What happens when you download an App to your smartphone, and said app simply takes you to the company website? My personal and first opinion would be “What the heck?!?”

IMO, an app that simply links to a website shouldn’t even become an app. I guess I could be won over with a case if that ‘website’ is trully and fully functional and designed for use by a mobile device only. Granted, and technically speaking, apps are reading and writing the same data that the website does so it kind of is interchangeable, maybe.

Let’s look at Banking and Insurance giant USAA and their app. USAA is one of the top rated banks and insurance companies around, and geared towards the military and their families.

[button url=”https://www.usaa.com/inet/pages/usaa_mobile_main” target=”_blank” size=”small” style=”silver” ]USAA’s Mobile App[/button]

USAA’s Mobile App Offering

Click on any of the “service” tabs on the right to see what you can do with the app. It’s actually kind of freaky . . . aside from the now common mobile deposits that many other banks already do, you can mange entire insurance claims (including uploading photographs of an accident), Trade Stocks, access your proof of insurance, stop payments on a check, and so much more. It’s a true app that runs directly on my phone or iPad without any browser needed. To me, that is a true “App”

But again and maybe a better way to look at it . . . any “App” that opens a browser window, shouldn’t be classified as an app. Simple.