Do We Need an App for That? Well, Sometimes…

Well a week has come and gone, and my app free experiment is complete. The answer is, as I had assumed it would be, “Depends on how good your mobile site is.”

  • Facebook – I’m definitely sticking with the mobile site. It is more full featured (tagging in posts is easier, as is photo editing and sharing) and I don’t have to update it. Facebook is definitely leading the way on the mobile web out of all the services I tested today.
  • Twitter – It’s almost there. The biggest problem is if I open a link, and then go back to Twitter, it doesn’t take me to where I left off. It takes me to the most recent post. Plus, I have to have account switching because I manage the account for my team.
  • Gmail – I could stick with the mobile site because it works well, but the lack of notifications is the bummer here. I know I could use the Mail app that iOS has (which I hate, it doesn’t deal with GMail filters properly) but if I have to use two things it’s more trouble than it’s worth.
  • Pinterest – This isn’t completely there, but it’s close enough. I don’t use pinterest from mobile a ton and the biggest thing that it’s missing is a “news” feature so I can see when someone repins my things.
  • GoodReads – It worked well for me, because I don’t use all it’s features on mobile. Just updating my page numbers mainly.
  • Weather –  I did this on a whim to see if I liked it better than messing with the iOS weather app. And yes, yes I do. The iOS weather app is a little short featured. This way I actually have radar! I’d been trying to find a good weather app on my phone but gave up. This is the best solution I’ve come across so far.
  • Notes to Google Drive – Evernote doesn’t have a mobile site, and I decided to give this a try. It’s too slow to load. The built-in app works way quicker.
  • Calendar – Google Calendar works fine, but I like notifications on what I have coming up.
  • Forums – I was so excited to get back to TapaTalk. Forums were not made for the small screen. I had missed a ton of posts trying to read things that way!
  • Peapod – They didn’t have a mobile site at all, so I gave up on it right away.

Overall, I would prefer not to have to have apps. If I don’t care to get a push notification (and for most things I don’t want one) it’s so much simpler to have a mobile site. It was nice not having to run daily updates because an app had a small update.

The problem is, we don’t think to try these mobile sites so companies don’t invest in them. I highly encourage you to try at least one app switching to the mobile version. We don’t run many applications on our desktops anymore, so why are we cluttering up our phones and tablets?

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