January 22 ,2014 | by Hari Sri

Could Hybrid Mobile Apps Revolutionise Your Business?

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Mobile applications have played a significant role in the way smartphones, tablets and desktops are used. They have redefined and simplified B2B and B2C interaction. We look at ways hybrid mobile apps could revolutionise your business …

 

At the IAB Engage conference in London, the Internet Advertising Bureau noted that by 2014, 75% of the UK market would have access to a smartphone. Also, IAB predicted that 50% of the UK market would have access to a tablet by end-2014.

These figures tell a remarkable story. Tablets, which had next to no UK market penetration in 2010, are slated to reach half its residents. Smartphone sales have risen by over 100% in the past two years. These figures convey one truth: the onus is now on businesses to reach out to consumers.

Mobile applications have changed the way businesses interact with their customers. With a single swipe, you can order a week’s groceries from your favourite supermarket or get flowers delivered to your dearly beloved. But with increasing market penetration comes increasing differences in mobile operating systems. The challenge is no longer just developing a mobile app; it is about how many customers can actually use them.

 

The case for hybrid cross-platform mobile applications

While mobile devices’ market penetration grows, so do the number of platforms servicing users. These varied platforms impact users of smartphones, tablets and any other mobile-related devices. Any business wanting to take its business on to a mobile platform must be prepared to reach out in every media possible. The solution: hybrid apps.

The capacity to be accessible across all platforms is crucial. From iOS to Android to Windows Phone to Blackberry OS, hybrid apps provide across-the-board functionality.

The benefits of hybrid mobile apps are as follows:

 

1. Standardised Branding        

Every single one of us has probably used different browsers on our computers. Noticed how websites look different in different browsers? The same applies to mobile browsing. This does not bode well for branding.

A consistent user experience goes a long way in securing your brand’s identity. Hybrid apps ensure that your consumers get the exact same user experience irrespective of what platform they use.

 

2. Better integration, better speed

Hybrid mobile apps are programmed to stay in sync with other mobile apps. This sees to it that they will work better with other devices on the customers’ mobiles, ensuring better device integration.

And this integration leads to better speeds. Hybrid apps are smoother and sleeker. They deliver better goods without the hassle of classic web apps. Unless you provide a graphic heavy interface, they will also work faster on your devices; they don’t consume as many system resources as mobile web apps.

 

3. Accessibility

A MobiThinking report said that between 56 to 82 billion apps would have been downloaded in 2013. This figure is set to rise exponentially as smartphone penetration expands in major markets such as India and China.

It’s not just that an app would be an incentive anymore. It’s imperative. Customers don’t hope your business has an app, they expect it. The best way to ensure they can access your product and services is by being available for download in various mobile stores. Hybrid apps ensure that your app will be accessible across all app download platforms from Apple App store to Android Google Play store.

 

4. Offline Utility

Data costs money. And data is not always easily accessed. It’s essential that basic functionality on apps do not require constant network connectivity. No business should under-estimate the need for data efficiency offline.

For customers who suffer from poor connectivity or are cautious of data consumption costs, heavy data usage might put them off your apps. Hybrid apps ensure that some essential data is stored for offline usage. This is a virtual godsend for customers and might loyalty towards your brand if you can deliver a low data consumption hybrid app.

 

Last year, a Gartner study estimated that hybrid apps will make up over half of all mobile apps by 2016. Simultaneously, The Guardian reported that China and India are slated to add over 400 million new smartphone users in 2014.

Your customers are waiting for you to deliver. Perhaps, it’s time for you to race ahead and develop a hybrid app. That is sure to put a distance between you and your low-tech competitors.

 

Has your business developed and delivered a hybrid mobile app to its customers? Share your story pf mobile innovation with us in the comments below!

 

<Principal image courtesy of Dell/Some rights reserved>

Hari Sri

Hari is the LSBF Blog's News Editor. He manages the editorial content on the blog and writes about current affairs, SME, entrepreneurship, energy, education and emerging market news.

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