As mobility is growing at a great pace, mobile apps have become flavor of the season. If you want to reap the benefits of mobility, it is essential to get the development right. Many startups have crucial consideration whether they should choose native apps or web apps. Is it possible to expand native mobile apps to web?
Well, native apps can be easily expanded to web. However, there are a few things to consider before you make the big move.
Before going into detail, let’s have a look at native apps and web apps.
What are native apps?
Native apps are designed for a particular mobile device and are customized for the operating system. They are installed directly to the device through app stores. Native apps are different for android devices and iPhones, as there is a huge difference in both the operating systems. Today, only 26% of apps are native, while 60% are web apps.
Native apps work faster as they are optimized for the device and are they are more efficient over web apps. Native apps are best suited for accessing complex features such as – camera, sensor and other hardware components of the device. Developers of native apps need to comply with the stipulations laid by app stores, in order to upload their app to app stores.
Native apps are expensive to develop and maintain. If the app needs to be updated for new versions, it becomes too expensive for companies. If the native app is to be kept safe, the developer has to update the user at regular intervals.
What are web apps?
Web apps are quite different from native apps in terms of storage and usability. They are internet enabled and reside in the cloud. Web apps are accessible through browser of mobile device, as they are usually written in web code. Web apps are similar to websites, but are highly interactive compared to website.
Web apps can be accessed from any device and the users don’t have the need to download onto their device. These apps need internet to connect and operate. However, web apps can use only a limited amount of device’s features. The biggest drawback of web apps is that they do not have access to phone’s webcam or sensors. Developing a web app is much cost effective as it can be manipulated to suit any device.
Developers have the freedom of developing web apps, as they do not require approval from app stores. Developers can release any form of app at any time. These apps score flexibility, as the developer have access to several tools to deploy web apps to multiple platforms.
Why native apps should be expanded to web apps?
In today’s highly competitive environment, native apps lose due to their performance and speed. Developing native apps for each platform is a daunting task, which may make the native apps obsolete. More than 45% of companies who have native apps are struggling to match the speed at which mobile technology is advancing.
In such scenario, it is vital for companies to expand their native app to web. If you already have a native app, you should know the reasons to expand to web app.
You should first know the target audience. If you are not reaching them with your existing app, you should consider expanding the native app to web.
Sometimes, native apps are expanded to web to enhance user experience. For example – Instagram expanded the native version of app to web to meet the overwhelming user demand. The web component allowed Instagram users to view their photos from other devices like tablets, laptops and desktops. There are many other apps that moved from native to web, such as – Telegram, Uber, 1Password, WhatsApp etc.
Expanding native app to web is not an easy task, as you need to consider new use cases and designing challenges. Before you move native app to web, you should consider how the changes will affect the backend architecture.Remember that the native app and web app don’t always align. The target audience of native app and web app may be different. You should know the goals and requirements of both the users before moving native app to web.
Conduct some research to decide which existing feature in native app should be included in web app. This will help you decide the platform, design and backend architecture.
How to move from native app to web app?
As said above, web apps have a complex functionality and are meant for long user sessions. If the colors and fonts are not used in a right way, they can cause issues in users such as – eye strain, irritation etc. It is advised to use appropriate platform, font and color for your web app. It is better to optimize web app for multiple browsers by using a customized font and color.
When expanding from native app to web, you should consider the deigning changes. The best way is to split the design over multiple screens, so that user can navigate using quick action. Keep the native and web views minimal so that you can draw the attention of the user and eliminate distractions. Besides this, developers can add keyboard shortcuts and graphics that complement the web app.
Keep the visual language and hierarchy same to create consistent experience across native and web apps. Once you have expanded native app to web app, include promotions such as – push notifications, banners and status messages within the native app. You can spread a message on social media to reach out other partners.
3. User experience
Consider the type of user experience you want to give on web platform. Analyze how the web app will impact the existing users. If you have to make any changes to backend architecture of your native app, web apps come with great challenges for backend support. Think about what you will use to host the web app, as hosting is something that scale as the user base grows.
Choose a platform such as Heroku that offer several plugins and provides ongoing maintenance. Remember that there are many cheaper options that need more setup. It is better to avoid such platforms as you might end spending more on maintenance.
It is extremely important to identify security vulnerabilities, especially during mobile app development. You should keep the privileges as minimum as possible for great user experience. Make sure to follow all the payment service protocols when dealing with financial transactions. Be aware of the security problems that may arise if the user base grows larger than expected.
It is not an easy task to add a web app, when you already have a native app. You need to consider a lot of thing when expanding from native app to web app such as –design, functionality, user experience, backend architecture, security vulnerabilities etc. despite of all these challenges, adding a web app can help you reach potential customers and develop your business.
Planning to expand your native app to web? Contact us today!
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