Just a few years ago, usage of apps lagged Web browsing within that world. But we now spend more than 80 percent of our mobile time with apps, according to Flurry Analytics, comScore and NetMarketShare data.
That means news publishers need to prioritize app development when crafting their mobile strategies, as Tom Rosenstiel noted in a recent Poynter.org article summarizing comScore research. But when it comes to developing those apps, publishers have at least two options:
1. Native apps run alongside the browser. They’re built with tools specific to the device’s platform (usually Android or iOS), give a publisher prominent placement on a user’s home screen, and benefit from a raft of sophisticated features.
2. Web apps run within the browser. They’re built with a collection of advanced Web technologies — but, like native apps, emphasize utility over content. Though lacking the power of their native counterparts, Web apps can be equally capable for users and may be a more cost-effective alternative for publishers.
Both kinds of apps provide ways to help news consumers solve problems. But they offer different paths to those solutions, both in terms of the resources needed to create them and the channels available for distributing them…