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  • Jim Kinlan, Partner Success Director

Digital Lifecycle Decisions – Should You Consider a Native or Mobile Web App?

As a forward-thinking IT provider, we feel it is important to keep our customers informed about key decisions that they will likely face in their digital lifecycle. One of these decisions concerns how to best address the needs of your customers while they are altering their computing lifestyles – from desktop to mobile.

Digital Lifecycle

Many organizations will make a knee-jerk reaction and think that they need native and/or hybrid applications for mobile devices without thinking through the specifics of coding issues, distribution issues, and what user problems that they are trying to solve. One must always survey the field, take stock of their resources and then strategize.

Here are the top ten reasons to consider a mobile web app:

1. The control for your app is not at all dependent on an app store accepting and approving your application.

2. There is nothing to download for the user to get it to work – it’s immediate and because of the mobile website’s immediacy, it is much better to be share with other users.

3. Users don’t need to upgrade their software to get new features and functionality or to fix issues. It is updated automatically. It does not have to go through any external/third party store approval process.

4. The developer only needs to support the current version of the application, because there is only one version – the one that users are connected to. There is no need to ensure that previous versions are updated or supported.

5. Mobile web apps are beginning to provide more functionality to get access to more and more native features of devices like GPS and uploading files.

6. It is faster to develop a mobile web application. In addition, there is no lag time for your application to be accepted upon its release or even minor updates.

7. If you charge for additional services through your web app, you are not subject to rules that take a cut of your payout – but it does mean that you must provide the mechanism for the e-commerce transaction.

8. A mobile website can have similar functionality to that of an app with data driven functionality.

9. If one of your customer’s mobile devices is out of juice or simply not available, a mobile web app is available from any mobile or desktop device.

10. If your mobile web app is successful, there is no reason why you can’t still consider native or hybrid mobile apps to supplement your success.

Here are a few important reasons why only a native app will suffice:

1. If your app requires access to a mobile device’s special features, then it may be imperative to use a native app (for example – camera, accelerometer, or the actual immediacy of faster processing power).

2. If your app requires at least a limited usage without a network connection to features such as note taking, then a native app is what you need.

3. If your app requires complex calculations and/or processing power, a native app may be advisable.

4. If your app is a game that requires interactivity, then a native app is in order.

5. If your priority is to provide a user experience that is highly consistent with the mobile device’s operating system, then that can be a checkmark for creating a native app.

Thus if your business would seem to benefit from such an application, whether it be mobile or native, it is imperative to partner with an experienced and skilled concern who not only understands the ins and outs of such apps but is committed to your business goals.

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