Platform agnostic – Solutions can be designed for mobile apps (iOS, Android, Windows), web apps and SMS. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages and it’s important to understand these in detail before committing to a particular development path. The path you choose is likely to be informed by the resources available to you and what you’re trying to achieve.
- Mobile Apps: There are two kinds of mobile apps: native and hybrid.
- Native Apps: A native app is designed to run on a specific mobile operating system. Therefore a native app must be written twice if it’s to be launched on multiple platforms (like iOS and Android).
- Hybrid Apps: A hybrid application is essentially a native application that uses HTML5 where it is beneficial from user experience and programming design point of view. Device specific interactions will normally be managed by the use of plugins for that operating system.
- Text Messaging or SMS Apps: An application that utilises text messaging technology to interact with users. This works on ALL mobile devices at the expense of a good user experience. Excluding specific device capabilities (e.g. GPS), SMS applications can be designed to address most functional requirements.
A simple comparison of all apps is shown below:
|Distribution||App Store||App Store||Web||Built-in to mobile device|
|Device Access & Features||Yes||Yes||Limited (excludes push notification and access to contacts)||No|
|User Experience||High||Moderate||Moderate||Low-Medium (depending on functional requirements)|
|Best Used for||Games or consumer-focused apps where performance, graphics, and overall user experience are necessary||Apps that do not have high performance requirements, but need full device access||Apps that do not have high performance requirements, and do not need push notifications or access to contacts||Applications that primarily rely on simple 2-way communications and notifications|