The Results are in! Apps vs. Mobile Websites

We all know the importance and prevalence of mobile in today’s age. With half the people in the world now engaging with content on a mobile device, the question is no longer if people are engaging with mobile, but how are people are engaging with mobile? Well, we’re glad you asked.

According to Nielsen's latest report, over 89% of time spent on mobile devices is in apps. This means out of the 2 hours and 19 minutes people are spending on their mobile devices each day, 2 of those hours are spent engaging with apps.

Not only are people spending more time using apps, but they are spending more time in apps per session than mobile websites. Here’s what Adobe found:

  • Smartphone users spend almost 3 times as long in mobile app sessions as they do on mobile website sessions

  • Tablet users spend 4 times as long in mobile app sessions as they do on mobile website sessions

But moving beyond statistics, let’s get into the why. Why are people engaging longer and more frequently with apps? The good news, for both your content and your audience, is that apps provide a unique way of connecting with people through their attractive interface, instant accessibility, and convenience to people’s lifestyle.

Take the Facebook app for instance. People use the Facebook app over the mobile website because of its more frequent and accessible content. It allows people to engage with updates and notifications in a more efficient and enjoyable way that fits into their on-the-go daily lifestyle. On the other hand, accessing the mobile site requires you to open a browser, then type in the website address, then type in your login information, and then… are you asleep yet? Apps allow users to get the instant access they need with just the tap of a screen, giving you the opportunity to catch the attention of your audience in ways you never could before.

Congratulations! You’ve now caught your audiences attention, but what about keeping it? Because apps are natively built to function across specific mobile devices and operating systems, the overall experience is more enjoyable as it's tailored to that specific device’s interface design. This includes the navigation throughout the app, media presentation, the ability to access content offline, and integration with other built-in capabilities of a mobile device such as social sharing and syncing calendar events. To put it simply, when it comes to spending time on a mobile device, people will keep engaging with something that’s enjoyable, easy, and fits in with their overall lifestyle.

And let’s not forget about direct communication. Because an app is present on a device’s interface, organizations can use features such as push notifications to communicate messages directly to their audience’s devices. Whereas mobile websites require a user to intentionally conduct a one-way search in a browser to access content, apps allow you and your audience to engage in more two-way communication.

Having a mobile website and mobile app presence are both incredibly valuable, but when it comes to engaging with content, apps have the majority vote. While a mobile website has its value in giving an organization an upper hand in search-ability, apps deliver an interface that gives end-users a more enjoyable experience of media, text, navigation, and ultimately an organization's brand. This makes the small time investment of downloading an app worthwhile, as it produces more frequent and extended engagement from your audience.

In the end, it all comes down to how your audience currently interacts and expects to interact with content on a mobile device. We believe (as do the statistics), that apps give you the unique opportunity to create a deeper connection between your content and your audience. By creating an app for your organization, your content can receive the visibility and engagement it deserves.

The Church App: by Subsplash

What is The Church App? It’s an incredibly flexible platform that helps you develop mobile apps for your ministry!

Every single week, churches and ministries create incredible Gospel-centered content that needs to be shared with the world. Sadly, this content is often never published or is simply trapped within undesirable, clunky technology. So, the big question is; how do we get this incredible content into people’s hands? Here at Subsplash, we want to see the Gospel proclaimed to the ends of the earth. With that vision in mind, we brought our team of world class developers and UX designers together and created The Church App platform. This cutting edge platform allows churches and ministries to very easily create their own mobile applications (apps) for iPhone, Android, iPad, Windows Phone 7, and web. With rich features designed specifically for the presentation of the Gospel through an app, ministries can present full length audio and video messages, share blogs and articles, keep people connected with calendar events and social networks, integrate with online giving, and much more! With the growth of mobile technology, it only makes sense that the Church needs to be at the forefront of this tremendous tech revolution. Today, people actually consume as much data on their mobile device as they do on desktop computers. It’s an incredible cultural shift being led by mobile apps. We truly believe we can help churches and ministries get their Jesus-driven content into the palm of your hand. We’ve been blessed to work with some incredible ministries who are all about using technology to share the truth of Jesus Christ. We've worked with Billy Graham, Saddleback Church, Mars Hill Church, IHOP, Harvest: Greg Laurie, and many more. We’ve even worked with several churches that have less than 50 members who are using the apps as an outreach tool. How cool is that? The Church App is a tool built and designed for churches of all sizes who want to have their own custom app in the App Store and Android Marketplace to present the Gospel and keep people connected to their community.

Interesting facts about mobile and the Church

  1. People spend an average of 80 minutes per day using apps
  2. People spend an average of 30 minutes per launch of The Church App
  3. Nearly half of all Americans will use a smartphone by the end of 2011 (Nielsen)
  4. The Church App give people access to your video and audio sermons, news, blogs, calendars, and much more from anywhere, anytime

Things you can do inside of The Church App that you can’t do on your website

  1. Advanced Audio Player: Listen to audio in the background while multitasking, download audio to your app for offline listening, and have your audio sermon remember where you left off if interrupted
  2. Utilize your phones native features like Map and GPS
  3. Watch Apple approved high quality video that won’t drain your battery life, never buffers, and uses data efficiently
  4. Utilize a Music Player to sort by album and give users the ability to download songs

Other cool features of The Church App

  1. Calendar/Events: Create a custom calendar or integrate with your existing calendar
  2. ESV Bible: Include the entire ESV Bible, Audio Bible, and Life Journal Reading plan in your app
  3. Blog Reader: integrate with any RSS feed
  4. Social Networks/Sharing: Integrate with Facebook, Twitter and Email for social sharing of media
  5. Bulletins/News: Integrate your Sunday bulletin and any e-news
  6. Online Giving: Integrate with your online giving solution
  7. Short videos: Integrate with Youtube/Vimeo for short videos

We are excited to continue to dream and develop for the future of mobile technology and hope to see it used more and more for the advancement of God’s Kingdom. If you have any questions at all, we’d be happy to help!