The other day, I nearly smacked the sh*t out of my wife.
Or rather, I had the urge to smack the sh*t out of my wife.
Now, I’m not a violent person.
Nor do I support domestic violence of any kind.
But she asked me a question…
That it took every sinew in my body to restrain myself.
What, pray tell, did she ask to create such an impassioned emotional response?
“What’s the difference (between an app and a mobile site)?”
Can you believe it?
The nerve of this heifer.
I’ve been married to this broad for almost 13 years.
I’ve been in the mobile app/technology space for over a decade.
Over this period, I regaled her with stories of my exploits in cyberspace.
I converted her from a cave dwelling savage to a member of civilized society.
Where once stood a technophobe, now exists a technophile.
I brought her from a clamshell to a smartphone.
Raised her from the ignorance of PCs to the enlightenment of Apple.
Brought her from the dark of online social isolation to the light of social media and networking.
But, I digress.
Why did I want to inflict bodily harm?
Well, she was “pinning” on her Droid II and remarked how fluid the Pinterest mobile website was.
I casually remarked that if the mobile site worked so well, that the app would probably work better.
Following my advice, she fumbled around trying to locate the link to the Google Play Store on her device before realizing that the app was already installed.
Apparently, months ago, when she became the Pinterest-junkie she is today, I had installed the app to feed her voracious pinning appetite.
She had been using the app for a hot minute, thinking she was on their mobile site.
It was then, that she uttered those three dreaded words: what’s the difference.
They cut me like a knife.
She was looking down at her phone and didn’t see the murderous rage in my eyes.
We were in a public place (Ruby Tuesday) with the kids, so I channeled my inner Shaolin monk to avoid lunging across the table and throttling her.
Could she really not know the difference?
Maybe all the times she feigned sleep as I recounted my days’ work, she was really dozing off and not paying attention.
I should have known, with all those Help Desk moments, assisting her to remotely recover a file she thought she had deleted or locate a download on her computer.
Perhaps she was…daft?
My rage was quickly replaced by pity for my poor ignorant spouse, who continually failed to avail herself of her husband’s brilliance.
And it dawned on me.
If my bottom bitch didn’t know the difference between an app and a mobile site, perhaps my thirteen readers didn’t either.
I must right this wrong.
First, let’s start with definitions.
An app is a software application that’s written in the language of the mobile platform upon which it operates.
A mobile site is a website that has been optimized for browsing on mobile devices.
Now lets look at the primary differences between them, in the areas of: access, connectivity, content and compatibility.
Apps are usually accessed directly from the mobile device. Typically, there is an icon for the particular app you wish to utilize, which launches the app. Click it and you’re off!
Mobile sites, on the other hand are usually accessed from within the mobile web browser. In order to access a mobile site, you’ve got to open up your browser, plug in the URL and hit enter. On many smartphones, though, you can now create a shortcut, which allows you to save the location of the web page as an icon on your device, which then opens up like an app.
Apps are usually available whether you’re online or offline. While many apps require an Internet or wifi connection to update their content, most are built to be used regardless of whether a connection exists. Typically, if a user is offline they can continue to use their app, and it will update once they’re in range of a signal.
Mobile sites require a cellular or wifi connection to be used. If you’re not in range of a wifi signal or rocking a device with a robust 3G or 4G, then connecting to a mobile site will be slightly…problematic.
When you’re on an app, the content in the app can be stored on the device, pulled from the web and downloaded to the device, or both. Most game apps usually have content stored on the device. They user isn’t required to be online in order to play. Many games in the Apple app store, however, are now adding Game Center capabilities, which allow you to play against other users remotely. Game center content requires an Internet or wifi connection.
If you’re on a mobile site, the content is only available online. If you can’t get online, you can’t get to the content of the mobile site you’re trying to reach. Period. If you’ve got cached web pages, they’ll appear when you open up your browser, but once you try to load/reload that page, you’re screwed.
Apps are designed specifically for the devices they operate upon. An iOS app will not work on an Android device. An Android app will not work on an IOS device. And nothing works on Blackberries. Compatibility is not really the forte of apps.
Mobile sites, on the other hand, are compatible across devices and browsers. With the exception of Flash (which still does not work on iOS devices) most features and functions on mobile sites work on virtually all mobile devices.
My sweet ignorant wife got the abridged version of this breakdown.
Hopefully it stuck.
In my pity, I no longer harbored the desire to smack the shit out of her.
While my pimp hand is strong, so is my compassion for the enfeebled.
Hopefully my explanation of the differences between apps and mobile sites are too.
Note to my wife: If you’re reading this blog, these are just jokes. I never want to smack the shit out of you…except when you’re talking to me while sports are on the tele…or when you prattle on endlessly about inane topics you know I could give a fuck about…or when you get on me for being on my phone. But aside from that, you know I loves you.