According to a 2019 Pew Research report, over 81% of Americans use a smartphone and 98% of Americans use a cellphone of some kind. Mobile apps are now being used to accomplish day-to-day activities everywhere, from booking a cab to buying the latest designer wear. Therefore, businesses often find mobile application as the best option to access potential customers.

Mobile Website vs. Mobile App

A mobile website is hosted on the web and designed in a responsive way so that its interface adjusts to improve usability and navigation, depending on the device you are using.

A mobile app, on the other hand, is a downloaded piece of software in a mobile phone that is stored in that device, making it readily available for use. In addition, a mobile app is not the same as a mobile website as it may contain many features that are better developed and provide more engagement than web elements.

One big benefit of most mobile apps is that you can use limited functions even when there is no internet access.Creating a mobile app can also help your business develop and grow with an increasingly mobile-centric consumer base.

Mobile apps also load much faster than their website counterparts and have the benefit of push notifications.

If you are a company owner who is thinking of launching an app for the first time, you should start with a progressive web app, which will work on your phones and tablets as well as desktops and laptop computers. This way, customers will be able to find your app easily through the search engine without the app store and you won’t have to share your profits with the app store.

If the demand becomes bigger for your app, you can always add it to the Android or iOS app stores later on.

Types of Mobile Apps to Consider

If you are considering launching a mobile app, you need to keep in mind that it will require constant reengineering of features and functionality so that you always offer the updated version that can offer the best customer journey. 

Here are some key types that you need to consider when building a mobile app:

Native Apps

Native apps are apps built for specific platforms and can only be installed and used on specific devices, like Android and iOS. Unfortunately, there is no overlap between apps created for Android or iOS and though certain popular apps like Instagram and WhatsApp work on both systems and look quite similar, they were both created entirely separately.

So, if you create a mobile app that is only compatible with Android phones, then you will miss out on the huge base of customers that use iPhones. Hence, it is important to create multiple versions of your mobile app to make sure consumers of all major operating systems can access it. 

Creating multiple versions of a single app can ensure inclusivity and better reach for your business.

Non-Native Apps

Non-native apps are divided into several different categories, including hybrid, cross-platform, and progressive web application:

Hybrid:These apps are created with web-friendly languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript and are designed as web apps, packaged inside a native shell. These apps use frameworks like Ionic, Cordova, and React Native and use a shared code-base that can is compatible with multiple platforms. These apps are easier to build because there is a larger pool of pre-assembled components, libraries and developers familiar with web technology than there are for native apps.

Cross-Platform Apps: Cross-platform apps are also written in common computer languages like C# or C sharp and share the same code base, which can enable them to run on both Android and iOS with no loss in functionality and quality. These apps also have user experience and performance close to native Android and iOS apps, which sets them apart from hybrid apps.

Progressive Web Apps (PWA):This is the newest technology in non-native apps that is created from common web technology and can run cross-platform. These apps offer broader native controls of the operating system and a more engaging experience because they offer a few functions that hybrid apps lack, including offline access, push notification, and data syncing. This provides users with a truly native experience. In addition, PWAs are more flexible when it comes to packaging and they also do not require distribution through app stores, which many businesses consider a bonus as it helps them save on app store cost.

What to Consider When Analyzing Whether Your Business Should Invest in a Mobile App

According to a Clutch study in 2018, 42% of businesses currently have a mobile app and 30% plan to build the app in the future. It also offered some considerations on how businesses can determine whether they should create a mobile app or not:

  • Businesses need to consider their customers’ journey with their brand and find out how the two communicate. They should ask questions like: “Will having a mobile app simplify or improve interactions between the business and customers?”
  • Businesses need to set clear goals about what they want their mobile app to achieve. Do they hope to increase customer engagement with the app? Do they hope it will increase sales? The mobile app should have something that will truly impact the business in a positive way.
  • Businesses should measure their success by setting metrics based on their goals. This can help them see analytics like whether customers are interested in signing up for their newsletter or push notifications.
  • Businesses should launch the most inexpensive version of their mobile app to find out whether customers are interested in downloading the app. If the results are promising, they can continue developing their mobile app.

Bottom Line

A mobile app is fast becoming a necessity for every business, be it a startup or an established conglomerate. We hope this guide can help business owners who are considering launching a mobile app decide whether or not the technology is worth the effort and cost.

If your business demands a mobile app, it is important that you start building one right now in order to beat the competition. All you need is an innovative idea for your app and to get in touch with us to design it.