How to build your mobile App
Is your company thinking of deploying a mobile app for its web-based service? Here are a few tips on how to get started (many thanks to Dave Bergevin from EventKaddy.)
Mobile Platform Support
The first point to consider is what phone platform to support – iPhone, Android, Windows, BlackBerry or the whole lot? Its best to examine your target market and ask what phones do they use? Can you narrow them down to a specific platform? If not then you may have to develop the same App in many different platforms – which can be a serious undertaking.
Native App or HTML5
If your app requires mobile hardware capabilities (compass, camera, gyroscope, etc) it’s better you develop native (iOs/Android/BB-OS, etc.) It’s most likely that you don’t need these since yor SaaS tool could live without it. In that case consider HTML5.
One code base
HTML5 allows you to have a single code base that can be rendered consistently on many different platforms. On devices that allow for HTML5 local caching the user experience can be appreciated offline as well. The HTML5 option also saves you from resubmitting your app to the AppStore/MarketPlace/BBWorld each time you change content in the app.
Develop in 5 – Deploy in 6
A very cool framework that allows you to code with ease is PhoneGap. It lets you code in HTML5 and provides near-native support in 6 phone platforms. PhoneGap wraps your HTML5 content inside an app and uses the built-in browser of the phone to render the screen. Makes for an enjoyable user experience without you having to worry about maintaining many code bases.
Whatever technology you decide to use, remember the app must be designed with the same principle as your original SaaS tool. Build it on user experience and functionality – not the novelty of it being an App.
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