Go Native, Go Mobile or Go Home

In Customer Engagement, The Mobile Customer by Freya Smale


If you’re anything like me, you’re currently in the passionate throes of a love hate relationship with the advent of mobile devices and the world of apps

While I love the idea of adding apps to my devices in order to assist with organizing daily tasks, my quest to be healthier (sadly these particular apps are mostly unused,) organize finances, and discover savings on entertainment and purchases that I intend make; I have to admit my patience wears thin having to go through the selection process and set about downloading.

In my fervent quest to make my life simple, organized and streamlined, I have spent many a wasted hour perusing the google play store to find the perfect app to assist me in my quest. What ends up happening after my painstaking search is that eight times out of 10 I download corrupt apps that crash constantly, don’t do what they claim to, and clutter my phone. Sadly, I end up resorting back to my glorious organization system of the ’90s and ’00s the ol’ faithful sticky tab.

As a chronic sufferer of “infobesity” a word that has evolved from the term “information overload”, which was coined in a 1964 book by Bertram GrossThe Managing of Organizations. “Information overload occurs when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity. Decision makers have fairly limited cognitive processing capacity. Consequently, when information overload occurs, it is likely that a reduction in decision quality will occur.” When it comes to researching the overwhelming and frankly cluttered (dare I say Malthusian) app landscape I don’t have the patience, time or desire to constantly peruse the play store and then download apps that quite frankly disappoint and take up real estate on my devices.

With the advent of the mobile app, users can simply type in the address in the browser and voila, it comes right up.  This makes it easy and faster to discern whether the app does indeed meet expectations, and simultaneously not take up real estate on the ol’ device.

I have been reading articles debating the move from native apps to the mobile app model, and have written this piece to review both models in order to try and discern which model is best.


Conducting a key word search on a search engine makes it easier to pinpoint an app rather than combing through mind-numbingly large amounts of apps in the Google Play Store and installing them.


With the genesis of any new technology, product or service there are going to be growing pains with the speed and aesthetics, quite simply it is a continuous work in progress.

Users love a slick and snappy interface. Mobile web development techniques have improved in this area; however, they still don’t scratch the surface of what can be achieved natively. With native development, code is able to be written that will accelerate UI performance by leveraging the device’s hardware.


Maintaining an application over time is very easily achieved for mobile web applications. Very simply changes can be made in real-time and immediately released. Users will immediately have access to the latest version. Native applications will need a tweak, a push, an app store approval and which will hinder the deployment and release to the market place.

Passing muster with Apple, Google and, oh yeah, Windows Mobile…

Native apps must work through the red tape amongst all three platforms in order to get app approved and listed.  Many are relegated to the bottom, thus losing out whilst consumers tend to typically review and choose the top 5 listed in the category.  Mobile has the flexibility to run on any sort of device with a browser.

Cost and time

Traditionally native development expertise is more specialized and requires the skillsets for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile developers, and there is a premium and smaller hiring pool than on those developers that are able to work on mobile apps. The timeframes to develop a native app especially across multiple platforms can also delay the release and affect the bottom line.


Native does have a faster UI than mobile web apps. Mobile apps are limited due to the capabilities of the web browser.

In my humble opinion, mobile wins. I am planning on focusing my on-going quest for the perfect app to manage my life through the mobile model.  Like myself mobile may be a work in progress, but someday it will take over…

For all things mobile…why not join us at America’s Customer Festival, in Las Vegas this September 15-16th. To find out more, visit the website.