It all seems to be in antiquity when everyone wanted a website. Today, the ever growing popularity of smartphones has made native apps extremely handy for accessing all sorts of information. Owing largely to this, all companies are looking to convert their websites into competent mobile apps.
There is a colossal growth in the potential to reach target clients through their mobile phones. Mobile technology has taken over the world by a storm and it seems quite likely that companies who do not invest in mobile apps today will become archaic in the times to come.
Indubitably, it is significant to invest in mobile apps, however, that must be done wisely. Your app should make sense and must offer added value to your customers in order to drive impactful results.
There is a plethora of business companies who only offer a web experience and are continually looking to develop a native mobile app that has the potential to reach new customers.
If you wish to stand tall among your competition, you should definitely convert your web page to a native app. However, this can be a taxing process as there are several factors that are required to be considered while making this shift.
In our post today, we have compiled a list of factors that need to be considered while converting a web experience to a native mobile app. But first, let’s start with the basic understanding of what a native app is.
What are Native Apps?
A native app is one that is exclusively built for a particular platform such as Android, iOS, or Windows, etc. by exploiting their specific hardware features and libraries. A web app, on the other hand, is the one which is hosted on the web and it can be accessed from your smartphone’s browser.
In terms of ease of use and accessibility, native apps are much more competent as compared to web apps. They offer uncomplicated access, regardless of the location. Apart from this, native apps extend few more key benefits. Let’s have a look at them.
Native apps operate asynchronously, which means that all the data is stored on the mobile device and are synced to the central web server. Native apps offer enhanced functionality when compared to web apps as they make use of newer technologies and features.
Native apps are extremely quick. The reason behind this is that, the code used to run the app is stored locally on the device, that makes these apps are so fast and responsive. The users just don’t need to wait for the data to be downloaded from the web. Thus, they are an amazing improvement over the web-based apps.
Native apps allow you to access your device’s features and thus benefits with amazing functionalities such as leveraging NFC, accessing Google maps, taking photos and videos, etc. Web apps, on the other hand, are browser dependent and do not permit any access to the device’s functionalities.
It’s true that native apps have several advantages over web-based apps; however, there are a few drawbacks as well. The major drawback is that with native apps, a developer has to develop and maintain separate coding for every platform, for instance, if an app was built for iOS, the developer will have to redesign, re-code and deploy it separately for the Android platform.
Both native apps and web-based apps come with a distinctive set of pros and cons. Which approach will be better for you will largely depend upon the type of functionality desired and resources that are in hand. But if you are looking to set up a long-term strategy, we suggest you to go for native apps that comes with a well-designed user experience.
Factors to be Considered While Converting a Web App to Native App
Deciding between a native app and a web-based app calls for taking into consideration a few significant factors related to your business. Let’s discuss these factors in detail.
- Know why you need a native app
It is important to see that your customers have a good experience with your company. If they are not satisfied with your digital presence, they are likely to go somewhere else. Decide how you want the cross-platform experience to be executed across various platforms.
Ensure that your native app covers all facets of your website. Additionally, try to integrate extra features that do not exist in your web app so as to offer augmented value to the customers.
- Access the current web experience
Carefully analyze your existing website and make out what is working and what is not. This way you can improve the user experience. For example, if you already have an online grocery store where people can easily organize their weekly or monthly grocery lists, think whether you should integrate this same feature into your app or there is a requirement for something else.
- Don’t ignore Use Cases for apps
Even though the users prefer to use apps, there are chances that the same user engages with your website too. The use of an app or a website largely depends upon the location and the requirement of the user. His expectation as well as a sense of urgency shall be different when a user uses a native app.
So, it is significant to keep in mind the use cases that come with the apps. You can make assumptions of when and where will the audience use your app and based on that deliver an optimal user experience.
- Know your target audience
If you already have a website for your business, you are significantly aware of your target customers. You simply have to analyze if that same set of people will be using your native app. Also, there are several webmaster tools available that allow you to know what devices people are using to access your website. This information is immensely beneficial in defining the target audience for your native app.
- Augment your app’s functionality
It is not mandatory to incorporate every feature of your website into the native app. You simply need to outline the key features that are a must-have for your app. Such features add value to your brand and cater to the core functionalities.
Also, the functionality of your app is most likely to take advantage of device specific functionality extended by different devices such as tablets, smartphones, etc. It is important to note that native apps are entirely unique entity and thus, their UX should be completely different from the UX of your website.
- Take advantage of every OS
Every mobile operating system has a unique set of capabilities, which, if exploited in the right way, can take your app to a next level altogether. So, don’t be afraid to use the native features of the platform you select, as they greatly augment the user’s experience of your app.
If you want to deliver a competent and robust experience on mobile, undoubtedly native apps is the way to go. However, you may face some serious ramifications during the process of converting the app. So, it is important to keep all the aforementioned factors in mind so as to get the maximum from your app.
In conclusion, we have to say that native apps extent superior operational efficiency that websites simply do not. Shifting from a website to a native app does not mean replicating what you already have. It is all about building an app that exceeds beyond your website. So, spend some time to apprehend the needs and choices of your users and how your future iPhone or android app will cater to them. After all, it’s all about enhancing the way your users interact with your company.