- Mobile Tracking Solution for a Manufacturer — a Scanner App
- Scanner App: Web App (Mobile Website) or Mobile App?
My client GG, as a manufacturer, has a request to replace traditional barcode scanners to smartphone-based barcode scanning. GG usually provides traditional scanners for his rep and dealers to use, in order to scan products barcodes for placing orders, requesting prices or return. The expenses of purchasing traditional scanners and hardware are huge. Therefore, he asked if it’s possible to use a nowadays camera-included smartphone to replace a traditional dedicated scanner?
The answer is YES!
Scanner App: Web App (Mobile Website) or Mobile App?
For this case, is it better to create a mobile application (mobile app) or a mobile website (web app)? Both can look very similar at the first-glance, but which method is the most suited to this scenario? It depends upon a number of factors:
What’s the Difference Between a Mobile App and a Web App?
Mobile Apps are actual applications that are downloaded and installed on your mobile device, rather than being rendered within a browser. Users visit device-specific portals such as Apple’s App Store, Android Market, or Blackberry App World in order to find and download apps for a given operating system. The app may pull content and data from the Internet, in similar fashion to a website, or it may download the content so that it can be accessed without an Internet connection.
A Web App (mobile website) is similar to any other website in that it consists of browser-based HTML pages that are linked together and accessed over the Internet (for mobile typically WiFi or 3G or 4G networks). The obvious characteristic that distinguishes a mobile website from a standard website is the fact that it is designed for the smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface. In this case, use devices’ camera as a scanner.
In this case, the Web App is the preference.
Compatibility – Mobile Websites are Compatible Across Devices
There is no need to create different versions of Mobile Apps, that save a cost and time and do not need to to publish to stores for saving yearly membership fees. Any changes could be done through website, and one single mobile website can reach users across many different types of mobile devices, whereas native apps require a separate version to be developed for each type of device.
Immediacy – Mobile Websites Are Instantly Available
A mobile website is instantly accessible to users via a browser across a range of devices (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, etc). Apps on the other hand require the user to first download and install the app from an app marketplace before the content or application can be viewed – a significant barrier between initial engagement and action/conversion.
A Mobile Website Can be an App!
Just like a standard website, mobile websites can be developed as database-driven web applications that act very much like native apps. A mobile web application can be a practical alternative to native app development.
Bookmark: Add the Web App to devices’ screen
For iPhone/iOS devices:
For Android devices: