When we think of web future, mobile is the word. No matter how much time the transaction from desktop to mobile devices will take, we know it’s already happening, slower or faster it’s not an issue. The issue is for web companies, for their strategies, because this change means a lot of things:
- They have to re-design their sites
- They need to understand how to monetize better the mobile experience
- They have to choose between a native app or a web app strategy
Why is the third point so important? Because unless you are one of the Bigs of Internet (we mean the like of Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter…) you won’t be able to give all the attentions (and the budget) both kind of applications need.
What are the real pros of a mobile web-app? Not many, unfortunately. Still waiting for the HTML5 standard to find a definitive form, web navigation through mobile devices is still far from user experience given by native apps, expecially in smartphones. Corporates and marketers know this, and they are focusing their efforts towards this direction: after RIM, Nokia, Apple and Google, Microsoft and Facebook has opened their app stores, other two opportunity channels for developers.
With so many applications available on several mobile platforms, the next question is obvious: does this mean the market is getting saturated? Not reading recent datas published by Nielsen: time spent on both Android and iOs devices is more than doubled during last year. Another meaningful result stated that 58% of time spent by US users on mobile is dedicated to the so-called “top-50” apps, calculated by the number of reaches made by smartphones in the last month. These are important numbers, because they confirm something everyone was guessing: people like devoting to the same apps (usually the most famous ones), and then choose some other contour products, ideal for individual needs.
If these datas aren’t still sufficient, we can focus on several other points which can push developers to focus on developing new native apps:
- A mobile user is more disposable to spend money to buy a native app than paying for signing on a web premium account
- A native app gives users a more encapsulated experience, with less “bounce dangers”
- An app icon can work as a remainder better than a bookmark