Now I’m not convinced about this. In my experience most requirements and budget don't require a dedicated mobile app. At least not one that needs to be downloaded and installed from the App Store.
Now I'm not saying that there are not requirements for dedicated apps but in the general market a well designed and developed custom web app (a website that is specifically designed for a mobile device for a specific purpose) will be more effective and easily accessible to your client base / customers.
Web apps are built in standards-based technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and other modern web techniques. A web app can run on most if not all platforms with a modern, standards-compliant web browser. Once deployed, users on iPhones, iPads, Android phones and Windows Phones can all access the same app and run it just as well as on any other platform.
A good example of is might be a find an outlet or store. As a web app it is specifically designed for a mobile devise to utilise the in built GPS to determine the users location and plot out the directions from where they are to the nearest location.
Since mobile web apps don't need to be listed in the Apple App Store or Google’s Android Marketplace, you can distribute your mobile web app on your own terms without complex and lengthy approvals. Just quick and easy widespread distribution through multiple channels including: a mobile link (URL), text (SMS), barcodes (QR), social media networks, email, and more.
Mobile web apps can include existing content such as your social media feeds or website content, as well as additional content such as maps, polls, events, and more.
In these days of community engagement it is becoming more and more important to be able to gather feedback from your customers/community. Mobile devices are just one more avenue to be used to gather this information. As an example if you are a city council you may have a mobile web app that encourages feedback about a specific project or location through a mobile web app.
Businesses could have a mobile web app available to their sales force that allows them to get access to product information easily through an iPad or iphone. Or it could be a mobile specific e-commerce website. Converting sales that would otherwise be lost.
At the end of the day the list of possibilities are endless. But it all comes down to one thing. Purpose.
- What are you trying to do with your app. What is your functional goal?
- What do you want your app to do?
- Who is going to use it?
- What needs are you trying to fulfill for your users?