Questions to ask before creating mobile apps
While the differences between the two types appear minor to the user, they are really quite substantial. In order to choose the appropriate app type for your business, answer these 5 questions:
How many platforms do you need to support?
Right now, there are roughly 4 main smartphone and tablet platforms:
- Windows 10
- Blackberry OS
Do you want mobile applications that work across all tablet and smartphone platforms? If so, you must create 8 different versions of each application. Even if your company only needs internal mobile applications for one platform, you must still ask yourself this question: Are you certain that this is the platform of the future? If you ever switch platforms, you must create brand new applications. If cross-platform compatibility is a concern for your business, mobile web apps are a better choice as they are completely platform independent.
Do you need to use hardware sensors?
Native apps have access to more of the device’s hardware sensors, such as the camera and microphone. While mobile web apps can access certain sensors, like GPS, accelerometer, and gyroscope, they cannot access the camera or microphone. If you need a business app that uses these sensors, native apps are a better choice.
How important is security?
Mobile computing’s biggest advantage, portability, is also its biggest weakness. Since tablets and smartphones are so portable, they are also more likely to get lost or stolen. Native mobile apps that access important data could pose a security risk. Since native apps store data on the device itself, a lost or stolen device could lead to a security breach. On the other hand, mobile web apps store data in a centralized location, not on the device itself. In this case, a lost or stolen phone/tablet doesn’t pose a security risk as no data is stored on the device itself.
What’s the purpose of your app?
Mobile business applications generally serve one of three purposes: internal use, customer use, or revenue generation. If you’re building apps for internal or customer use, both application options are suitable. However, if you plan on selling your apps, you’ll need to build native apps and place them in each platform’s application store.
How important is data integration?
Will your apps access your database(s) and integrate into your current systems? If your apps are accessing business data, integration is crucial. Integrating native apps is difficult, if not impossible depending on your current systems. If data integration is important, mobile web apps are a better choice.
Requirements vary depending on the app format. Here are the requirements for creating both native and mobile web apps:
- Developer(s): You’ll need a developer familiar with the mobile platform programming language. Most platforms use different programming languages. Here are the programming languages required to create native apps for the most popular mobile operating systems.
- Android – Java
- Blackberry – Java
- iOS – Objective-C
- Windows 10
If you want to create cross platform native apps, you’ll need either one developer who knows each, or multiple developers.
- Join the developer program: You’ll need to join the developer programs for every platform you’re using. Each one requires a small entry fee.
- Team: Ongoing, you’ll need a team together to maintain these native apps. Whenever a mobile platform releases a new update, you’ll need to update your application, or risk it not working with the updated OS. Each platform releases a new update every few months.