Many companies considering a native mobile application may have better success with a responsive web application instead.

Before you decide on a native mobile application, there are some key items to discuss. What is your main motivation behind building a mobile application? Will you also need a website/application accessible from non-mobile devices? What functionality does your application need?

 

You may be surprised to learn, that a responsive web application can be used effectively from both desktop/laptop computers and mobile devices. For any mobile application developed, it typically needs a supporting backend web application to be built (in order to store data in the cloud).

 

Developing a responsive web application instead of a native mobile application can give you more bang for our buck. With a responsive web application, users are not restricted by their mobile environments – they can now use the app from any modern internet connected device.

Why build a native mobile application?

 

Does the app need to interface with the phone’s hardware?

Accessing device specific hardware (GPS, camera, NFC, etc) can typically only be done from an installed native mobile application.

 

Does it need to access data on the phone?

Accessing the phone’s data such as identity and contacts/address book can typically only be done with a native mobile app.

 

Does your monetization strategy depend on the app store?

Does your strategy depend on micro-transactions or revenue from selling the application itself on the app store?

Why build a responsive web application?

 

Do you need non-mobile devices to access the data?

If the app is built as a native mobile application – it will only be accessible on the platforms that it is developed for (typically iOS and android). Whereas a web application can be used from any internet connected device – including mobile phones.

 

Would you like the data to be indexed by google to leverage the data for better search engine rank?

Data locked away inside a mobile app won’t be accessible to google’s search crawlers. If the data can be shown publicly, it can provide value to increase your search engine rank of your website.

 

Budget

Responsive web applications typically carry a lower cost than native mobile applications.

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