At the most basic level, an ‘App’ is simply an application – it’s a piece of software that does something – whether that’s for business, education, communication or entertainment. Apps work on mobile phones and tablets and are built specifically for iOS (Apple), Android or Windows platform.
The number of mobile app users is growing with the shift in computing use from desktop to mobile platforms. This growth in the Android market is monitored by AppBrain and it provides an interesting insight into mobile usage and app trends.
Although, it’s worth considering if you need a native app, mobile app or whether Responsive Web Design is a better option. A responsive website responds to the device it is displayed on. For example, when your site is viewed on a desktop, it might display two columns and a sidebar. But if it’s viewed on a tablet or mobile phone, you will see a simplified version with fewer columns and easier navigation. Mobile apps, on the other hand, provide a specific purpose. They’re best for brands that have strong customer loyalty, people expect to access the information on the app enough to actually download it. The app might provide your shop locations, special offers, or allow users to access their account information. Native apps are similar to mobile but are developed specifically for one platform, and can take full advantage of all the device features — the camera, the GPS, the list of contacts etc. and, unlike mobile apps, they can work offline.
We developed a native app for Lakes Alive’s Mintfest, Kendal’s annual international festival of street arts. The Android and iOS apps were built in-house and they allow easy navigation and browsing of all the Mintfest acts. The GPS location means you are able to direct yourself to all the events as well as places to eat, public transport and public toilets. On top of this, you are able to create and manage your own festival itinerary so you won’t miss a thing.
If you’d like to find out more about apps then we’d like to hear from you.