Why Invest in a Mobile Application Plan For Your Company?

Today, more consumers access the Net using mobile devices (1.05 bn.) than by any other strategy, including by PCs (1 bln). The internet no longer is restricted to a personal computer and Web browser. Run on a mobile gadget, the Net has become an always-accessible entity with myriad life-enhancing features: the iTunes App Store; GPS; gaming; email; camera; contacts; photo albums – your life, anytime, anywhere.

Even the arena of at-home computers speedily is developing with the highly interactive Nintendo Wii or Microsoft Xbox, which is going to radically change media entertainment centers. Businesses increasingly are incorporating video conferencing technology into their workplaces and providing staff with mobile devices that place the office – from customer emails to meeting reminders to on-the-go Web research – at their fingertips.

While 84 {823ee7c0eba0898fb29b07c380fe9d57eedb27ae7904b52342d0b3a1c98ef280} of mobile Web users access the Web at home, 87 percent of the people that own Web-enabled mobile devices access the Net each day. Now is the perfect time to create an innovative, engaging mobile strategy. As cell phone functionality and accessibility increase, the aptitude for your mobile product to be more all-inclusive also improves. When expanding your brand online, you can’t ignore the mobile Web; probabilities are great that your customers already are looking for you on their phones.

Developing Your Mobile Plan

There are 2 completely different schools of thought on mobile application development. In Part II, two leading developers offer some recommendation on these contrasting development philosophies.

Sean Christmann supports a universal approach, which permits the maximum quantity of users to access an application on their preferred mobile telephone.

John Blanco, on the other hand, believes developing a native-language or platform-specific application (sometimes called ‘native’) offers a better overall user experience and is rather more likely to be adopted by the masses.

Before making a mobile strategy, it is important to understand that different mobile phones speak different languages. As an example, iPhone applications can connect to a cell phone’s hardware, allowing rich local applications to utilise GPS, multi-touch and accelerometer features and display content from any Web browser, excepting Flash content. While Flash is the leader in Web-animation technology, mobile applications don’t support it.

Some smartphones may have similar hardware capacities, eg GPS, but they only can handle Flash Lite, a lightweight version of the platform. Others only could be in a position to display HTML. Because capacities among mobile devices change, developing universal solutions is difficult. This has become especially challenging, courtesy of a market that heavily favors the iPhone.

According to the NPD Group, the following were the best-selling smartphones in the U. S. in the first quarter of 2009:

RIM BlackBerry Curve (all 83XX models)
Apple iPhone 3G (all models)
RIM BlackBerry Storm
RIM BlackBerry Pearl (all models, except flip)
T-Mobile G1

The issue is this: Do you develop an application that less than half the cell phone market can understand, or do you create an application that leverages all of the capabilities of the phone your audience is carrying? Or, do you build two native applications to the directions of the BlackBerry and iPhone, which enjoy the best market share?

In Part two of this article, we’ll let the experts weigh in with their opinions.