App's and Web App's - continuing the brand experience
Over the last few months we have been going back and fore discussing App's and mobile websites and in general mobile content in all it's forms. There have already been lots written about the pro's and cons of web based applications are apposed to an actual App you can download from a shop. There have been further talk about how and what content goes on a mobile version of a website. And even more recently a report by Deloitte (I will find the link later) recognised that large brands are struggling to make an impact within the App market.
While the majority of talk centres around content and technology and compatibility I think for me there a few more fundamental things to discuss about App's and mobile websites. I think for me the idea of an App is very different from a mobile version of a website. An App is a challenge, to the idea that the internet is a resource of information and so an App should be made in the image of the internet. Due to the portable nature of the devices that currently hold these App's they have far more scope to be extensions of our experience. While gaining information is always going to be necessary such as the next scheduled train or the weather forecast. There seems to be a huge dimension of other opportunities that the App's can be. An example of this would be an App such as NIKE+ or on another level something like Dropp. Both of these App's utilise the mobile nature of the device the App is on, to create a richer experience for you. In either running (NIKE+) or by just learning more about the local area (Dropp). I think this type of app is one of the major reasons why App's have taken off. It's not because of the fact you can get instant information but more the fact you can access a new experience an enriched experience that has been provided through a well thought out App.
So I think for me I believe that App's and web app's are different creatures and should be treated differently. They have different rules and different expectations. For example if they were people an App would be a trainspotter and the App would be a joker. So while I am not saying this is carte blanche I do feel that App's are not necessarily constrained to being information portals.