As businesses move towards mobile apps, we’ll start hearing more about one problem: Platform fragmentation. Businesses that want native mobile apps must choose one platform, or build for all. The problem of mobile platform fragmentation will drive businesses away from native apps and towards mobile web apps. Why? I just read a great article on CNN Tech that explains it beautifully. While the whole article is worth a read, here’s an excerpt that details why one company chose mobile web apps over native:
“What drove the project from the start was the tantalizing promise that BlackBerry, Apple, Android, Windows, and webOS device owners could all use one single app that only needed to be developed once. Apps built natively for those operating systems are not inter-compatible, and each requires knowledge of a different programming language.
“Developing native apps for lots of different environments was going to be a huge amount of work,” Grimshaw says. “There would be an ongoing overhead for maintaining all of those apps, because we would have needed to do everything five or six times.”
If your business wants mobile apps, there are very few reasons to take the native route. Really, unless you’re making a game, want to sell your app, or use the phone’s hardware, native apps are impractical for business. The mobile web approach is simpler to build, requires fewer resources, and is easier to maintain.
Now, the concept of “build once, use on any smartphone” is certainly compelling to businesses. But, what if you took that concept one step further? What if you built once, and used anywhere? What if you could build one application, and it instantly looks native on every device?
What do I mean by that? Suppose you had a web app. When that web app is opened on a PC web browser, it looks like a basic web app. When it’s opened on a tablet, it looks like a tablet app. When it’s opened on a smartphone, it looks like a smartphone app. While the article talked about building once and using on all smartphones, I’m talking about building once and using an any device. One app looks different, yet native everywhere.
If you want to understand how this concept works, check out this page. It even has a demo where you can see it in action.
Would you like to see the “build once, use anywhere” concept applied to your business data? Want to see how your data looks as a mobile/tablet/PC app? We’re currently running a promotion where we will build a free mobile/tablet/PC app for you, using your data. Just fill out this short form to get started.