There is a bright future ahead for mobile app development. The question now is “Should I construct a mobile website or a mobile app?” Will HTML5 and other browser advancements eventually make mobile web browsing preferable to app downloads? There is, in my view, zero room for argument. The app market and the mobile web are here to stay.
Each side of the equation will develop into an important part of product road plans as mobile usage spreads around the world. The proverb “a rising tide lifts all boats” is commonly used to describe this phenomenon.
For students, apps serve the “quick action, I need something” role whereas browsers provide the “I need to look something up and read” role. Truthfully, that is not unreasonable. Whether you are consuming material on a smartphone or tablet, chances are you are doing so within an app that makes use of the hardware’s more advanced features, such as its accelerometer, built-in video capabilities, camera, and location-based services. More people are turning to their mobile devices to do quick Internet searches and check up information while they are out and about. It is becoming increasingly difficult to tell them apart.
Apps, in my opinion, have one distinct edge over the others. In most cases, a well-designed app will give a superior experience than that of even the greatest mobile websites available today. Nonetheless, keep in mind that developing a single native app is typically more challenging than developing a similar cross-platform online app. Many times, if you want your app to be available on many platforms, you will need to develop it independently for each one. Currently, iOS, Android, and BlackBerry are the three most popular smartphone operating systems in North America. Can you tell me how many people use each of these mobile platforms? For the final three months of 2010, the following percentages applied to all mobile phone users in the United States:
iPh0ne: 6.75 %
The percentage of Android users is 7.75%.
8:53 % BlackBerry
In other words, if you limit yourself to developing simply an iPhone app, fewer than 7% of all mobile phone users will have access to it. The app’s marketing value will depend on how large an audience it can attract.
Web apps have an advantage over native mobile apps because they can be used on several platforms. Theoretically, they only need to be developed once since they are compatible with the standards-compliant browsers found in Android, Apple, BlackBerry, and Windows mobile devices. The drawbacks, as I have already mentioned, are that they can not be found in the App Store or the Android Market and that they can not make use of certain of the user-interface components that are exclusive to each platform.
Both mobile applications and mobile websites have their advantages. Many businesses mistakenly feel that building a mobile site is more important than building an app, but students are actually using both channels, so a combined strategy—a hybrid solution—is the best option.
Time, money, and resources are other crucial factors to think about as you craft potential solutions.
Currently based in the Buffalo, New York area, I have worked as a technologist and software developer for a number of years. In the past, I have held positions in the higher education, insurance, and utility sectors. The field of software development has a lot of potential to be exciting. I hope to improve it.
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