Mobile Business Apps

11/19/2014 03:14:00 pm Dave Givens 3 Comments

Mobile applications for business have come a long way in the last few years. Functionality is key and users now expect full device and browser compatibility. There's more than one way to skin a cat, but choosing the correct approach for you requires careful consideration.

Which development strategy best suits your needs?

Native Apps are written for use on the device and is installed directly into the memory of that device. They must be downloaded via an app marketplace, for example Play Store (Android) or App Store (Apple).

    1. The security of the app is ensured, because approval by the app store is required to distribute, guaranteeing safe use.
    2. Overall performance is better because some or all the functions can be called upon even if you have no internet connection.
    3. The app can take advantage of the devices functions; i.e. accelerometer, gestures, notifications and the ability to run in the background.
    4. The association with the app stores takes advantage of purchasing features such as one-click payments.

    1. They must be downloaded via an app marketplace, for example Play Store (Android) or App Store (Apple), therefore their are content restrictions.
    2. High maintenance and development costs, to remain competitive a business may need to develop for all operating systems and devices, which may require the expertise of more than one development team. Finding competent competitively priced developers is difficult. 
    3. Apps approval is not guaranteed and the process can be long and drawn out.
    4. App store fees (30% of sale price).
    5. Apple's App Store withholds subscriber details, making additional external marketing campaigns impossible.

    Web Apps aren't truly applications, but are websites written to look and perform similar functions. They are browser based therefore a users would open their browsers to navigate to a URL to access your app.

    1. Device and operating system independent, this means they are not restricted and work on every device with a web browser.
    2. No approval process, therefore no content restrictions.
    3. Cheaper and faster development; web apps are written in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and server-side languages such as ASP.NET. This cuts down on development time since there are already vast libraries for these languages (such as jQuery for JavaScript) with an extensive range of capable developers.
    4. No app store fees.
    5. No data collection restrictions.

    1. Users work with a variation mobile browsers. This can make it difficult to maintain a record of  usage patterns and provide support for all of them.
    2. Poor performance, heavy graphics can slow down the app.
    3. Can only run when connected to the internet.
    4. Added cost of extensive compatibility testing prior to launch, to allow for multiple device and browser possibilities.
    5. Limited access to device functions.

    Another possibility is......

    Hybrid Apps combine the pros of web and native apps allowing cheap development whilst taking advantage of more device features and monetisation via app stores. It also makes offline use and app store exposure possible. It uses an embedded browser to allow for lower HTML development costs, with a native locally hosted front end.

    All of this is a lot to take in. Still not clear? That's what we are here for, contact our development team, they can help you plan, design, develop and launch the ideal application for your business.

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