Often called 'Native Applications' to separate them from mobile websites, Apps are developed using a different programming language from websites. Developing an iPhone and iPad app, or an app for Android or Windows phones and tablets often gives the user more features than a mobile optimised website. Often the combination of mobile app development with a mobile optimised website will give you the best of both worlds - simpler development, and a way to keep the information in the app updated.
Some of the reasons you might choose to develop a native app as well as or instead of a responsive website
- Functionality: Apps can use aspects of the smart phone operating system which work more smoothly and quickly than a web page - keyboard, maps, and more.
- Speed: Data can be downloaded with the app and stored on the smartphone or tablet, making it quick to access, but not as easy to update.
- Network Freedom: Apps can be used without network connectivity, so can be used on planes or in low network areas, and can save on data costs
- Revenue: Apps can be sold, earning revenue
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