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Mobile vs. Tablet App Development: Which is Right for You?

So you’ve decided to move forward with your app idea into the development stage. But should you prioritize mobile or tablet app development?

Since mobile and tablet apps are worlds apart in terms of UX and user behavior, you’ll want to put careful consideration into this decision.

The Differences Between Mobile Apps and Tablet Apps

One of the most relevant differences between mobile devices and tablets is the time that users invest on each device.

Smartphone usage often consists of glancing at the device then putting it down, whereas tablets are typically used for longer periods of time during a single session.

In fact, the average session length on mobile is half the average session length on tablet devices.

If your enterprise offers services that analyze and communicate data, and you foresee users spending significant amounts of time digging into that data, a tablet app is worth prioritizing.

Tablets are also more likely to be used by more than one user, and are thus less personal and emotional platforms for engagement.

Additionally, they’re more likely to provide higher resolution (or at least larger scale) experiences for users than a smartphone is capable of.

Plus, mobile apps are more likely to be used in wide variety of locations and scenarios. They’re likely to suffer from distracted use, and smartphones are treated more as personal property than tablets are. Therefore, mobile devices are more likely to be used for more social and emotional contexts.

Another difference between tablets and smartphones are their user demographics. When it comes to mobile versus tablet use, there’s an undeniable difference in the age of predominant users, as well as their needs and expectations.

According to Pew Research, Millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — are more interested in smartphones, while the older generation is more inclined to use tablets. The gap between these groups now stands at 10 percentage points, as 64% of Gen Xers claim to own tablets, while only 54% of Millennials own them.

Graph showing how younger people and older people use technology differently.

Things to consider when choosing between mobile and tablet app development:

When it comes to mobile app development versus tablet app development, one approach isn’t necessarily better than the other. Your choice should hinge on what products or services your enterprise offers, who you want to use your app, and how you want to engage with them.

A significant number of enterprise organizations are starting to implement tablet-specific apps in order to optimize experiences for users who prefer to use tablets instead of their mobile devices. This is a smart play for corporate enterprises, as tablets provide opportunities for larger displays in which users can view multiple sets of data or information at once.

If this sounds like something you want your app to be able to provide, then perhaps a tablet app is the way to go.

However, if you want a more touchpoint solution that users will use more frequently, but for less time, then you should prioritize mobile development.

Regardless of whether you choose to develop a mobile or tablet app, it’s important to focus on one or the other to start — don’t just go about designing a mobile app and expect it to run perfectly on a tablet, or vice versa.

Plenty of organizations have both a mobile-friendly public website for their general web presence, as well as a downloadable native app to accommodate more specific requirements.

In the end, it’s all about choosing the right tool for the business goals you’re trying to accomplish.

Final Thoughts

Are you looking to outsource your mobile or tablet app design and/or development related project requirements? Want a FREE quote on a mobile or tablet app development project?

Koombea, a leading custom mobile and web app development partner offers a wide range of services from idea consultation, to creation and deployment of today’s best digital solutions.

Contact us today to begin leveraging our top notch mobile app designers, developers, and strategists! Email us at [email protected] or visit at for more information.

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