I’m a big Kickstarter fan and the other day was searching for them in the iOS App Store. Not because I’d heard they had an app, just curious to see if they did. None found but several unrelated products including one who seems to have a “Kickstarter-like” logo.
In a smartphone world, having a spot on screens (especially the home screen) is a huge advantage. One-click to access. Sure you can create website icons which open your browser and direct to the site, but my guess is that most people don’t (on my iPhone I’ve done this for Techmeme & Grantland). If you’re “just a site,” browser+autofill URL is likely the quickest navigation path – quick, but doesn’t beat seeing a product’s icon again and again and again as you turn on your phone.
Which lead me to wonder – should every product have a MVA (Minimum Viable App), even if it’s largely a framed mobile website? Is (a) having something relevant appear when users search for your brand in Android or iOS App Store and (b) getting that space on mobile screens, important enough to make not having an app in 2012 much like not having a website in 1998?
What do you guys think – is having a barebones app better than no app at all?