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Latest Trend in Mobile Apps

Step 2

When iPhone launched in 2007 it revolutionised the mobile landscape by giving developers a platform to make your phone do just about everything. The third-party apps introduced with iPhone launched an entirely new industry with a new marketplace to monetarise any new software idea. These third-party apps, also called native apps, are however expensive to build, and customer engagement has often been disappointing for businesses looking to take advantages of the move to mobile.

Over the past two to three years, app-store fatigue has become a real issue with mobile users reaching a point of overload. Although mobile usage itself is still on an upward trend, mobile users are spending the majority of their mobile media time interacting with a few favourite apps. There is a hesitancy about downloading a new app from the app store, and apps that are not sufficiently engaging are uninstalled. So in order for a native app to be successful, it needs to be exceptional, which is a tall order for a business app.

There is, however, an exciting new trend in the world of customer-facing mobile apps that offers a neat way of bypassing this app-store fatigue, and gives organisations a new way to engage with their customers. Progressive web apps are able to leverage the capabilities and accessibility of the web with functionality much like that of a native app but without the disadvantages of having to work via the app stores. In particular,

  • No app store download is needed so access is immediate;
  • Distribution can be via email, sms or WhatsApp;
  • Build costs are lower;
  • Data usage is lower; and
  • There is a huge ecosystem of JavaScript open source software to aid development

Over the past two years, a number of businesses with very successful native app strategies have launched progressive web apps as an additional channel to customers. These businesses include Twitter, Pinterest, Starbucks, Financial Times and even Tinder. This level of interest will ensure that web browsers continue to accommodate the features required by these progressive web apps.

Progressive web apps offer businesses that have yet to launch their mobile strategy with a one-stop digital interface for customers replacing the traditional web site, the mobile site and the native app with a single solution. This ensures that your customer has the same experience whether they are communicating with you via their desktop, tablet or phone.

Make no mistake, progressive web apps vastly improve the e-commerce experience of the mobile site. They vastly improve the experience when compared with shopping on your computer at home too. There are no scrolling jitters, the apps deal seamlessly with slow intermittent internet speeds and the design gives a clean, responsive, interactive experience.

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