So you’re thinking of building an app. Maybe you’re an ambitious entrepreneur, ready to go to market with a cool new concept. Or perhaps you run an offline business and are thinking of tapping into new growth channels. Where do you start? Do you build for Android? iOS? Both? Isn’t hiring engineers expensive?
Besides, what if your little app experiment doesn’t take off? How will you justify the large initial investment of building the app in the first place?
What if we told you that there is a simpler, more cost-effective way to kick off that growth you’re seeking? And that this growth channel is rapidly growing in popularity among big and small companies alike?
Introducing the web app. This little guy isn’t a native app, but it isn’t a simple web page either. It’s somewhere in between, and it’ll change the way you do business.
Now that we have your attention…
Let’s quickly go over why web apps rock. Cue the timer.
- You don’t need to differentiate between Android vs. iOS. That’s right. No headaches from different OS versions. Just hire one team of web developers and you’re good to go.
- Take advantage of SEO and social sharing. Customer acquisition is one of the woes of native apps. With web apps, there are no downloads necessary for new users to try out your product. That can be a dealbreaker for users with low phone memory — a common case in emerging markets. So instead of burning your hard-earned marketing dollars on convincing users who can’t fit a new app on their phone, try out some SEO and SEM tactics while tapping into social media to take your web app to market.
- Don’t worry about app releases. With native apps, your team must submit any new versions of your app to the app store anytime you want to release new features or fix bugs. This can make experimentation and new feature releases extremely costly, as well as time-consuming. Rather than wait weeks for user adoption, you can roll out changes instantaneously with web apps. A/B test away. 👍
- Integrate to the greater ecosystem. With web apps, there is an abundance of new tools and opportunities to grow your business. Hundreds of web APIs are at your fingertips to enhance user experience and introduce new functionality to your app. Platforms like Gojek’s third-party platform also offer opportunities for companies to grow by simply integrating their web apps — instantly gaining access to millions of users.
Progressive Web App at Trukky
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are web applications that use modern technologies to provide a user experience that closely mimics a native app. PWAs have become very popular in recent years as they do not only improve performance and user experience but are also accessible when a user is offline.
The primary goal of a PWA is to provide the same experience as a native app using a majority of the features available to mobile app developers. PWAs combine the best of mobile and web apps into one technology. You can essentially build a website using front-end web technologies, but it acts, feels, and behaves like a mobile app.
This modern solution to app development makes it easy for mobile app developers to get their products to market without going through the slow validation progress of Apple or Play stores. Once a PWA is deployed, it is immediately available to users. This also means that users don’t have to manually update apps to get the latest person: it is automatically deployed.
Technologies are rapidly adapting the philosophy of PWAs as the industry is leading the development towards more progressive ideas. Libraries like React and Next.js offer features such as Pre-Rendering and Static Exporting makes it ready for production in days if not weeks. It allows our teams to iterate and test quickly to release our new versions in lightning speeds.
Should you build a PWA or native app?
Though there are clearly many advantages to using a PWA, there are still some cases where a native app may be a better decision. Let’s break it down a bit further.
PWAs are ideal in the following cases:
- The app must go to market quickly
- Your budget is limited
- You have several planned after you go live
- Cross-platform compatibility is a requirement
Native Apps are ideal for the following cases:
- Key requirements are speed and responsiveness
- You want to use specific hardware or features
- The app must be integrated with 3rd party applications
You guessed it right! The power of PWAs made us switch our mobile app stack to React Native which allows us to be extremely flexible for seamless cross-platform development. We will discuss our strategy for developing mobile apps in coming articles.
If you made it this far, consider contacting us to take charge of your career and learn how to create modern progressive web apps.