Future of Apps - Mobile App, Mobile Web, Websites ?

posted by Boris, on July 5, 2020

As per many surveys, Mobile Apps are more attractive to customers. On the downside, there is resistance too to install a large number of Mobile Apps. Most of the users confine themselves to a specific set of Apps. Mobile Apps are expensive to build and maintain compared to reactive websites. Then there are lightweight mobile apps that do not require installation. The fact is for some mobile apps like augmented reality apps, or immersive gaming will require installation to deliver the sophisticated content that such apps deliver. Whatever may be the choice, engaging customers on mobile is needed now and will be so in future.

Features of an excellent mobile app

  • Discoverable: A good app should be easily discoverable. Nobody like closed web-stores but they help in apps discovery. Recently the apps stores are becoming crowded.
  • Engaging: Any useful apps need to be engaging. Native Apps can use push notification to keep the users updated and engaged. Given that with SMS and emails, non-installable apps are not at any disadvantage.
  • Installable: Installation is unavoidable for games or augmented reality apps, that create an immersive reality and use native resources. This still leaves out tons of app that do not require native APIs to function to their full potential.
  • Speedy: With good internet speed and LTE (4G, 5G), this gap does not matter. Even most of the native app needs to connect to the internet to provide meaning full functions.

There are some particular benefits of Responsive Apps

  • Linkable: Web Apps can be linked to other Web Apps or Mobile Apps.
  • Responsive: With Web, one can write responsive apps that work seamlessly across devices.
  • Upgrades: With Web apps, one does not need to keep upgrading the app.
  • Secure: Web security is now commoditized. In general, a good authentication scheme with HTTPS provides proper security.
  • Offline Function: Reponsive web apps require them to be connected to the internet. This is one of the biggest disadvantages of the responsive web apps as they need connectivity to function.

What appears from the above list is that the boundary between mobile apps and responsive web apps is getting blurred. There was a line where web apps were not allowed to interact with the underlying hardware directly. Even that line is blurred, one will be able to tap into Bluetooth from a web app now!

App Stores are controlled by the platform owner. So on iOS it is controlled by Apple while on Android it is controlled by Google. This on one hand ensures that the apps quality is maintained. On the downside it means that apps with shorter lifecycle will not make it to appstores as it requires good investment in time and money to put the app on one of these stores.

Let us take the example of Dropbox. One need to install dropbox on mobile and on his computer to be able to make use of the feature where one can carry data on mobile, by uploading it from his computer. Though they do have a html 5 responisive website, probably not as easy to use if build grounds up as a responsive app. So here is a small gap that can be filled up by building web apps that are mobile-friendly, for example, dropbox like functionality can be encapsulated in a very lightweight web app. It will work on any device, no installation as secure as the installed app and just as much convenient.

Try the Storage Manager. The File Manager is very lightweight requires OTP verification. One can access it from any platform, if one has his internet connected mobile with him. Try many other utility apps from Ibeyonde Appstore.