App Wars, Episode 5: Decision time

There are 5 main types of apps you can build in 2016. Do you know them all? More importantly, did you know there’s a bit of a war going on between the two main factions?

One one side, there are native apps. On the other, web apps. Both sides would love to dominate the app world. Both sides have created first and second generation players.

This series of blog posts wants to introduce you to each type of player so you can pick the right one for your project.

TLDR; Try our cool candied nibnut app to help you decide!


Over the last 4 episodes, we’ve looked at the pros and cons of each type of application. The question on everybody’s lips right now likely is:

Ok, great. But now, how the heck do I chose?!?

Yeah, I know. Ignorance is bliss, right? When you don’t know about 4 types of apps, the choice is easy – even if it could be ill-informed.

Unfortunately, most cases are not going to be clear cut. You will have to sit down with your developer, and figure it out together.

In the end, the app you are building is likely another touch point for your clients with your brand. So you should also consider where your clients (or users) spend their time. If they are always on the web, you should probably try and reach them there.

However, there are a few features that might make your decision easier:

If…

  • You want to use Augmented Reality
  • You want to use 3D
  • You want to have very complex, or fast animations (think live action video games)
  • Your users will be coming back to the app many, many times a day

Then

You probably should go with a native or hybrid app.

If…

  • You want to use some or all of the bells and whistles of the user’s device
  • You want to store a good amount of data locally, or for long periods of time
  • You do not want to require network access all the time to use your app

Then

Of course you can go with native or hybrid. But if you definitely should consider a progressive web app too, if you can live with the fact some users might have a slightly different experience.

Everything else…

…I’m afraid falls in a grey zone. Technology alone will not be able to tell you which type of app to get. You will have to include business or marketing questions to the mix.

Do you want a native app because it’s cool to have one right now?

Do you want your app available on all platforms easily, including desktop, without it costing you an arm and a leg?

Parting Words

My hope is I did a good job informing you of each type of app out there. (fighting through my own, internal bias) I hope you can now sit down with any developer and ask questions.

Questions that should shake them out of the “same ol’, same ol'” routine we all fall into after a while.

Questions that will start a productive discussion and lead you, hopefully, to the best app type for your project.

But in the end, never, ever forget you should build your app for your users. To help them in some ways. Give them something. Like anything else in business, if you don’t give them something, they won’t give you anything back either – be it love, money, loyalty…

Think of them first – the rest, what you want out of this, should just naturally follow.