Apple has done it again. They have convinced everybody to pay them to recreate their website, flash games, and web applications on their platform by strategically blocking the most popular form of dynamic content delivery on the web (Flash). That’s an old argument, but to me, it’s important to lead this article with that simple fact because when you understand the big picture, you’ll have a better perspective on whether or not your company needs a mobile app.
A lot of people feel like they need to have a mobile app because it’s the cool thing to do. Some people feel like they have a great idea for an app that will make a lot of money. Let’s break these two situations down…
My Company Needs a Mobile App
If your business wants an app just for the heck of it, then that’s completely fine. We built a mobile app that is basically a slimmed-down version of our website just as a trial for an intern project in-house. Generally, that’s not really good use of your money. A better solution in this situation is creating a mobile-enabled website. This takes your current website and applies a browser detection script that can tell if you’re accessing it from a mobile phone, and then it dynamically changes the styling to present itself in a format that feels native to the phone. This doesn’t have anything to do with an app.
If you have a legitimate need for building an app, then let’s discuss it and figure out how to make it better. Sometimes clients will have an idea but they aren’t sure how to get there. We work with them to build a solid platform that they can later update to include the functionality they really want but aren’t ready for yet. This often is used to get buy-in from higher-ups and people that don’t understand the concept of an app in general before spending all of the money required to fully develop all of the ideas.
I Have a Great Idea for a Mobile App!
The other situation is where somebody has a great idea for an app that can make new money. We’ve seen some ideas that really shine and we’ve seen some ideas that probably wouldn’t really work. This reminds me a lot of the original dot com phase where everybody had a neat idea for a website that would just rake in the money. Some people gambled and won, and others gambled and lost.
At Mediaura, we feel that it’s important to be honest with our clients in this situation. We don’t know all of the answers, but we often know a little bit more about what’s out there, what has been done, and what’s possible with the technology. If we give you the pros and cons then it’s really up to you to decide if it’s worth the investment. We’ll gladly build whatever you need to the best of our ability. At the end of the project, the success or failure will be on the idea itself and perhaps how well it is marketed, and not the implementation and creation of the software. We do our best to eliminate that from the uphill battle of pushing a new idea to market.