The question of using mobile applications vs. the mobile web is getting a lot of attention recently. One of the key questions that need to be answered is – “Is there a fundamental difference in how the users make use of these two sub-channels within mobile devices?”
Based on my knowledge from industry trends, newsletters, talking with experts – the mobile applications are utilized by users who know exactly what they need to do. Example: Paying bills, making a purchase from Amazon, ordering tacos from Chipotle, connecting with a friend on Facebook, looking for recipes, playing music for your toddler etc. On the other end, users utilize the mobile web to search for new things. Example: finding a FAO Schwarz store in NYC, trying to learn more about a new product, trying to find a customer service number.
Thus, net net – Mobile web is more useful for searching the web vs. the Mobile Applications are used by used when they know exactly what they need to do.