Figuring Out Your Mobile Strategy for 2015
Given today’s growing mobile landscape, many businesses share these questions when building out their web infrastructure: What mobile strategy fits our goals? Can we expand our standard web infrastructure to provide responsive or adaptive mobile web layouts? Should we develop native mobile apps? Perhaps both? Or maybe our objectives call for a hybrid solution? What are the tradeoffs and added costs/savings?
The answers to these questions are highly dependent on your application requirements. Let’s look at both ends of the spectrum in two distinct app scenarios.
Scenario #1: We’ll start with a simple portal page, which includes a newsfeed and a 3D first person shooting game. The portal provides copy, links, and incremental updates over time. This operates like a web page and should probably be treated as such. A native app would not be necessary.
Scenario #2: On the other end of the scale, we have a game built in C++, which was ported to iOS, Android, and other native platforms by a comprehensive animation framework called Unity. There’s no practical way to support these technological requirements from a browser. We would need to leverage the power of the iOS SDK (“standard developer kit”), including the powerful video-rendering engine, along with finely tuned memory management. In this case, the game is built as a native app to take advantage of app development features and technology and provides the best experience to the end user.
So where on this spectrum does your product fall? In some cases, it could fall in the middle with pros and cons for different strategies. It may require an experienced tech lead to help compile the most effective and efficient mobile strategies for your business. The more interactive your app, the more affinity it would have for native app programming. This especially applies to apps that leverage many of the native hardware components like a device’s camera, GPS, ApplePay, demanding video or audio requirements, and more.
Why go with HTML 5 over native mobile app development? Here are some benefits of building a responsive site in HTML5 in lieu of a dedicated mobile app:
– Continuous rollouts of incremental updates – not dependent on user upgrades.
– Streamlined responsive front-ends for cross platform views.
– Potential development cost savings.
At least, that’s what two web giants, Facebook and LinkedIn, initially had in mind when they built their websites. Later, they changed course and migrated to native mobile platforms. Here’s why they changed their strategy and went with native apps:
Facebook: benefits of a dedicated mobile app:
– Overall improved speed. (Speed doubled).
– The app allows users to use gestures such as finger swiping and includes animations, all features enabled by native iOS SDK.
– Multithreading data streams for continuous real-time updates.
Linked In: benefits of a dedicated mobile app:
– Improved memory when users engage with the app.
– Improved animation.
– Better debugging tools available for developers.
Depending on the scenario, a native app can be overkill. Alternately, there are cases in which a responsive web product provides an underwhelming service and requires high maintenance to ensure optimization across fragmented mobile platforms. It can be very beneficial to hire an experienced mobile developer to who can consider both your present AND future application requirements and guide you through the process of determining the optimal path for designing your mobile web strategy.
In our next article, we’ll provide deeper look into the trenches. We’ll break down the pros and cons of web, native and hybrid-based mobile apps feature by feature.
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This article was provided by Executionists’ mobile app. partner, Caprica Labs:
We specialize in responsive mobile + iOS & Android development. We also provide conceptual information architecture, prototyping, and back-end services include LAMP + Ruby based solutions. For more information, please contact: email@example.com.