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Going cross-platform promises better bargain

Smart device usage and growth today in unprecedented. There are more devices today than the total number of people in the world. If you look at the mobile app space, just Google play and Apple app store have close to 1.5 billion different applications. These little pieces of code have transformed the work and personal lives of the users. Businesses all over the world are using mobile products to further their causes. Every vertical from manufacturing to healthcare to financial services is investing in mobilizing their workforce. One such domain that is reaping the benefits of mobility is event managementLarge corporate events and conferences are usually difficult to manage, because of the sheer scale and diversity. Also, there is usually so much going on, that the attendees get confused, even when carrying the schedules in their hands. There is an elegant solution for this – an event app that the users can interact with, instead of searching for the nearest information Kiosk. Let us evaluate the relevance of the two different app development approaches – Native, and HTML 5 (mobile web)Native Mobile AppsPros1. They can work without a cellular network: At most conferences, cellular reception is poor, because they are indoors, and even if data connections  (Cellular or wi-fi) are available, they are choked as thousands of attendees try to use them. Native apps can download the data and work offline.2. Push notifications: Great for information and engagement of the attendees.3. They can access device features better: access to features like GPS can help guide the attendees to the venue.Cons1. User behavior: Every user needs to first be informed about the app, find it, and then download it to his / her device, generally well before arriving at the venue. This requires proactivity on the part of the user.2. Expensive: Native apps a re platform specific, and therefore must be developed for every platform separately. This means the cost will be much higher than developing a single app.3.  Distribution: Native apps need to go through an app store approval process to be registered and available there. This takes a lot of time, and if rejected, the dev effort would have gone waste, and then you won’t have anything to offer to the audience.Mobile Web AppsPros1. One-time development: Cross-platform, and there fore cheaper, and more widely accessible than the native applications.2. Flexibility and consistency: Since they are basically websites, they are easier for the people to use, even if they are new to the smartphone / tablet technologies.3. Social integration: Sharing a website link over social media and email is easier, because the reader does not have to download an app to access the same. Therefore, it mobile web is easier to spread the word about. Cons1. Needs data connection: Unlike native apps that are capable of it, mobile web cannot function offline.2. Local capabilities: Native apps have far better integration with the device local features like the GPS than the mobile web. 3. Access: creating an icon (native) on the user’s home screen is much easier for repeated access than making them remember a URL and repeatedly access it using their mobile browsers.Conclusion: It  dependsIn the end, the answer to the question of using native vs. mobile web is never easy. It depends on the audience type, type of devices, and features planned for the app. Native apps offer a better experience. However, even if you go native, you may want to have a mobile web version for the non-conformists.

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