweets or not sending them at all. It was getting frustrating having to kill the app and reopen it just for the message to go out. I eventually found myself going to Twitter’s own mobile website (they’ve done a good job with it recently).
I do still use Hootsuite while on my laptop because I love how it handles my many social networking accounts.
These are two examples of tools that have me questioning: Which is better? The Android app or the mobile website? I know there are benefits to using an Android app, such as offline use for some, but the question still remains whether it’s always the better choice.
What do you think?
The question’s in your court: Do you ever find yourself preferring a mobile website over an Android app option?