Cloud MobilityIDC predicts that there will be 30 billion mobile devices connected to the Internet by 2020. Meanwhile, more and more users are tapping their tablets and smart phones to access data and applications instead of desktops.

The trend towards mobile business applications creates huge potential for greater productivity and better collaboration. That’s why we believe it is time for you to seriously consider optimizing your applications to work with mobile devices.

Mobile Applications — Web-Based vs. Native

Mobile apps are increasingly prevalent and there’s no doubt that adding mobile access to business applications offers more flexibility. But what is the best way to build a mobile app? Two methods are available: web apps optimized for mobile devices and native apps developed for different mobile OS platforms.

Let’s compare the strengths and weaknesses of each method:

CriteriaNative AppsWeb Apps
Development CostHigh

  • Have to build for different versions for multiple platforms such as Apple’s iOS App Store and Google Play for Android
  • Have to test on all kinds of mobile devices: from different vendors, different sizes, or various versions of the same device
Low

  • Work consistently across-the-board; all modern smart phones and tablets have full-featured web browsers already installed
Development TimeLong

  • Each platform requires the development of a separate app
Short

  • A single development cycle for all platforms
MaintenanceComplex

  • App updates must be written, tested, and released to separate platforms whenever developers fix bugs or add new features
  • Different approval processes for each platform can prolong releases
  • Bugs may still affect users since there’s no guarantee they will actually download and install the updates
Easy

  • Developers only need to update one application
  • Users always have the most up-to-date version of the app without having to install new updates
Required ExpertiseAdvanced Developers

  • Requires deep knowledge of several coding languages ( i.e. iPhone apps are written in Objective C, Android apps in Java)
Non-Developers

  • Even non-IT folks can build sophisticated web apps with tools like Caspio
User ExperienceExcellent

  • Native apps can deliver the exact look and feel required by developers
  • Better integration with the native operating system and hardware provides a smooth experience
Good

  • Technologies behind web apps are improving all the time, making them more and more native-looking
  • Improved web browsers and JavaScript engines, along with faster mobile connections, help optimize web app user experience

In summary, this table shows that native mobile apps are significantly more costly, lengthy, and complex compared to web apps. For most business applications, it makes more sense to create web apps that are optimized for mobile devices.

Optimizing Your Apps for Mobile — It’s Easy with Caspio

We are fully aware how much this trend affects our customers. With Caspio, creating a mobile app is no different from creating a regular web app, except that you optimize your app for screen sizes and layouts suitable for the intended mobile devices. Part of this challenge can be addressed using the iPhone Kit we offer to our customers.

Additionally, our upcoming Caspio 8.0 release will be touch-friendly so you can more easily create apps using your favorite tablet device. Sign up for our beta program to request early access.

New to Caspio? Register for a free trial account.