For the discerning small business owner, mobile app development is fast becoming an important way to increase revenue, connect with customers and add extra services to your business model. According to research by Ipsos Mori, over 30% of UK residents have access to a smart phone, and that number is only set to increase. It’s clear to see that if you want to reach your customers quickly, and in a more advanced way, then mobile app development is the way to go. When it comes to app development, London and UK based companies have really been leading the way.
If you’re thinking of following the trend and developing an app for your business, you will probably be wandering which platform to go for in order to get the highest return on investment. Traditionally native app development has been the mainstay of the mobile application industry, with apps being developed specifically for mobile devices such as iOS or Android. For the SME, this causes a dilemma.
Do you spend your budget on developing a top of the range mobile app which can only be purchased by users of native devices? Or do you invest in mobile app development for both?
The former option is more cost effective, but runs the risk of alienating a large sector of potential customers. The latter can prove timely and costly, and is often unattainable for young businesses.
So, what’s the alternative?
Advances in mobile app development mean that as we move into 2017, savvy start-ups and entrepreneurs are now choosing hybrid mobile app development. By going down this route, they are able to develop cross platform apps which can be accessed from different devices using operating systems such as iOS, Android and Windows, without compromising on performance. A recent article on Business Zone cited cross platform development as one for the biggest trends for 2017, along with a creative design approach, and an increase in wearable gadgets. It’s fair to say that increasingly consumers own more than one device, and so they are understandably on the hunt for applications which aren’t limited to one platform alone.
Native vs hybrid mobile app development – what’s the difference?
If you’re considering investing in mobile app development as a way to connect with your customers, it’s important to understand the difference.
A native app has been coded and developed using a language which is specific to either iOS, Android or Windows, meaning that if you want your app to be used across all three, then you will need to have it developed three times.
A hybrid app, on the other hand, utilises technologies such as HTML which can be used across the different platforms. For the business owner, this means that in order to release your app across platforms, only one app needs be developed.
Whilst some argue for a slight decrease in performance, maintaining a single code base far outweighs native development in terms of the cost of production and overall return on investment.
Hybrid mobile app development in action
If you’re looking for some examples of mobile app development, London based companies and beyond are leading the way. Our roster of case studies from projects which we’ve worked on here at RSK Business Solutions will give you an idea of what is possible. The current hybrid apps on the market have come a long way in bridging the gap between the ease of development found with a traditional web-based app, and the performance of a native app. This means a win-win for both the business owner and the consumer. With cost of production and speed of development massively reduced, we predict that more and more companies will be able to develop their own mobile apps, which in