It is a known fact that most people use their phones to access the internet. In fact, in many of our clients we see that over 80% of the site traffic comes from smart phone devices. This presents a big challenge for businesses, as websites have to accommodate both mobile and desktop users. Luckily, all our websites come mobile ready using our mobile-first design approach and responsive window size coding practices. But can you do more to interact with your users?
Depending on your business type, a mobile application might be the right solution for you. At Eidelberg Lee, we are huge believers in a cloud based infrastructure model, where mobile applications form one of a few user front ends. In less technical terms, we encourage our clients to have both a working web application and mobile phone applications. This way, each user can choose the channel they prefer to interact. Speaking from experience, different users show different usage patterns. Some prefer having a mobile application, while other users prefer to sit on their dedicated desktop and open a web application through an internet browser. And that’s fine. It is our strong belief that a successful business or a start up should accommodate both.
But wait, if my website is already responsive and easy to use, why do I need a mobile application? For some businesses, the simple answer is you don’t need one. Others, and this is especially true for software start-ups, could see a huge increase in user retention and engagement. The benefits from being found on the app stores of the different platforms are also considerable, especially when the start business hits a critical mass amount of users. Finally, one major advantage of mobile applications is the ability to send notifications to users. These notifications come in two forms – preconfigured notifications that your app can send locally (and does not require internet connect) and push notifications that a custom server can send. While the first type is extremely useful for small reminder type of notifications, these remote push notifications is really where mobile apps shine – you can tell everything you need using those and they are highly customizable and extendable.
So you decided you need a mobile app, be it for your business or start up. What’s next? When dealing with mobile applications, one major point of decision is which platform should the application target. The main players in this space are iOS devices (This is the Apple devices, think iPhones and iPads) and Android devices (pretty much all the other mobile devices, such as the Samsung devices, Google Phones and Huawei Phones). Which platform your business should target first is a loaded topic. The short answer is that it is complicated and varies greatly, depending on the business type. Our take on this question at Eidelberg Lee IT Solutions is “neither”.
Depending on the budget available and on the exact specifications of the product, we usually advise clients to go with a “web-first” approach, where a first prototype is developed on the web alone and a mobile application is developed later. That being said, for some clients, a full multi-channel approach is required off the get go. We at Eidelberg Lee will always make sure that we support the client in route, ensuring full customer satisfaction and providing all the technical support, training and deployment needed.
Another loaded question is how to go about supporting multiple application platforms. Some businesses develop (and maintain!) two separate applications, one for iOS and another for Android. While this can be done, this is usually highly resource inefficient. Each change has to be done on the web platform and then on each of the different apps – exponentially increasing costs. This is a necessity for some clients, but luckily there are technologies that allow us to create applications that share the majority of the build code and deploy to different platforms as an end process. Some polish might be required for each version, but this is highly more effective than maintaining two completely versions. Our technology of choice for this is React Native. Ask us today on how we can help put your business on your client’s and customer’s pockets. We provide free consultation and ensure that we work with you to find the unique solution your business needs!
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Most people would prefer an app over a website, given that the same functionality is extended to the app. Apps are more user-friendly on mobile devices. With a majority of people on-the-go, internet usage is shifting from desktop to smartphone, and apps are the most convenient.