To say that mobile apps are booming would be an obvious understatement, IDC predicts that global downloads will reach 76.9 billion in 2014 and will be worth $35 billion. Because of this many companies are considering a leap onto the mobile app bandwagon. But does your company really need a native mobile app; is this the best way forward for your brand? There are other options available which will enable you to take advantage of the mobile revolution which may be better suited to your company’s goals, strategy, target audience and ultimately budget. We have put together an overview of the pro’s and con’s of native mobile apps, web apps and mobile optimised websites to help you decide the best way forward for you. Best
Mobile App Design
Native Mobile Apps
Native mobile apps are specifically designed to run on the smartphones operating system and machine firmware. It typically needs to be adapted and adjusted for use on different devices (GIA)
- Native apps do not need internet connectivity to function this gives users anytime, anywhere access.
- Native apps can offer increased functionality by tapping into the smartphone handset features. If you would like your app to access the user’s camera or phonebook or make use of GPS location technology, the accelerometer or server side push notifications then you will probably want to go down the native application route.
- Native Apps are distributed via the app stores (Apple iTunes, Android Marketplace). This is a powerful platform to get your apps found provided you have optimised your application for maximum visibility.
- Native mobile apps promote better user engagement with longer user sessions; this is probably due to the richer user interface provided although this may be set to change with new developments in HTML5.
- Surveys show that most affluent respondents are more likely to say they had downloaded a native app (Survey by Ask.com and Harris Interactive)
- Cost – a native app is specific to the mobile handset it is run on, since it uses the features of that specific handset. This means if you are developing across iOS, Android and Blackberry operating systems the development costs can be quite high as each device uses different coding.