In the modern era of smartphones, every business needs and app to engage consumers. The top-notch digital technologies allow developers to create fascinating products that shift users’ focus from the internet to applications because they are more interesting, interactive and useful. Smartphones and tablet applications are not and option, they are a must-have. So you have decided that you want to build a program, but what to begin with?
At first, you need to consider a lot of different factors such as whether you have and in-house team of skilled developers or will have to outsource the project, create a comprehensive strategy, write a software requirements specification and think of the general purpose of our future digital product. However, the main question is not about your app’s functionality, bit about the development and marketing strategy, because without users it will not bring any value.
- Types of Mobile Applications
- Native vs Hybrid vs HTML5
- Benefits of Native Apps
- Tools for Native Development
You may use this article as a guideline for all type of development projects, but it will be most helpful for companies seeking to create an ecommerce application integrated with third-party eCommerce platforms like Salesforce. There are three kinds of programs that you can build using the Salesforce Mobile SDK:
- Native mobile applications designed with a particular mobile operating system (Android or iOS) in mind, utilizing the instruments and technologies supported by this platform (for example, Java and Android SDK for Android or Objective-C/Swift and Xcode for iOS). We highly recommend our clients to go for this option because native application are the most secure, stable and functional.
- Cross-platform apps combines the functionality and the limitations of the two previous approaches, placing the HTML code inside an app that looks exactly like native.
- SIngle platform
- full capability
- Advanced UI (user interface) interactions
- Fastest performance
- Mobile market distribution
- Full capability
- Multiple platforms
- Web developer skills
- Access to native platform
- App store distribution
- Multiple platforms
- Partial capability
- Web developer skills
- Instant updates
- Unrestricted distribution
To sum it all up, apps are most user-friendly, have strict development guidelines and provide an outstanding user experience. Here is the list of features that only native applications can empower you with:
- Multitouch: a wide variety of UI gestures including double tap, pinch, swipe, zoom and other
- Stunning animation: APIs provide developers with access to high-performing tools for creating vivid visuals. This advantage is extremely important is you are looking to develop a game, a tool for photo editing or other solution based on the visual and media content.
- Great usability: applications follow development and usability guidelines defined by the operating system, which makes cush apps familiar to the owner if the devices because they look exactly like every other program on their smartphone or tablet.
- Access to high-performing graphic libraries: the access to native API for graphics allows you to create smooth and fast visuals, which may not be the essential demand if you are creating a simple app with a few static screens, but is extremely valuable for more complex solutions with screen transitions.
- Access to native features: the device’s camera, compass, contacts, alarm clock and other native components can be seamlessly connected to your app. Moreover, the access to built-on functionality provide for a stronger security as it allows you to use encrypted storage.
- Large community and resources: the internet is swarming with developers specialising on Android and iOS, as well as of manuals, tutorials, blogs, forums, video lectures and specialised websites like StackOverflow to consult with when you have any problems and need professional help.
Tools for Native Development
The main set of tools for native app development is comprised in the IDE (integrated development environment). As a rule, native IDEs provide developers with tools for coding, development, testing, project management, quality assurance, prototyping and other crucial activities of the software development process. Of course, the integrated development environments for Google's Android and Apple’s iOS are not exactly similar, but the result you get is very much the same - functional, highly usable and powerful. Utilizing the tools offered by the company that created the operating system you develop for, you ensure that your app boasts a high quality, visually pleasing design and convenient user interface.
All the facts we talked about above are related to the technical aspect, but there is another side of the story, which is no less important - the user. Customers search for applications in official marketplaces cush as Google Play and App Store. Once you have published your app to the store, it becomes available to the general public. Installing the program on their devices, users get a seamless experiences without glitches, bugs or crashes. If you need to improve the app’s functionality or fix any issues, you release and update, which is automatically sent to all the users. Native apps feel like they belong to the device because they are so smooth, polished and visually appealing - just like the rest of your smartphone.
- oAuth2: secure authentication and refresh token management
- API Wrappers: interact with Salesforce REST APIs with popular mobile platform languages
- Secure Offline Storage: store business data on a device with enterprise-class security
- Push Notifications: dispatch real-time alerts directly to mobile devices
If you think web development is something brand-new, you are absolutely wrong - it started in 1999!
- Mobile UI Components: develop mobile web applications in the familiar force.com environment on a proven architecture stack
- Visualforce: create amazing visuals and animations using powerful and feature-rich APIs, tools and technologies
- Static Resources: include mobile optimised third parties frameworks like jQuery Mobile, iScroll and Sencha.
- Visualforce: develop mobile web applications in the familiar force.com environment on a proven architecture stack
- Mobile Components: reusable Visualforce-based building blocks for constructing mobile apps through customisable components
- Container: embed HTML5 apps inside a container to access powerful device functionality