1. Why mobile apps? Why not just mobile web? 

  • Advantages of mobile web:
    1. Immediacy: mobile web does not require downloading anything
    2. Compatibility: whether Android or iOS, or WindowsPhone, mobile web should be accessible.
    3. Find-ability & Share-ability: easy to find, easy to share (also compatible with SMS, QRCode…)
    4. Upgradeability: website can be upgraded immediately, no need to be reviewed
    5. Time & Cost: easier and less expensive
    6. Fragmentation: different versions of apps are harder to maintain.
  • Advantages of mobile app:
    1. Interactivity: easy to interact with (gaming experience), more responsive than mobile web
    2. Regular Usage & personalisation: lots of data to be stored for a user (large data not good to download all the time – like videos/ maps/ game graphics), can stay logged in forever (with mobile web where you have to login again with full credentials, with app /even banking apps/ only a PIN is enough).
    3. No connection needed: offline mode is the clear advantage. Less data needed to be sent (instead of the whole web page, only critical data is needed).
    4. Complex operations: chart or reporting, that can be done using device power
    5. Native stuffs: camera, animation effects, accelerometer,
    6. Quality-check: iOS app are famous for quality and security (therefore the approval process).
    7. Usability: one click to open, quicker than typing an URL.
    8. An ever-presence: push notifications to remind, push can open the app
    9. In-app purchase: inexhaustible products like game items, digital resources, can be sold  easier now without creating a payment channel yourself.
  • Often the business starts with a website already so the mobile app usually acts as another channel for that business, so this question is not an appropriate one (as you have both), you should ask:
    • Is the app much more efficient/convenient than using web? There is no point having an app that does less than mobile web and also not as reliable. The app should be able to do everything the website can do, in a quicker, smoother way.
    • Does the app provide a next-level user experience?  Not only it does everything even better than the web, it has to provide more features, using advantages of the native to the maximum: (for example Swipe & other gestures, animations, responsiveness, scrolling feature …) 
      • Leveraging high quality of native applications to provide the wow effects, state-of-the-art applications that the web never can replicate or even come close!

2. Advantage of hybrid mobile apps? 

The native-wrapper javascript-api webview-based apps. These apps promote one code-base (javascript) on multi platforms, using the library to build the native part for you.

  • Pros:
    • javascript is popular, so no learning curve.
    • code reuse for multi-platform
    • tested on browser
  • Cons:
    • ui lag
    • still have to recompile and resubmit to appstore

Examples: PhoneGap (Apache Cordova), Appcelerator Titanium, Appear IQ (Appear is joint research of Harvard BS, MIT and Swedish Royal Institute of Technology)

3. Core mobile knowledge that iOS developer can transfer to Android?