My new app will be a web SaaS product, with a strong focus on making mobile the primary interface to the app. This is mainly due to the fact that the web app is a derivative from some of our existing BlackBerry applications, which already have customers that have moved on to Android and iOS, but for whom I cannot build native Android and iOS ports (due to technical reasons). So, the idea is, they’ll be transferred to a web-driven application, with iOS and Android client apps working against the web app, rather than being bound to the platform API of the device.
If you listened to the discussion on the show, @ian is a proponent of building the client apps native. But I’m of the opposite mindset. Here’s the reason.
Even though it’s a larger learning curve for me to be able to build the mobile clients as a web app than as native apps, I don’t want the mobile client apps to have the dependency on the ranking star system of either the Apple app store, or Google Play.
If someone who couldn’t care less about my app finds it on a “new releases” list, then gives it a 1 star rating because they’re having a bad day (VERY typical behavior in the mobile marketplace these days), then my mobile client is sitting in the app store with a low rating that I can’t do anything about. And, if a person who is actually looking for something like my app finds it in the store, that low rating will turn them off before I can even try to sell them on the product.
The other side of this, is that if I don’t have a native app, I have to swallow the pill of having to tell my customers that we’re not in the app store, but if you go to this URL, and click the favorites/bookmark button, you can still get the same icon on your home screen, and the app will still be just as good as if it were native (there really isn’t anything in this app that would require the performance or feature access of the native device).
Thanks for reading this far – it’s sort of a brain dump.