Mobile applications have become exceptionally commonplace, and continue to grow in their functionalities. A mobile application is different from a website or web application that can be viewed on a mobile device. A mobile application is a specifically designed application written to be used on either the Android or iOs platforms. (since these are the two main providers of smart devices)

Microsoft does has an app store that functions like the Apple Store or Google Play (for iOs and Android apps respectively) but their market share is significantly lower than the two main juggenauts of mobile apps.

Both Anroid and iOs are independent languages. They are like English and Mandarin. An application written to function on an iPhone or iPad will not work on a Sansung S8 or Samsung Notebook (as an example)

Larger companies will typically opt to have both a iOs and and Android version of their application to cater to both markets, but this requires two completely independent application to be developed in completely different languages, independently maintained and updated within the two different online marketplaces; Apple and Google Play.

While there are obvious cons to having to develop effectively two applications (the cost being the major one), there are benefits to having these two different platforms running in tandem. Apps written in iOs or Android are downloaded to the phone and installed / configured by the phone’s (or tablet’s) operating system. This allows any data entered into the app to be stored even if the device is out of wifi connectivity, or is in a ‘blackspot’ of data connectivity.

This is called a native application.

Any data entered into the app during such times should automatically sync to the cloud (if this is required) once the phone re-enters a decent data connection or taps into a wifi network. Thus the app will function in the presence of ‘zero Internet’

Presently there are variations of ‘hybrid’ apps that can be configured to work on both devices.

An alternative solution is to develop a web-based application. This functions like a mobile-website, but one that is developed and stored in the cloud. It behaves exactly like a native mobile application with the exception that you are not required to download anything to your device for the application to function, you simply need to access the application via the Internet.

The drawback here is that you can only use this sort of application on your device in the presence of data or wifi connectivity. Areas with poor connectivity (remote rural areas for example) will cause issues in loading the web-application directly from the mobile-browser causing timeout issues or the app just failing entirely.

Given that many of the major metropolitan areas are covered by data or wfi connectivity, this is rarely an issue, and for many businesses, the cost savings to develop the one solution (rather than two) outweigh the chances of a user attempting to access the application in poor connectivity.

Web applications can be developed to be completely customised, to be responsive to any touch-based device and rendered secure, just like a website.

Any information entered into a web-application can be stored in a database and secured in the cloud. A typical web-application would require specific data to be entered around a series of questions. Photo’s may need to be taken (on the device) and uploaded to the application. This can be achieved on the provision that the device being used to access the application is in good connectivity.

The other benefit to a web-application is that there is no requirement to download anything, the application is simply accessed (often through a secure username and password) via a mobile browser.


We grow businesses through considered digital strategies and measurable outcomes. Contact Us Site Marketing Solutions are a Melbourne based, full service digital agency specialising in search marketing and online development.

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