One of the strengths of mobile apps is that they can tap into native phone functionality – such as the camera or address book. The downside to mobile apps is that they can be expensive to create, especially if you hope to support users with iPhones, Android devices, Windows phones, Blackberry devices, etc. If your main goal is to make your website content available to users on a wide range of devices and you do not need access to native phone features, then a mobile website is probably the right direction for you. In fact, if you develop your website using a “responsive web design” approach, where your one website is built to respond to different devices and screen sizes and present a layout optimized for each, then you are achieving real efficiency in your online content publishing! The decision on whether you need a mobile website or a mobile app does not need to be an exclusive one. Either way, the first step is to identify what your goals are – or speak to a company like Envision that can help steer you in the right direction. In addition to his role at Envision, Jeremy also teaches website design and front-end development at the University of Rhode Island as well as contributing as a regular author to a number of leading industry publications. I recently spent some time making an activity template using IBM Connections to make it easier to keep track of all these assets. Activities and  activity templates are one of the least-used but most useful features in IBM Connections. Marty, remember when you begged me to get pixel-perfect alignment for all the different type icons in Connections?
Many months after we did that, though, I realized how right you were to keep asking for that to be fixed. Caroma has now launched a free App of the tenth edition Caroma Plumbersa€™ Handbook, available to download from the 23 April 2012.
Considered the plumbers a€?biblea€™, the comprehensive and practical product and technical guide is now in digital format.
The Caroma Plumbersa€™ Handbook App features the latest 2012 information in an easy to use format, with simple searching capabilities by product name or set out ranges. Commenting on the launch, Joshua Mammoliti, Online Marketing Manager at Caroma said, a€?The aim of the Caroma Plumbersa€™ Handbook App is to assist plumbers by providing them with immediate and easy access to information in a digital format.

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At Envision, the websites we host get, on average, about 30% of their traffic from mobile devices of one kind or another – and we have some sites that get over 50% of their user traffic from mobile!
If you absolutely need direct access to those features, then a mobile app is likely the right choice for you.
Each of these different platforms requires a different app to be developed, so the cost of creating this content goes up as you strive to support a wider audience.
Unlike mobile apps that need to be developed uniquely for each platform, all those previously mentioned platforms include web browsers with them. With this responsive method, you have one website to manage and maintain and that site’s responsive layout will support large desktop computers, mobile smartphones, and the myriad of devices that fall between these two extremes. You may actually benefit from both and if your company has the resources to develop and support a mobile website and a mobile app, then this may be the way to go. There are many other considerations you should take into account when deciding on whether to develop a mobile app, a mobile website, or both - further reason to contact a company that specializes in this type of development as a logical first step in your decision making process. During that time, he has designed and developed websites, touch screen kiosk interfaces, digital signage content, logos, trade show displays and more. It lets you assemble a reusable, collaborative checklist that you can make a new copy of and share with people or a community. They want to make sure that other folks don’t start making apps using those logos and then creating confusion etc etc etc. The App is a valuable tool which will assist plumbers on-site with both domestic and commercial installations, as well as making it easier than ever to access Caroma product information while out in the field.
The App has all the same detailed content on products as outlined in the Plumbers Handbook, including information on Caroma toilet suites, basins, baths, urinals and spare parts. This is where industry analysts predict all websites will be within the next few years, getting more than half their traffic from mobile devices.

Mobile apps are also attractive because they can be placed directly on the homescreen of a user’s device, allowing for one-tap access to your content.
There are frameworks available today that make this development process easier than it has been in the past, but you are still developing multiple apps for multiple platforms – apps that you will also need to keep updated over time as software changes. By creating a website that is optimized for the small screen sizes of mobile devices, you can develop your content once and support a much wider range of users.
When increasing the reach of your online content is your main goal, this is by far the best way to achieve it. Since many mobile apps access web content, you will likely want to start with a mobile website first and make sure your web presence is optimized for the widest range of devices possible.
Still, the general questions posed in this article should give you a springboard to begin the process and do some intital brainstorming on what direction you think may be a fit for your business needs. Each time I start a new app, BAM, I make a new activity from the template and I’m good to go.
As such, many of the conversations we are having these days center on the need to support this increasingly mobile-centric world. That is very cool and it is often the main reason why people tell us they want to have an app – they like that ease of access for their users.
Once you have that set, development of a mobile app, if there is a strong business case for it, could be the next phase of your mobile-support plans.
The template includes links to photoshop templates and official documentation from Apple and Google, so anyone within IBM is able to pick up the checklist and run with it. When we have these conversations, one of the first questions we are often asked is whether a mobile app or a mobile website is the right choice for a business.

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