Web to Print – How to create your App
Once you are ready to take your business to the next level and join the mobile revolution many questions come up – should I develop a mobile Web-App, should I go for a native App, or should I create a hybrid App, and… what is the difference? We will try to help and clarify that, as well what needs to be considered when the target is to have a Web to Print App that will streamline jobs for your business.
First thing is defining your goals – what type of products will be sold through the App, what kind of real time control will be required from your production site, and what kind of service you wish to provide your customers by utilizing the App. Will it provide general information and pricing quotations, or will it function as a fully e-commerce system that will allow your customers to buy products and pay online?
After defining the goals there is a decision to make, so we will try and explain the difference between the 3 common type of Apps – Hybrid App, Mobile web App and Native App.
Mobile Web Apps – These are server side Apps that are built on web related technologies such as ASP, PHP, HTML etc. They don’t require any installation but they do require internet connection to function.
Native Apps – They are built as a full downloadable “package” at the Application stores, they are fully installed on the mobile device and don’t require internet connection. Any changes or updates to the App will require the end users to download the new updates.
Hybrid Apps – They run on the mobile device and require download like native apps, they work online like a web apps but they run inside a native app “cover” that means it will be downloadable at the Application stores, and the download will install an icon on the mobile device that will open the app inside the default web browser on the end users’ device.
Which platform will suit your needs?
This is the most important decision that must be taken before approaching a Web-to-Print-App project. When you look at our Web-to-Print needs, there are a few points that must be considered. You must be able to update prices, products, orders and payments in real time which leaves us with only 2 options, Mobile Web Apps and Hybrid Apps. Between the 2 there is one major difference, Mobile Web Apps don’t require download, and end users can view them through their mobile web browser. It makes it easier but it has one major weakness compared with Hybrid Apps. Since Hybrid Apps require a download to the mobile device, it installs an icon of your App on the end users’ mobile which makes you the primary supplier for their printing needs.
Based on the market changes and the growing variety of mobile devices, when it comes to Web to Print e-commerce Apps, the most recommended platform for this purpose is no doubt a Hybrid App!