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Great post! I've always scoffed at claims that banks have to seek Apple's permission to be available on iPhones and iPads. I only recently learned about enterprise app stores and agree with you that this is "Contrary to what many people believe"!
Points 3 and 4 though I would argue that you should look at a real developer friendly environment that enables your developers to build real managed code using a technology that is not just propriatary to mobile phones. There arent many options when you
think like this, nor if you want to get support and a clear upgrade path for your developer environments. As a CTO I have standardised our complete development efforts within the company on C# using Visual Studio. No matter what anyone claims, Visual Studio
is simply the best development enviornment available to any developer. Using C# may seem odd if deploying for iOS or Android, but using technologies like Xamarin and MVVMX you can use Visual Studio and C# and build native apps for the big three platforms,
Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Thats one managed core code base across all devices. This reduces development cycles, costs and bugs drastically.
I would also state that if you can go down the native app route, then this is most likely to deliver the best experience to your end users. Many try to use HTML 5 or web type technologies (PhoneGap) and have these compiled into apps, but these are not native
apps, they run slower, limit the type of experience you can deliver and can limit the functionality you wish to provide.
That being said, the post is spot on, you need to fully understand your app and where you see that app going in the future before committing to a particular implementation method. For many simple apps, HTML 5 may well be the best option, but once you start
looking to make things a little more rich to your end user, it soon becomes clear that native will be the best option.
One final point, yes you will end up delivering more apps, but there is no reason why one app cannot do multiple things for you. You need to logically group functions into apps so that you need only develop a few different apps to cover all your needs. One
app would be tough, but to split into to many apps is simply not feasible or maintainable, so your technical architects must include feedback from end users and understand what functions can logically be grouped in a single app.
I think its all about making sure the app contains logically what it should for the user to use. If they more often than not need to "flip" between apps, then those functions need to be consolidated into a single app.
What Apple has done brilliantly at over the years is getting that type of balance right. Cutting down apps so they serve 80% of the user base fine, while the other 20% need to use an additional app is spot on. All to often we see applications (desktop, web,
mobile) that try to cater for all 100% of their users, and in such cases you're spot on, the experience fails and the app becomes too clunky.
I think its a great exercise to run through, too few apps is not good, too many is equally as frustrating. Finding that balance is all down to the functions and features you need to deliver and how you can deliver those in an easy to use slick experience.
Entrepreneur turned VC Mark Suster was spot on when he advised product / engineering managers to
design for the novice, configure for the pro. (Of course, the external message needs to be a bit nuanced since the average
user might not see her / himself as a novice, but that's another story)
Kynetix Technology Group
08 Aug 2012
This post is from a series of posts in the group:
This community aims to provide links, resources, book suggestions, tips and insights to facilitate learning and development of IT professionals in financial services, and to develop a forum for IT professionals to exchange views on various related items.