You’ve decided it's time to add an app to enhance your brand. An app adds an immense value for your users and of course to your product and business. Not only can you expect to deliver a more personalized experience, but an app provides additional channels to keep in touch and allows for a constant flow of communication with your users.
It’s also a direct way to learn first hand what your users need, want, and how they behave within your app. It will provide an efficient way for your business to collect, analyse and leverage data, allowing you to improve your product and connect effectively with them.
With all the advantages to having an app there’s also a responsibility to develop the best possible app for your clients and your business.
Before you start developing the app, you’ll want to choose the best type of app for your business.
There are three types of apps:
Before starting your app, make sure you understand the differences and similarities between the three app types so you choose the right one for your business.
1. Native App
Native apps are developed for a specific operating system: iOS, Android, Windows phone, etc. Their particularity is that they can only function in their “native” platform. They are designed specifically to function on that system or device only.
- Pokemon Go
It’s important to be aware that building a native app could require a bigger investment and could take longer to build than the other two app types. Since each platform has its own requirements, you’ll need a team who knows the different codebases.
Because it’s designed to meet the specific requirements each platform dictates, you can always expect the product to deliver high performance and have a high quality user experience. A native app takes full advantage of the technology available in the hardware and the software to deliver a first-class experience.
You should go for native apps if you expect:
- Speed, since native apps are built for a specific system and device they offer faster and smoother performance
- Access to work offline, no need for an internet connection (of course it may vary, depending on the characteristics of your product requires)
- Excellent UX/UI
- 2. Web App
- Google Apps (Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.)
Web apps require minimum device memory since all data is saved on a server. In terms of UX, all users have the same version (since web does not require different systems such as Android vs. iOS). So long as long the internet connection is good, the experience should be smooth and satisfactory.
Developing a web application can give a business the ability to streamline operations, increase efficiency and reduce costs.
Developing a web app is the lowest cost solution among the three types of apps. A web is less expensive and easier to develop because it requires a single code base. Is important to keep in mind that this type of app can only be used in a browser, so depending on your users’ needs and the goals of your product, a web-dependent app could be a benefit or a restriction to your business.
You should develop a web app if you expect:
- Cross platform compatibility between devices and operating systems
- Easy manageability, they need minimal requirements to be installed, so maintaining and updating it is much simpler than the other types of apps
- Reduced costs, due to the low support and maintenance needed
3. Hybrid App
A hybrid app combines the elements of a native app and a web app. They require less time to develop and are lower cost than native apps and are relatively easy to make. Hybrid apps are essentially a website that has been put into a native app shell.
Hybrid apps function properly in the app and on the web. UX may vary from one device to another and the browser that is used to run the app could affect the way some elements are displayed. A great advantage is that they can work online and offline, depending of course on the nature of the product.
Hybrid apps are best for:
- Enhanced UI/UX in a short time. They are easier and faster to develop than a native app, and still they deliver a quality and consistent user experience across devices.
- High-speed performance. When compared with web apps, hybrids are faster.
- Hassle-free integration with other apps.
What type of app is best for your business?
You don’t have to choose one app type over another. You could have a combination of two or start with one and eventually develop to the other. You can even decide to launch all three app types. It all depends on budget, timing, and of course, the nature of the product and your business.
If you want to learn more about how to accelerate your app development and about which app type might work best with your product(s), Encora would be delighted to talk with you.