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6.1. Mobile Access

TownLife Mobile Strategy

The TownLife system has chosen to utilize responsive web design vs developing separate "mobile apps" because of the many advantages that exist in this solution. With a mobile app restrictions are made to a specific platform and functionality can become limited.

The purpose of TownLife has always been to provide a universal platform that has shared benefits to all users as improvements are made. Shared benefits are lost when a specific platform/app is chosen (see universal accessibility below).

An example of how the unique mobile experience has been integrated into our web development can be seen by taking advantage of form tags that trigger unique mobile iPhone keyboards (see http://diveintohtml5.info/forms.html). Also when submitting photographs the mobile friendly TownLife webpages can detect a phone camera feature and even offer the user the choice of submitting a newly taken photo vs one from their photo library.

The most important aspect of app vs mobile website is looking at who our customers are and what devices they use. Thus far a single device has not become an apparent winner and the functionality our customers require are being met with our mobile web design methods.

The core benefits to creating specific mobile "app" versions of a platform are to take advantage of mobile features and increase speed/performance. At TownLife we have been able to attain both of these benefits and continue to improve our customized CMS toolset for all platforms.

For more examples of when to use an app see: http://venturebeat.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/web-versus-native.jpeg

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