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Mobile Web Apps vs. Native Apps: Which is Better?

Background

Browser-based mobile apps versus native apps. It is a serious debate of about three years. And pretty much since the beginning of that debate, there’s been a general undercurrent among the Internet community that browser-based is good and native is bad. But Native is dominating despite serious drawbacks, and browser-based apps need to catch up.

Clearly, organizations are realizing the growing importance of the mobile web channel as a way to build brand awareness and customer loyalty, but many are unaware that there are new and innovative approaches to the native mobile app that leverage the browser and make it significantly easier to the participation. consumers through the exponential number of mobile warfare.

The NATIVE form.

Mobile apps are nothing new. Hundreds of thousands of productivity, game, utility, and entertainment apps abound in stores like Apple’s iTunes or Salesforce.com’s AppExchange, available for free but mostly paid apps, through a variety of models. Apps have redefined usability and interaction on mobile phones, especially touchscreen devices and now tablets. But the native way comes at a price: significant development costs plus maintenance and distribution costs. Not to mention the reliance on app stores and the continual cycle of installing and updating. So for commercial mobile apps, the downsides can be offset by the business model, for informational mobile apps, which are essentially free, the downsides are paid for in cash.

One of the prerequisites for this native approach is the extensive infrastructure required for basic distribution and maintenance updates. And beyond the distribution infrastructure, organizations need to create custom versions of the app for each of the mobile platforms it will run on (Android, Mac O/S, RIM, Windows Mobile, Symbian, etc.), which which in turn also requires personal updates for end users to install and update. For business apps it’s not a big deal, for informational apps and companies with limited resources to implement it’s not an obvious choice.

Native has its advantages; applications work offline, which is particularly interesting for games and native applications can benefit from the proprietary features of the native platform; in iPhone apps, you can take advantage of the tilt angle or movement of the device, provided of course your apps need that capability. For media and entertainment, native apps can be an additional revenue stream as apps can incur a new recurring revenue stream. But for most companies, the apps will be free, so there won’t be any additional incentive to build native apps.

The way of the mobile browser

The technical and financial barriers to overcome in the native application approach are too high for most companies and their marketing staff. They need to find an alternative way to enter the mobile web market and the mobile device market. Small and midsize organizations are still struggling to get a third-generation website or Web Presence up and running, not to mention that they might now be dealing with three or four different content management, distribution, and maintenance platforms.

Looking at it from a different angle, we might consider giving customers a mobile web experience instead of an app experience. And that approach is made possible through newly developed standards like HTML5 and CSS3, combined with Javascripts that optimize a website’s content for a first-class mobile user experience. Applications can be easily replicated through the browser, without the need for a new and different underlying platform. In a nutshell, you are leveraging your existing website content on a mobile platform, accessible from any mobile device or tablet and regardless of the operating system and mobile browser used on the device or tablet.

The benefits of mobile web applications

For mobile application provider

The most obvious benefits for the application provider are the ability to leverage their existing investment in a website or content management system on the mobile platform. There is no need to create new content, no new delivery platform, no investment in hardware and software, just content optimization for a robust mobile experience. And some content management platforms now offer this as an add-on to their existing platform for building non-mobile websites.

Another big advantage is that the approach is technology agnostic, and with a browser-based mobile app you cover the entire mobile and tablet market, regardless of the manufacturer and the underlying operating systems used. IOS covers around 52% of the mobile market and as such is an extraordinary figure, but leaves 48% to others. Building native apps at Apple gives you 52% market coverage, building browser-based mobile apps gives you 100% coverage, and you don’t need to worry about what percentage of your customers will be covered by building a native Apple app. Manzana. Applications

The third and probably the biggest advantage for a small or medium business is the fact that your upgrade and maintenance cost will be shared with the upgrade and maintenance cost of your main site. So an investment cost for the main site and the mobile site, a URL or domain, and a cost to upgrade and maintain both platforms.

For users or customers

For users, they don’t have to download an app or any maintenance updates, but instead “call” a URL through their mobile browser that instantly delivers the most up-to-date app to their device. The URL can then be bookmarked as a local app on your device’s desktop for repeated use. In cases where users only want a one-time interaction with an app, they receive immediate access without downloading, while organizations take advantage of a unique opportunity to excite their audience.

conclusion

The debate over native apps versus mobile web apps is not so much about which is better, but rather about which is better suited to the needs of your organization and your customers. Business apps are best served through native apps, but for most organizations that see a mobile web presence as an extension of their main web presence, browser-based mobile apps are an alternative that is technically and financially much more efficient. easy to implement and that will give customers the mobile experience they are looking for, browsing your website.

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