How enterprise mobile apps are different than standard websites or apps?
As of Vision Mobile’s last year report, in spite of the enormous size of mobile industry, only 15 percent of independent developers are engaged in enterprise mobile application development. Most developers are focusing on consumer market because entering and making money here are easier than of enterprise mobility.
Of course consumer market is ‘easy-going’ and thus developers are more interested in working on consumer apps. Consumers want apps for everything their mobile devices can do and this practice also lets developers make money. But often time, a consumer app’s life is too short as trends related to such apps tend to fed-out sooner than expected.
On the other hand, enterprise mobile app development may be a better way for developers who want to make money for a long period of time. Enterprises have a number of good reasons to look at developing their own mobile apps. Businesses can launch mobile apps for their web based platforms because following value points that mobile apps can always have as opposed to standard web apps or websites.
Most of the web application cannot work offline but mobile apps do. Because users expect functionality even when they are offline, a mobile app can easily do this. Take the example of an enterprise app for Customer Relationship Management. How we can make sure that a field force executive accessing CRM website will always have web connectivity while he is out for visiting clients. But contrary to a purely web based CRM platform, a mobile app can provide offline functionalities such as filling client’s information, take pictures, etc. And when the executive reconnects web, the data can be synced to the server.
Today’s mobiles have faster web connectivity in comparison of PCs. Even when websites are accessed via mobile devices, apps for the same proved to be much faster. With quick web connectivity, carrying out enterprise operation becomes more productive and well-organized. Bringing same level of efficiency in a website is really harder or not possible at all.
Portability is a big feature mobile devices have offered us. Mobile technology allows users to keep a full-fledged computer in pocket and operate it just via single finger. Unlike bulky laptops that executives need to carry cautiously while visiting clients, mobile devices are light in weight and can easily be carried anywhere.
Mobile apps can be designed with a number of device’s native features making apps more dynamic than websites. An e-commerce company in India – Snapdeal.com – added a good use of mobile’s motion sensor to its app. Every time users open the Snapdeal’s app, they can shake the device for discovering hot deals of the day. It’s an interactive way of engaging customers with app. Users truly have fun using such features. We cannot expect such level of interactivity from a website which is aimed at PC platforms.
Hybrid app capability
Apps, particularly which require internet despite they are native ones, can be created with blend of both web and native mobile application development technologies. Developers can create a web application and merge it with a platform-specific native application. E-commerce applications are generally hybrid applications. The user interface of these apps is designed to be installed as native application in devices but the content these apps show is fetched from server via web. The major benefit a hybrid app offers is – it can be published on app stores while there is no way to publish web application like native one. Users will only be able to access a website if they know its URL.