What should you do with this sad fact and how to keep your development working?
If you remember the old ‘Web or native’ discussion, it’s time you revise it once again. The good old times when you only had to think about mobile-first strategy and creating apps are gone for good. For quite a while everyone was sure the future of development is in apps and all mobile. But now it seems like things have got a little more complicated here.
What Does ‘Mobile’ Stand for Today?
A long time ago ‘mobile’ experience was usually happening when people had no access to their PCs – you would literally see people on their phone while walking on the street or while standing somewhere in line and being bored. But the time went by and ‘mobile’ experience has changed.
Most people today use their mobiles at work, in cafes and even while lying down at home. This means there is less walking in the mobile experience, and thus, less tolerance to troubles and bugs people used to bear when they had no other way.
While in the comfort of their home with a laptop in reach, people still prefer mobile device. This proves the mobile experience should be complete and comfortable for them. Does it mean you just have to put your whole website into an app for your users? Hardly. Using only-app strategy may bring more harm than use.
Should You Aim at App or Web?
If you think you are the only loser in the Web vs. native battle, you are wrong. Web developers did not win as well. Trying to provide users with smooth and nice mobile experience, Web developers have to deal with the biggest problem of Web apps – the way they operate. Talking to the browser that talks to OS means Web apps will always be slower and coarser.
For sure, high-profile apps (like Instagram), which are somewhat hybrid and native-feeling, prove that the creation of the good universal app is possible. But the whole process and collateral would be so much more complicated than actually making a great website. Add here the fact that sometimes app strategy does not work, and you are probably frustrated now.
A little more to think about. The Web has some greater selling points like URLs, for example, and a higher level of quality with fewer support needs. Some of the best website features might not work in the all-native environment, and by bringing it there and competing the natives on their terms you would be underselling your deal. So, instead of focusing on the app development for better user experience, you might perfect the Web and win your fans there.
So What Should You Build?
Here you have the information to think over, but what is the conclusion to the problem? Pity but there is no correct answer to the question ‘What should we build today?’
Should you target the wealthy and stable iOS device owners? Probably. Or you will do better with the emerging massive Android market? Maybe. Should it be a native app or new responsive website instead? Both may work or fail immediately. Everything is possible and impossible at the same time.
Most would not like such vague answer as business owners love ready-made solutions and success stories. But the complicated mobile reality shows there is no recipe for the good development. There were plenty of seemingly successful strategies at the dawn of a mobile era that turned into a failure.
But there is one solid answer to the mobile development question – mobile is central to every business aiming at success. And once enterprises would accept this fact and concentrate on building their own mobile strategy, our market will change for the better.