24 September 2019

You probably don't need an App...

Why do people want to build mobile APPS specifically just for sake of it being a mobile APP today, considering the rise of Web Apps and PWA - Progressive Web Apps.

I often gets approached by a (potential) client about this big new idea and asked about native iOS / Android apps.

More often than not it's completely overkill, especially non-technical clients, bootstrapping a product on a budget that needs something developed.

Here's the advice I usually give clients:

If it's something that constantly needs user interaction / needs native phone features too powerful for web-browsers / perhaps some offline mode features / games - sure make it a native app.

If it's something that a user will use maybe once in a few days and doesn't do anything more than say, get data based on something they just discovered - a well functioning & responsive web-app is more than enough.

In most cases with a Web-Application / Mobile Web App, will be more than enough, especially at Startup phase. Even more so, you will probably kill 3 birds with one stone as whatever you're building will be usable on android, ios and computer. And largely save on developing costs and time.

Today, most apps are being rebuilt as Progressive Web Applications, that runs on Chrome or Safari on your phone, that almost makes the native apps almost useless. Tinder, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter to name a few can be used without installing anything from the app store.

From a user point of view - It's great, no need to download a ±100-200mb file and update it every few weeks. From a developer point of view - develop once, and it works on all devices, no need to compile and upload to app store.

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I'm  Ronald Langeveld - reach me on twitter  @ronaldlangeveld