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Apple

Submission + - iPhone App or Mobile Website? 2

Bad Mamba Jamba writes: I've noticed a trend on the Apple app store where well known websites are putting out their own iPhone application. Sites like Amazon, IMDB, Engadget, Fandango, etc. Yet the iPhone comes with a quite capable Safari browser; Javascript and all. Most of the iPhone apps I've seen could be done in HTML and Javascript as best I can tell. So why do people do an iPhone app? Especially when doing a web app would hit more devices than just the iPhone as the iPhone isn't the only mobile device with HTML and Javascript support.

I get the shopping experience is better on Amazon's app and because they may have put some smarts on the iPhone to offload servers and provide a snappier user experience. Or maybe you want to work disconnected. So there are technical arguments in some cases.

But in the case of the IMDB and Engadget apps, they just seem to be repackaging database content into a mobile UI. It seems like a lot of trouble to write an app that will only reach iPhones, when I could write an HTML Javascript version and hit way more mobile devices.

I suppose you could argue that being in iTunes gives you some kind of advertising angle, and maybe you can charge for the app (which the big dogs don't do) but a small specialized company might.

I'm currently considering ways to bring a mobile presence to my website and don't have a lot of experience in this space. I'd like to see what the Slashdot community has to say; iPhone app or mobile version of a website and why?

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