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View Full Version : Create a mobile app or website?



Rcoleman25
09-20-2012, 05:06 PM
Hey,

I am creating a website which uses a database for posting, search, etc. and have thought about creating an app for it. Now I'm realizing instead of creating a full blown app I can just create a scaled down mobile version of my website. Would that be a better/cheaper option than app creation?

Also, I need to be able to track the location for some of my customers, can that be done over the website when they login from their phones or do I need an app for that?

Thanks

Sammy12
09-20-2012, 09:22 PM
Now I'm realizing instead of creating a full blown app I can just create a scaled down mobile version of my website. Would that be a better/cheaper option than app creation?


Yes, with regards to basic functionality, it is a substitute. It's also known as a mobile-version (similar to Facebook, Twitter, etc). You have to remember to target various screen sizes though.

-320 x 480 of course, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. You would need to target these with @media queries:



@media screen and (min-width: 321px) and (max-width: 480px) {

}
... you need more




Also, I need to be able to track the location for some of my customers, can that be done over the website when they login from their phones


No, I don't believe you can. You cannot access a user's location unless there was a security warning. I don't think older phones support geolocation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W3C_Geolocation_API), I remember it was in modernizr. In Safari, you get a security pop up when a website is trying to access your location.

From the geolocation link:



On desktop computers, the W3C Geolocation API works in Firefox since version 3.5, Google Chrome, Opera 10.6, Internet Explorer 9.0, and Safari 5.
On mobile devices, it works on Android (firmware 2.0 +), iOS, Windows Phone and Maemo.


Browser Support Chart: http://caniuse.com/geolocation (take a look at the mobile support)

Rcoleman25
09-21-2012, 09:25 PM
Yes, with regards to basic functionality, it is a substitute. It's also known as a mobile-version (similar to Facebook, Twitter, etc). You have to remember to target various screen sizes though.

-320 x 480 of course, iPhone, iPad, Android, etc. You would need to target these with @media queries:



@media screen and (min-width: 321px) and (max-width: 480px) {

}
... you need more




No, I don't believe you can. You cannot access a user's location unless there was a security warning. I don't think older phones support geolocation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W3C_Geolocation_API), I remember it was in modernizr. In Safari, you get a security pop up when a website is trying to access your location.

From the geolocation link:



Browser Support Chart: http://caniuse.com/geolocation (take a look at the mobile support)

Thanks for the quick reply... so I could essentially have a mobile site and then build an app SIMILAR to the mobile site with a geolocation feature... not all of my customers for the business will need the geolocation.

grimesd
09-23-2012, 04:48 AM
Hey, if you decide you want to do a mobile version of your site, you have two options. One is media queries, which is easier but adds more code to your css files. The second is create a "mobile version" of your site as Sammy12 mentioned.

Example of #1.

@media screen and (max-width:480) {
// Styling goes here
}

Example of #2.
Instead of yoursite.com
It could be mobile.yoursite.com.

The latter is a definitely a more intensive variation to a mobile site because it involves a completely overhauled version of your website on a sub domain. Usually mobile versions are better for enterprise business (Google, yahoo). For a personal website, I'd suggest using media queries.

It's a must simpler(easier) approach than subdomain mobile version.

Rcoleman25
09-24-2012, 06:33 PM
Hey, if you decide you want to do a mobile version of your site, you have two options. One is media queries, which is easier but adds more code to your css files. The second is create a "mobile version" of your site as Sammy12 mentioned.

Example of #1.

@media screen and (max-width:480) {
// Styling goes here
}

Example of #2.
Instead of yoursite.com
It could be mobile.yoursite.com.

The latter is a definitely a more intensive variation to a mobile site because it involves a completely overhauled version of your website on a sub domain. Usually mobile versions are better for enterprise business (Google, yahoo). For a personal website, I'd suggest using media queries.

It's a must simpler(easier) approach than subdomain mobile version.


Thanks,

But this is a business website... which is launching in one month. So I could put code in my CSS style sheet for a mobile version and then create a geolocation mobile app? I would like to have one of those auto detect scripts which introduces a scaled-down version of my website when customers log in from their mobile phones.

Sammy12
09-24-2012, 06:42 PM
Somehow your post on 9-21 never showed up for me.



so I could essentially have a mobile site and then build an app SIMILAR to the mobile site with a geolocation feature...


Yes, the code below targets a specific screen size and you would insert CSS targeting phones. You shouldn't have to change everything, just widths and heights. The color scheme and everything else stays the same, unless you want to create a completely different design for a mobile device (in which using a subdomain like mobile.website.com would be preferable).



@media screen and (min-width: 321px) and (max-width: 480px) {

}




I would like to have one of those auto detect scripts which introduces a scaled-down version of my website when customers log in from their mobile phones.


@media queries are auto-detection scripts. They are for CSS only for mobile sites.

grimesd
09-25-2012, 06:18 PM
CSS media queries are awesome, but as you stated if you want to use geolocation and such, you should really look into modernizer js library which can help you detect what browsers actually support it. Using modernizer you can use geolocation for compatible phones/browsers and then use a fallback for uncompatible browsers, (Older browsers like IE < 8) and older phones.

Make sure though that you code in a way that if the user cant use geoloation, they can still view the content in another means. You said that your website starts in a month. Unless your VERY familiar with geolocation and combining it with an API like bing maps or google, I suggest doing media queries for elements that don't rely on scripting (Such as geooation, web storage/localstorage, and etc..) until you fully test it on your localhost web server on your computer to get all the kinks out and to make sure you fully test for all browsers and phones.

Thats just my opinion though, but remember, older phones and browsers still surf the web. I suggest media queries for now if your just going to make it phone compitable from your whole site. If you plan later on to make an actual mobile version of your site like using redirects to have mobile phones to directed to a subdomain like mobile.yoursite.com, then I would look into geolocation and localstorage. Unless your site already has it incorporated into it, I wouldnt add it. Again, unless you make a fully mobile-only version of your site.

Hope this helps!!

StevenHu
12-12-2012, 11:11 PM
Hey,

I am creating a website which uses a database for posting, search, etc. and have thought about creating an app for it. Now I'm realizing instead of creating a full blown app I can just create a scaled down mobile version of my website. Would that be a better/cheaper option than app creation?

Also, I need to be able to track the location for some of my customers, can that be done over the website when they login from their phones or do I need an app for that?

Thanks

First point: Instead of choosing either/or regarding website and app, you can go the route of responsive web design. Google it and you'll see it's all about designing a site for multiple screen sizes rather than locking into a set width.

Second point: I don't think web has that capability yet. The equipment needed will have to be external to the site and plugged in, or you'll have to get the user to select something online personally. Of course, plenty of smartphones have this capability built in; designing such a thing will take an experienced developer.



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