How To Build Your Mobile Platform

November 11, 2013

9:00 am

Welcome to the post-PC era. That’s what Mashable is calling it, as 2012 marked the first time that PC sales were lower than the previous year. Meanwhile, tablet sales are projected to surpass 100 million for 2013. And the phenomenon of the smartphone has come rapidly with “the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers” owning one.

All of this has incredible implications for businesses and others hoping to keep up with the curve. It’s increasingly essential to have a mobile presence as well as an online presence in order to reach your audience. Here are a few different ways to go about constructing your own mobile platform.

Native Apps

Just like a software program, native apps are downloaded and installed directly onto the device. This way, the app can take full advantage of the device’s built-in features, such as the camera and GPS ability. Native apps also prove easy to work with and faster because they are not dependent on Wi-Fi speed.

Sold in the app stores, native apps require approval from the store. They can also be a pricey way to go about development. Also, different versions of the app must be created in order to make them available to different devices and operating systems.

So far, when it comes to user experience, speed and monetization, native apps remain at the forefront.

Web Apps

But there are a few other options such as web apps. Simpler to maintain, web apps operate through the Internet but are specially optimized and designed for a mobile device. One of the largest benefits they boast is the ability to work across a number of mobile platforms without added development. And users don’t have to download them through an app store.

However, web apps remain dependent on your Internet connection. They also have a harder time processing data and working with the phone’s capabilities, though they are improving in this area.

Responsive Web Design

Yet another dynamic option is to opt for responsive web design. Also referred to as adaptive design, this is a method of optimizing your existing website so that it flexes on any device. Using media queries to determine the resolution of the devices it is about to be served on, responsive web design employs flexible images and fluid grids to resize properly to fit any screen. The layout shrinks down to smaller and simplified size to maintain the viewing experience for both the PC viewer and the smartphone user.

In addition, responsive design can also detect devices’ capabilities and adjust accordingly. For instance, swiping is enabled on touch screen devices. What’s great about this option is that it is ready for Apple iOS 7 before a programmer would have a chance to update a native app. If you haven’t already, making your site responsive is probably the best place to start creating your mobile presence.

With the phenomenon of the mobile device has come the necessity to improve content so that you can continue establishing a presence with users. And choosing the best platform is a perfect place to start.

Guest author Jessica Socheski is an avid writer and social media fanatic who enjoys researching tech topics. You can connect with her on Google+.

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