Get ready. 2014 is the year mobile Internet traffic is expected to finally surpass desktop. Globally, Internet traffic on mobile is seeing 36% growth year on year. (Source: The Ramblings of a Marketer) In Australia, 76% of the population can now accesses the Internet on a mobile device.
(Source: Campaign Brief)
Many businesses have responded by releasing their own apps to in order to mitigate the risk of missing out on reaching new and existing customers.
It is estimated that Apple App Store and Google Play each have over 800,000 apps available for download. (Source: Canalys) and it is predicted that 82 billion smartphone apps will be downloaded in 2013. (Source: Portio Research)
But before you jump on the Mobile app bandwagon, consider building a Web app.
Web apps are websites created using Responsive Web Design (RWD) techniques. RWD allows you to optimize the design of your website for the multitude of devices and screen sizes now available on the market, essentially it involves designing a website to look and behave in the same way as an app.
Native Apps are written specifically to run only on a particular operating system like Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android and also require different versions for different devices (for example, iPhone and iPad).
Web Apps are built to run across all devices and operating systems. They also use universal web coding languages, and do not require the approval of a store to be made available to your audience. This generally makes a Web app a more cost and time-effective option.
Unlike native apps, which must be downloaded via the App Store or Google Play, Web apps are accessed by visiting a URL or web address. A web app can also prompt the user to save a shortcut to the home screen, allowing them quick access in the same way an app can be accessed. Web apps also have the added advantage of pushing updates directly to users, without the need to have them download the latest version.
Of course, Native apps have their advantages. The benefits include; increased access to your device’s hardware, better security, access to better developer tools and also the ability to create smoother and more complicated graphic effects.
Listing your Native app stores allows you to easily monetize your app and even if you don’t it’s still a great opportunity for users to discover your services while browsing stores.
When it comes time to choose the right solution for your business it’s better to let your app’s requirements guide your decision making process, rather than a native app for app’s sake.
Need help deciding what is right for you? Speak to our digital team: firstname.lastname@example.org.