Gartner expects 1,8 billion mobile phones to be sold in 2019, while consumers will buy roughly 406 million computers worldwide. It’s a staggering gap that shows how much the world has gone mobile and explains why the lines between personal and professional use are being blurred. If you can go and use your phone as a wallet, paying for goods by waving the screen in front of a small device at the register, you expect to be able to use the same type of advanced tools at work. A sales team representative shouldn’t have to sit in front of the computer to pull the history of a longtime client. A field technician shouldn’t have to carry a laptop to access sensitive data securely.
Workers need better internal tools, real-time access to business data, saving them time and hassle. Mobile development for business became critical.
Building an enterprise mobile application is imperative for every business that wants to compete in an increasingly mobile environment. These tools not only provide workers with real-time access to business data, saving them time and hassle, they also connect the dots between previously siloed systems. If a business wants to stay competitive and become more efficient, the workers need better internal tools. And that’s why mobile development for business became critical.
When looking at the app development process, companies are confronted with multiple options. Native apps are the most common type and they’re built separately according to the platform – either iOS or Android. On the opposite side, web apps emulate the look and feel of a native app but are 100% web-based and don’t require a download. There’s also the option of a hybrid app, which is essentially a combination of the previous two.
While each solution has backers, it’s easy to understand why native mobile applications are the strongest proposition for the enterprise mobile application development process. Here’s why.
When Facebook first went mobile, it focused on a website designed for smartphone screens and web browsers. That, Mark Zuckerberg later recognized, was a mistake. It was only when they invested in a dedicated native app that Facebook’s mobile empire took off.
Native mobile apps run better and provide a superior user experience, which is critical to ensure that workers take full advantage of the new tool.
That says something about the advantages of native apps: they work faster than the alternatives, they work offline, they take full advantage of the device’s capabilities – for instance, the AI-powered camera – and they are significantly more secure than web or hybrid apps. This is probably one of the most compelling arguments in favor of going native for businesses: the whole point is to simplify and improve operations, not to add another stress factor.
Native mobile applications run better and provide a superior user experience, which is critical to ensure that workers take full advantage of the new tool.
Can generic software bring your company a competitive advantage?
On the other hand, a native app is customized for the type of needs a specific business has, instead of forcing its workers to adapt to a generic business app. The development process is quick and requires minimal intervention by internal teams, freeing them to focus on other tasks. Once it’s up and running, it provides the best possible mobile experience.
What are the downsides?
As with every type of solution and technology, there are a few cons to consider in native mobile applications. Right off the bat, it’s more expensive to go native than to opt for a cheaper web app or hybrid app, because it requires experienced developers and the programming language is complex.
There needs to be a separate app for iOS and for Android and they must be approved by the respective app stores, which doesn’t allow for immediate launch. In that same vein, developers must follow the platform rules and then issue updates. The native app also must be downloaded by the user, instead of being accessed via a web browser.
Depending on the goal of the business, in most cases, native apps provide the best solution. All in all, their performance is superior. With the right strategy, native apps will increase productivity while also simplifying processes and making it easier to manage day-to-day operations.
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