Within every company, there is an ecosystem of vendors which add value to the supply chain and provide services outside of the organization’s area of expertise or as an adjunct to their internal staff. This vendor supply chain is often invaluable and helps move the objectives of the organization forward. If you live in a vendor heavy organization, where outsourced projects cross paths, you’ve probably run into the headache of finger-pointing. When you are up against deadlines and you are managing multiple vendors with distinct project responsibilities that have dependencies on one another, it seems like an impossibility to avoid sometimes. Vendor finger pointing can be “tear your hair out” frustrating because at the end of the day, the project still needs to be completed and if timelines or budgets are being blown, the natural position for many is to try and deflect the blame.
You’ve probably heard the term progressive web app thrown around a handful of times in the mobile app world. Some are saying that they’ll replace traditional native apps in the future and become the most common way to enjoy your favorite applications. If you’re unfamiliar with progressive web apps, we have all the information you need to understand exactly why they’re becoming so popular.
A progressive web app (PWA) simply put is a browser-based application that looks, feels, and behaves identically to a native mobile app. When developing a PWA the main goal is to create a seamless application that the user won’t be able to tell the difference between their browser and a native app. This leads to the question, why would a company want to gravitate towards progressive web apps instead of developing a native app?
Progressive Web Apps perform the same functions on newer phones as an older phone. PWAs adapt to any type of web browser making them extremely accessible for any user. Most native apps require specific phone updates to access. Though some features might not be available, the PWA will still be fully accessible for anyone with a web browser.
Progressive Web Apps bypass the app stores. Because PWA’s are websites; this allows you to streamline a launch to the public without having to go deal with the numerous restrictions or go through the long approval process to be hosted on Android’s or Apple’s app store.
Progress Web Apps are faster to build and update. PWAs are a single product which adapts to the browser on the device. This saves time when developing, and updating. Once the application is developed it’s easier to manage and update because it is a single code base rather than having to manage multiple versions of a native application.
Progressive Web Apps are extremely shareable. Instead of users having to go through the installation process of the app store, PWAs can be shared between users with a simple URL. Since they’re so easy to access and be shared, PWAs are easier to get first-time users by avoiding the app store process. Additionally, when a user visits your website on your mobile browser, they can be prompted to directly download your PWA directly to their phone’s home screen.
It’s easy to see why Progressive Web Apps are growing in popularity. The number of benefits in favor of building a PWA can be overwhelming; in a good way. Rather you want an app that is more accessible or need an app that can go to market ASAP, PWAs can make it happen.
Every year it becomes more and more apparent that a mobile strategy is becoming a requirement and not an option for businesses. 57% of all U.S. web traffic now comes from smartphones & tablets. The Mobile App market continues to grow like wildfire and shows no signs of slowing down. It has become clear that businesses need to focus on a mobile strategy. The main question is – What strategy do you focus on? A lot of companies are deciding to develop their own Mobile Apps. Having an app developed for your business provides multiple benefits. Here are 5 ways your business can benefit from a mobile app.
Fix a problem
Chances are you started your business to meet the needs of a customer or solve some sort of problem. The same thought process should be carried into your mobile strategy. When developing a mobile app, the focus should be on having a clear direction. Why are you creating the app? If your mobile app is irrelevant and doesn’t provide a solution and fill a void for its users, then your app will be looked at as irrelevant.
I heard a quote from Gary Vaynerchuck when he was speaking about the app, Uber – “Uber doesn’t sell transportation. Uber sells time and convenience.” Uber’s value is time and convenience. What is the value that you’ll provide your customers with? A lot of businesses are using mobile apps, which probably includes your competitors, to streamline specific services, and processes for customers, and employees internally. Dunkin Doughnuts, Starbucks, McDonalds… you name it – are all taking advantage of their consumer’s value of time. Even the majority of fast-food restaurants have created apps that allow customers to pre-order and pay before arriving at their locations. Your app needs to provide a value to the user, something that’ll increase the day-to-day of the user.
