April 30, 2015
Lucas Lallement
Lucas Lallement

Enola Labs creates custom strategy and products for mobile and web.

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Lucas Lallement, Solutions Architect at Enola Labs

Why we currently love websites

  • Easily accessible using URLs
  • Ability to search with Google
  • Ability to navigate from one website to another using links
  • Typically faster/easier to make compared to native mobile apps

Why we currently love apps

  • More responsive/faster
  • Able to leverage more built-in features of the device
  • Higher user engagement
  • Better offline use
  • Better push notifications experience
  • Better use of gestures
  • Better animations/transitions
  • iWatch integration
  • Etc.

First off, it’s simply the direction that we are currently heading:

    Courtesy of Comscore

Courtesy of Comscore

Facebook reported last year during their F8 conference that 60% of their traffic happened on their app. So we see that we seem to be heading this way, but below is why:

Today, apps have their downsides:

  • App store search is far from perfect. It’s faster and easier to search something on Google when compared to going to the app store and searching.
  • Apps don’t interact much with one another yet. Each app is typically stuck in its own silo.
  • Developers need to write separate Android and iOS native code.

But it’s all about to change:

Apple’s extensions and Android’s intents

Today, extensions only give users access to your app’s functionality and content throughout iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. But I believe that they will allow third-party apps to communicate with other apps in the future.

Facebook app links

Apple URL Schemes have been around for a long time but they are limited. One of the problems was that we did not know what app could be invoked and with what parameter. HandleOpener was a good attempt to solve that problem, but they didn’t get the exposure required to revolutionize the mobile space. Facebook App Links is a unified open cross platform solution for deep linking to content in your mobile app. You can leverage the Facebook Index API to discover what URLs can be deep-linked.

Check out App Links for more information.

So we’re getting the feel that mobile websites will be no longer, but what about experience using your computer? Mac apps and Windows apps aren’t very popular today but will they take over in the future?

Overall, don’t worry if your strong suit is web languages. There will be plenty of jobs. Users are expecting more and more from mobile applications. Therefore, big data is on the rise and apps have smarter back-ends and “dumber” front-ends. Another reason for smarter back-ends is the fact that you need to write separate Android and iOS native code, so you might as well write as much of the code as possible on the common backend. I’ll note that if you choose to use parse, it does cut down the backend development but you’ll still need to write cloud code in JavaScript for your complex logic.

This article is brought to you by Enola Labs. An Austin app development company with expert experience in software architecture, strategy, web and mobile solutions.