When I received the very first IPad, it was amazing to see this technological wonder. While I couldn’t do a lot of my day-to-day things on it (i.e., programming, using spreadsheets, etc.), it made for an enjoyable form of entertainment that was so much easier to use than lugging my laptop into bed with me. The biggest attraction was the vast number of apps. There were so many things that an app could do for you that as time went by the phrase “there’s an app for that” was literally the truth.
I am of the opinion that when these first came about, they were built for a couple of main reasons: 1) it gave users fun games to play and 2) in the case of a business, it was an outlet to give users what essentially amounted to a “mobile” version of their website, or at least an app that highlighted something that they sold or wanted to push to the public. People loved apps and it was fun to compare with your friends which apps you had downloaded, or at the very least discover something new. But fast forward to today – are apps still really relevant?
Begin a programmer for over a decade now, I’ve seen firsthand some of the changes with how various advancements in coding has affected your website and devices. One of the biggest ones that really began to take shape a few years back was responsive layouts, as more and more users began to start using their mobile devices as their primary way of accessing data.
Nowadays with sites being much more in tune to being “mobile friendly” I don’t know if I see the necessity for having an app, especially just to say that your company has an app. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not trying to advocate against apps, but I do want to caution you to really think before jumping into the app market. There are a lot of apps out there, so don’t just add another one to the pile. There are definitely positive things an app has the ability to do that mobile sites can’t – like working in at least some capacity when there isn’t an internet connection. Just make sure you think about how your app could work specifically for your customer base. If your company has a very specific thing that you want your app to focus on that would be of use to a customer (or that allows you to present your information in a unique way), then it’s probably worth investing the time. However, if you come to conclusion that it will basically be the same thing as what your website already does (or basically a rehash of the mobile version) then maybe it’s not worth investing in. Just some food for thought.