This is the second in a series of posts by DeveloperTown Associate Partner Andrew Robinson.
Start from the beginning with “We can create an app for that!”
On a journey with many forks, the only way to get to your destination is to make a choice and go.
The first fork is the question of “how do I get my product/service in the hands of the user”. Should you focus on a website that is mobile-optimized/friendly/adjacent/amicable (there are varying degrees of mobile compatibility, and they go by even more names)? Or a native app…err, a suite of native apps, because of course there is iOS, Android, Windows mobile, Blackberry, or whatever platform your favorite eReader or tablet is built on. The issue is that each platform needs there own app built in their own language with their own framework and their own ‘isms’.
But alas, we simply aren’t there yet. Not to fret though, were we are, is an amazing place to be. If you have an app that needs/would benefit from interacting with the devices’ gyroscope, camera, GPS or notification system at the moment your only choice is to go native. Not to mention, the number one feature of any application is or should be…speed, and the bottom line is that currently native beats web every time in that department. Finally (and maybe most important to the apps success), there is the marketing, prestige, and customer trust/comfort that is associated with having an app in your favorite app store. Let’s be honest, if you go to a customer, and say to them, “yes, you can go to our website, but you can also download our app in the app store” you will get raised eyebrows. Having that edge could be the deciding factor in a conversion or another half interested prospect.
So, mobile web or mobile native…only you know the answer that is appropriate for you, but if your specific case does take you down the native mobile app path, there are yet even more forks in the road. I like to think about this next fork as native versus native-native… What’s the difference you ask…well, it all begins with portability, which we will discuss in the next part of this mini-series.