We all live in a crazy era of limited time. The information flow is so rapid, the plans are so vast that we all wish the day had more than 24 hours.
The science and technology does its best to minimize the waste and to maximize the result. Mobile apps are one great invention to fasten the actions we generally used to do via computers. They grant us with a possibility to action anywhere: in the street, transport, at a cafe.
Now what exactly mobile apps are determined for and what features can make a mobile app great?
First and foremost one should understand the differences between a hybrid app, a native app and a mobile website.
Mobile websites are the websites that have been developed so that they are mobile friendly both from responsive design and functionality perspectives. You can access them through your mobile browsers. In a word, they are browser based services. This is the cheapest way to go mobile, but they are confined to browser sandbox and have rather limited functionality. So if your plans go further you should seriously consider building native apps.
Native apps are programs developed for concrete devices and platforms. They are downloaded from app stores and are placed on the end user’s devices. These apps are OS optimized, which grants them with possibility of immense functionality.
They have vast number of advantages as compared to mobile websites and hybrid apps. You don’t necessarily need internet connection to be able to use them (based on the app). They work much faster, are much responsive and have wider functionality. These apps can be integrated with device functionality, like camera, address book, etc.
How to Choose Between iOS and Android?
When going mobile we all face the dilemma. Which way to go first: iOS or Android. Of course, the best thing to do is to launch both. However, not all teams can afford risking this big and so they have to choose between these two.
In order to choose between iOS and Android, one should first understand the possibilities and limitations of both platforms.
First of all you need to understand your audience. If your app is intended for large audiences, you may consider going Android first. However, you should note that there is a tremendous number of Android OS versions on a big number of devices.
As for iOS, the audience is smaller but more valuable. You will spend much less time on making sure that your app works on all iOS devices. So, before deciding between the two operating systems, get to know your audience better.
Transition from Web to Mobile
It may be rather difficult to go mobile when you already have a successful website. The users will be twice demanding. It is much harder than going mobile first. So what can you do to make the transition as smooth as possible?
The most important thing in this case is to understand that you have two separate audiences for mobile and for web. Mobile users are very action oriented and can easily get disappointed. A tiny mistake may disengage them and you can lose them forever.
When going mobile, never stick to your web version. Ask yourself the following questions: Who is my mobile audience? What do the users want to do with the mobile application? What info do they usually skip? Never fill your mobile app with much info. Mobile users never like to read, they like to act. So show them little text and much place for action.
For instance, imagine you are a food distributing company. The home page of your web has a short description of your company’s success story, it has images of your best employee of the month, etc. Do you think these are the things the mobile user may want to see after downloading the app? Surely not. He just wants to order a pizza, that’s all. So help him order his lunch with minimum steps.
Having the Best Possible UI
When starting to design your mobile app, turn to the Android Design Guidelines and iOS Human Interface Guidelines. Not only these guidelines are optimized for both operating systems, following them will affect your App Store and Google Store review processes. These guidelines are being continuously updated, so always following them will keep you updated on latest mobile trends.
Can Mobile Apps Conquer the Web?
Even with people becoming so mobile oriented, and mobile apps hitting the market, web still has its unconquerable place in people’s lives. You may never imagine a bank officer managing his daily work solely via mobile, or else Educational Institutions conducting their processes through mobile. Of course, they may cover some key actions via mobile apps, but surely not everything may be covered.
Laptops and PCs still remain our common working tools. We still spend most time of the day in front of computers, performing our work duties. Mobile has become a huge inclusion to web, but it has surely not stood over it.