Making the case for native apps

Posted on: August 28th, 2012 by writers

Smartphone Evolution © by Phil Roeder

When building a mobile app solution, many organizations are faced with the classic dilemma of building a native mobile app vs. a mobile web app. Each platform comes with its own strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes you’ll find that building a mobile web app is sufficient to meet your customer’s needs, but other times you may want to leverage the full capabilities of modern mobile devices and push forward with a native mobile app. Although native apps may be more powerful, they are more expensive and harder to maintain and deploy, so care must be taken to ensure that one can take full advantage of the rich native features before committing to this larger undertaking.

Some of these more robust features include GPS capabilities, camera functionality and push notification. Push notification allow you to interact with the mobile user even when your application is not in usage, which is a powerful method to increase interaction with your customer. If your product or service plans on making heavy usage of these mobile features then you’ll want to explore a full native app.

Native mobile apps that are launched via popular app stores can also be excellent marketing tools to help promote your business. Certainly a mobile app release creates a lot more buzz and attention than the launch of a mobile website. However, the cost of properly marketing your mobile app has increased this year, according a recent report from Fiksu, a digital marketing firm.

Of course, before you select a mobile platform, you have to have your larger mobile strategy in place. The first place to start with your strategy is with the end user and the desired experience of your product or service on their mobile device. Once you understand your customer’s usage habits, you can decide on building a native mobile app or a mobile web app as part of your larger strategy.

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