So you have an idea for a business and want to get it out in the world. How do you decide whether or not you want it to be strictly a web based application or make it a native iOS or android app?
At the end of the day, there are tons of reasons why you should choose one over the other- but we’re here to talk over the basics. Here’s what you absolutely need to know when deciding between using a web based application versus a native iOS android.
A web based application is a website that’s housed as a domain and that’s how people primarily access it. An example would be the Safari browser. Many people have it on their iPhones and computers, but it’s not sold in the app store and it doesn’t need to be downloaded on the user’s device to be accessed.
A native iOS or android application means that users of native apps can download them in app marketplaces like the App Store or Google Play Store, an example being games like Candy Crush or Temple Run.
There are a couple reasons of why you would want to be in the iTunes store:
1) If it’s a native iOS, there are already a lot of developer tools that you have access to. This will make the app easier to actually produce and save time and money in the end.
2) Native iOS and Android have an existing basic UX/UI framework that already exists. As a consumer you’re familiar with the idea that iPhone/Android have pre-existing drop down menus, navigation and a pretty solid existing framework that you can borrow from and use.That means for the user, they’re already going to be somewhat familiar with navigating your app. With just that aspect alone you’ve already lowered the investment of time and effort you use to create an application using tools that already exist in the native environment.
The biggest reason why you would want to go native iOS or android is that the marketplace already exists. With some buzz and marketing around your product, you can become featured in an app store. If you’re product takes off and is featured in the app store you’re going to get a lot more users for your application.
If you’re just making a web based browser application, it’s like making a new website and trying to find new customers. You have to figure out how to market it and the existing framework is no longer there. Although that brings up a challenge, there are many pro’s to going web based:
1. There is more control when building a web based application vs. native iOS/android. There’s a possibility you’re coding the applications differently and want to be free from the constraints of designing for native iOS or android.
2. If you’re selling something off of a marketplace, the app store will get a piece of how much you make off your product. Whereas if you’re totally on your own you own building a web based application, you control the environment of your application.
3. There is greater free range when building a web based application vs. native iOS/android. If you’re on the app store, you are beholden to their rules and requirements. For example, if you’re making an application that can be viewed to some circles as being inappropriate for some ages but you don’t think the age restrictions apply, you can still easily be kicked off. Even if new rules occur in the marketplace, you are responsible for making the changes whether they be small and change nothing, or are larger issues that alter your value proposition. If you’re working within an environment that you can’t control, there’s some risk that you always have to be aware of.
It’s much faster to do something native, get it out there, and start to prove the model before creating a web based application. We see this with a lot of our favorite social networks. Instagram initially started off as a native iOS and android app, but within the last year decided to add a mobile website component. It was easier to build an audience by using the app store and then move that audience to a mobile website.
At the end of the day, the biggest difference between having your application on a web based system and not native iOS or android is control. The control that you get to affect changes is huge in web based applications and you aren’t stuck to the rules of the marketplace but, you lose the pre-existing market place and framework.
Whether you go with a native iOS/android application versus a web based application is unique to the business. Every product, service, and business will have different goals with specific outcomes in mind. Although there are many factors that go into deciding which application platform to move forward with, control and existing frameworks are key components to consider first.
Are you a business owner or entrepreneur that needs help deciding on which application is best for your business? Let us help get you #JungleReady. Let our CreateApe expert team be your jungle guide. We will help you traverse the wilds as we take your project to new heights.