Website vs App

web-vs-appI've been asked recently whether we have an app? Well I hope this explanation makes some sense in answer to that question.

To be clear this relates to a 'mobile friendly' website compared to a mobile application. The Club Motorhome website is not just a desktop website but it is also 'mobile friendly'. The short videos I've included shows just how app-like the mobile website is.

The major difference between a mobile app and a mobile website is that the mobile website is accessed by the user via the internet (therefore requires being online) and the downloadable application is a separate app installed on the phone/device and can be accessed both online as well as often offline.

I guess whether Club Motorhome needs an app depends on what information the user, wants that app to do...

We have looked into the production of an app in the past and to be honest our conclusion was that, for not inconsiderable time input and indeed expense, it would actually add very little to the already available facilities on Club Motorhome. Apps have become very fashionable and apparently 'must haves' and certainly they can be, depending on what interactions are required. Gaming and fitness apps come to mind.

I'm pretty certain that any info requiring an app would be related to motorhome stopovers and their location, contact, photo/video and reviews if any. Our mobile friendly website does all of that.

An app may give location details that can be interacted with to get directions via Google Maps, add user reviews, submit photos/videos or even add locations, change the type of map view etc. Our mobile friendly website can do that.

An app may have a search facility to see on an interactive map where other nearby stopovers are around the user (subject to the user's consent to use their location), or around a particular search area. Our mobile friendly website can do that.

An app may show recently added stopovers or recent reviews, again our mobile friendly website does that.

An app may allow the user to select favourite stopovers to look back on when they have finished their research. The mobile friendly website can do that too (you can even email your list to yourself to refer to at a later date - the email is even includes clickable links to return to those stopovers on the website).

An app produces an icon on your device's homepage for instant access to the stopover info. Guess what? Yep, the mobile friendly website can do that too.

The biggest potential difference is the online/offline capability. A downloaded app 'can' be used offline although not all can, at least without further payment. Club Motorhome, as a website, requires access to the internet but, and its a big BUT, CM has developed downloadable eBooks to make information of its motorhome stopovers available offline - the only thing that ebooks can't do in this case is to offer an interactive map. The rest of the information, email address, web address can be clicked to access so long as there is an internet connection, which would be the same on an app. GPS can be put into a satnav so not needing the internet, whereas anything directing the user to Google Maps is going to need a signal.

Now in reality, the amount of times that someone is going to be without any mobile signal or wifi at all is very small and coverage is improving all the time. Often even more so when abroad.

For those interested there's more information about our eBooks here

So in conclusion, an app would give a better offline map experience but very little else. Remember also that apps are huge money earners for their platforms IOS, Android, Google etcs so please don't fall into, what could be considered, a marketing trap that apps are the be-all and end-all wink

That's why Club Motorhome has not developed an app.

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