The user experience is one of the most important things to consider when developing your Mobile App. Apps are dominantly task-oriented and are used to make life simpler. Think about the mobile apps that you use for your day-to-day tasks. How simple is the interface? How many tasks are you able to do in the app? If you use this thought process to reverse engineer yourself as a consumer, you’ll have a better understanding of what you really want in your Mobile App. Users should be able to figure out how to use your mobile app with little to no guidance. If your app is too complicated to figure out, users will not find value in it. All-in-all you want users to recognize the value in your app their first time using it. The saying is true when developing a mobile app – “Less is more.”
Develop your mobile app for IOS and Android
It is vital that you develop your mobile app to work with the 2 major platforms, IOS and Android. Developing with a Cross-Platform Framework allows your app to be used on every major platform, therefore saving you time and cost as opposed to developing for each platform individually.
Create regular updates
In the forever changing digital world we live in, technology is always progressing and evolving. Being able to adapt and react to your user’s needs is extremely important for your Mobile Apps success. To make sure your App stays relevant it needs to be consistently maintained and updated. Updates are needed to ensure that bugs are fixed, content is updated, and your users are continuing to find value in your Mobile App.
A mobile strategy in 2018 is a must. If you do decide to develop a Mobile App remember; have a goal, provide value, keep it simple, and update, update, update. Do you have an idea for your company’s mobile app strategy? At Pumex Computing we specialize in the development of Cross-platform, Hybrid, and Native Mobile Apps. We develop Mobile Apps that will work for your business.
There are typically two types of dissenters when it comes to hybrid apps: those who haven’t tried hybrid apps or those who did many years ago.
It doesn’t matter what your current stance on these apps is; the options have evolved tremendously for the better. The hybrid versus native app battle has not only resulted in a tie, but hybrid apps have taken over. The following is an overview of how hybrid apps have progressed and the concerns people have.
The number one concern people have with hybrid apps is their performance, though this concern really is unfounded now, in 2018. If you look at PhoneGap between the years of 2008 and 2012, then yes, you’re right to be worried.
Luckily, 2013 was a huge turning point for hybrid apps. The release of the iPhone 5 was the start of hybrids being more approachable. Almost 100 percent of the time, hybrid apps work extremely well. Unless your business is interested in creating graphic-heavy, high-performance game apps, hybrid is the way to go. They only need you to update, read, delete, and create data. They also have a little bit of UX sprinkled in there as well. If developing a game is your overall goal, choose native.
It’s been over ten years now since the original version of the iPhone debuted, and mobile device hardware has improved in leaps and bounds. Mobile devices now have processors that are near desktop-quality, 2 to 4 GBs of RAM, and operating systems that have a lot. Each new generation of phone is an improvement from the last.
Achieving consistent design has proven to be extremely difficult due to the huge variety of mobile platform WebViews, the mini web browsers embedded into native apps shells, available. This can most obviously be seen with Android, as they’ve been the most difficult due to the thousands of device and carrier combinations available.
Luckily, the situation has improved. It started with Android 4.4; a change was introduced that would have the Android 4.4 use a Chromium-based WebView. This first step was a good one, but it was only an embedded system browser. Since it was just that, it was only able to get updates through new OS upgrades. These upgrades only happened rarely, depending on the mobile carrier. When Android 5.0 came out, the WebView was taken out of the system. It can be updated now through the Google Play store, ensuring that the users always have the greatest and latest.
Nowadays WebViews has become standardized, allowing you to get consistent layouts across all different displays and screen sizes. Developers of apps can utilize CSS3 flexbox, and other suitable platforms, to make layout designs that are popular for all kinds of mobile devices.
For normal people, who don’t have any background in design, you can easily work with web frameworks. There are resources, like Bootstrap, that are extremely useful for working on mobile and desktop projects. Resources like this put focus on creating responsive, mobile-first projects that are perfect for helping with hybrid apps.
Over the past couple of years, there have been many open-source frameworks that have entered and left the app space. The playing field has been leveled in recent years. The most popular choices tend to be Xamarin, NativeScript, React Native, and Ionic.
