With the onslaught of the digital revolution and new technology, there is always a new trend that companies and industry professionals need to be aware of to stay ahead of the marketing game. So what’s the latest development? Consumers are now engaging with mobile technology more than ever before, even surpassing desktop usage for the first time in fall 2016, according to StatCounter. Mobile and tablet devices accounted for 51.3 percent of internet usage worldwide in October 2016, compared to just 48.7 percent by desktop users. This poses as a real wake-up call for brands, big or small, as it highlights the importance of app development and mobile usage as part of your marketing strategy.
So now that you’re convinced that you need to consider mobile usage, it’s time to research what type of app you’d like to create. When it comes to app development, there are three routes you can take – native, hybrid or responsive development. Lets take a look at the three options in detail to figure out what is best for your brand.
Native, Hybrid and Responsive Apps Explained
- Native Apps – Put simply, native apps are specifically created to suit just one mobile operating systems. With three main operating systems – iOS, Windows and Android – a native app will only be able to run on the one you chose to create it for and will not function on the others.
- Hybrid Apps – Hybrid apps are true to their name. Written using a single coding language, they are then compiled so that the app can be used on multiple mobile operating systems. With interactions that are specific to each device, plugins are often used in conjunction with hybrid apps, so that users get the most out of their devices features.
- Responsive Websites – Not technically an application, a responsive website is a mobile friendly website that can provide similar functions to an app. Depending on your needs and wants, you can develop a responsive website to have very little differences to an app, or create it as a mobile replica of your desktop website.
Choosing the Best App for You
When deciding which style of app is best for your business, be sure to consider your company’s goals for having an app, your needs and your resources.
A lot of companies decide to develop a native app. One such company is the Driving-Tests.org, who have developed a native app that is only compatible with iOS. As it is specific to just one operating system, the native app’s main benefit is that it’s an expert in that system – operating all functionalities with minimal error. However, not being able to operate on other devices limits a business’s ability to reach a wider audience.
You do have the option to develop three different native apps, one for each operating system, however this can get expensive and means you have to manage a different codebase for each platform. If that doesn’t suit your business, a hybrid app may be better as it allows more users to download your app. Keep in mind though that it is difficult for hybrid apps to cater to the details of various devices so consider whether your app requires complex interactions with the device it’s being used on.
If you don’t want to deal with the complexities of different devices, then a responsive website may be the best option for your business. However, this does eliminate your ability to monetize your users’ app usage and will require them to always be connected in order to engage with your business, which can deter some customers from interacting with your brand.