Xamarin is Microsoft’s framework. It’s a little different than other frameworks. Xamarin has its apps written in C#. For developers that work on .NET, Xamarin is great for mobile development.
The fourth framework that is popular is the Ionic framework. Ionic provides you the ability to create apps that cover the most number of platforms, using only a single codebase. This means it can be used for applications for mobile, desktop, web, and progressive web. Ionic apps are created on top of Angular. This means that you need to teach yourself about Angular along with TypeScript.
These four most popular frameworks are great options for those wanting to develop apps. However, they do require you to spend time before you actually feel productive. If you’re not 100 percent certain that you want to go the hybrid way then that’s fine. You can dip your toes in the water and try plain web technology. When you become more comfortable, you can switch over to a framework that you like.
The last element of app development for hybrid apps is that the number of tools that are available. Those who develop apps can access all kinds of products that will assist with all that you need from cloud management to debugging to continuous integration.
The Bottom Line
In the last couple of years, the amount of developers that are in support of hybrid apps is eye-opening. Web developers have shown that they want to create their apps with the utilization of just one codebase. One codebase means that it comes with familiar web technology and tools. Surveys have shown that almost one-third of developers plan to ditch native development completely within the next two years.
Despite the vast improvements to hybrid apps and the technology associated with it, you may still be skeptical about using the hybrid approach. The best way to truly see if it’s the way of the future is to do it yourself. There’s no easier time to jump into the development of hybrid apps. They offer better device performance, advanced tooling, simplified design options, and professional mobile frameworks. They’re the easiest way to transition into today’s new technological world.
When choosing to develop between a hybrid, cross platform or native app mobile application there can often times be a lot of confusion. The confusion comes in the different approaches used to get the app developed. The choices for any mobile app development company depends on different factors, such as app features, budget, goals, and target customers. Below we will outline the major approaches—native, cross-platform, and hybrid—to these development apps.
This type of application development simply means developing an app specific to each platform. There are platform specific tools to aid in this process, and these tools enable the functionality of the app. These platform specific tools can be anything from XCode to Objective-C to Swift or C++. For android-based apps, Java or Kotlin are typically used.
Pros and Cons to Native Apps
- Stores app resources in the mobile device’s memory, which maximizes OS features.
- The best tool to use for quality user experience and functionality.
- iPhone has many resources, reading materials and tools for developing native apps.
- Native apps have exclusive API’s that can access push notifications, in app purchases, and camera functionality that are usually prohibited in mobile web apps.
- Native apps can get expensive especially if you want the app to be available cross platform.
- There are also slight variations with the UI on all the different platforms.
- It is very time consuming to create native applications for both Android and iOS, which can become very costly.
- Native applications usually have a requirement that only allows the app to define tablets and phones separately. This is non-transferrable between these two platforms.
Pros and Cons to Cross-Platform Apps
- Using cross-platform apps offers seamless functionality within the OS.
- It is easy to use code repeatability, hence offering cost-effective solutions to app development.
- These apps often have a non-native feel to them, offering a less appealing user experience.
- There is also limited functionality to tap into.
Hybrid Application Development for Mobile Devices
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Mobile Apps
- With very little modification the same code can be used over different platforms.
- This in the long term will save money and time.
- The functionality of hybrid apps is very similar to native apps, making them very user friendly.
- The content is portable.
- Developers have an option to deliver the app locally or through a server, meaning the app can be accessed both offline and online.
- Hybrid is a relatively new platform and may not work on all devices.
- There is not much support for these apps since they are so new, meaning problems can occur, and there is no troubleshooting available.
- If the app store you are using recognizes the app as a hybrid, it may be denied through the app store.
- Some vendors are now offering build platforms for these frameworks, meaning that you may have to pay for it.
There is no absolute choice for any of these options. It depends mostly on what is best for you or the company or venture being pursued. The best choice usually depends upon which requirements suit you best. If the application you are looking for is very complex in functionality, then native apps are the way to go. If an application that crosses multiple platforms is important, then choosing a cross-platform app is the better choice. If the budget is small and you are looking to optimize mobile experiences, then hybrid may be the way to go.
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