Native vs. Hybrid – Which Approach to Use?

With the widespread use of mobile devices, mobile application development is on the rise and becoming more and more advanced. While developing a mobile application can be exciting, it can be a bit confusing if you’re trying to decide which type of application development approach – native or hybrid –  is better.

What are the differences between a native and hybrid app?

When we talk about developing native applications, it means developing an application using native platform languages like Java for Android,  Objective-C for Apple iOS, or Visual C++ for Microsoft Windows.

The main advantage of native applications is that they offer their own standardized SDK, development tools and interface elements which make them fast, reliable and user-friendly. These apps give the best performance when compiled into machine code (Dalvik Bytecode under Android –the basic language that mobile OS understands). Also, native applications offer a variety of functionalities that include multi-touch support, full access to phone hardware, fast and fluid animations, and the latest APIs.

In sum, the native applications approach helps develop an application that is customizable.

Hybrid applications can best be described as web applications (or web pages) that are hosted inside the native application browser, such as WebView in Android and UIWebView in iOS.

Hybrid apps are developed using cross-compatible web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript, then wrapped in a native application using a framework like Apache Cordova.  Apache Cordova provides built-in plugins that allow you build an application for more than one platform by just adding a small native code. The native code lets you use the functionality of device hardware such as the camera, Bluetooth, GPS and more.

Hybrid application development is faster, simpler, and more rapid. These applications are easier to maintain and the platforms can be changed anytime.

Native and Hybrid App differentiators

So what is the answer?

Native and hybrid application frameworks fulfill developer and user needs and preferences, though none of them can be thought of as a perfect solution.

Native applications provide many options for each platform (Android or iOS) has their own unique classes and functions. While designing something as simple as a header you can go through hundreds of changes which increase user interaction with the application. The native application offers fast, reliable and responsive experience.

While developing a hybrid application is just like developing a web page. You only have to create HTML pages, design with CSS, script local files using JavaScript, wrap them in a native web view with Cordova and finally test them in your browser.  Now this simple, effective, user-friendly, and secure hybrid application is ready.

Choice generally depends on budget, timescale, and requirements.

At Sofbang, we prefer the hybrid application development approach because the native application development can be time-consuming. For each platform, the same code has to be rewritten and cannot be shared easily. This process can be relatively long for complex applications. On the other hand, you can customize and add functionality from time to time and all these changes will automatically reflect on every platform, hybrid applications are built on one single base.

7 Ideas to Help You Develop Your Mobile Strategy

Smartphones and tablets are now being sold at a higher rate than PC’s and over 50% of all internet traffic is from a handheld device. Forbes estimates that by 2017 the sales of tablet/smartphones will outsell PCs by a 9 to 1 rate. Developing a mobile strategy is becoming more important than ever and, is no easy feat. It’s something you want to get right the first time-as missteps will cost you time, money and potential customers.

Here are some ideas on how to do it right the first time:

Determine Your Mobile Goals

Ask yourself the most important question of all: What do you want from your mobile strategy? The most important question is understanding what you want from your mobile strategy. Are you trying to increase customer awareness, generate revenue, or increase loyalty? How does this mesh with your social media strategy? Make sure you have defined very specific goals for the applications. But answering this you will have an understanding of what you want and expect from your mobile strategy.

Identifying Target Audience and Needs

Who is your target audience? Take time to consider your specific audience, and make sure you will be providing them with what they want. Whether it’s internal users or external customers, different groups have different needs and requirements from a mobile solution. Don’t assume you know what they want- ask them.

Thoroughly brainstorm use cases

Once you have an idea of what your target audience wants, it’s time to create multiple scenarios by brainstorming with your team to capture all uses for the application. Invite and encourage others within your organization to develop their own usage for the mobile solution. In this manner, you will increase utilization and value within your organization for the mobile application(s).

Gain organizational consensus

Build a great case for the project by involving various levels of the organization: influencers, specifiers, funding managers and senior management. By being inclusive you will understand any objections and be able to work through them. This should make getting any necessary approval and funding an easier effort.

Ensure its secure

Data needs to be secured across devices, clouds and networks. Data should flow seamlessly between your corporation’s data center, cloud and mobile devices. Spend as much time ensuring the mobile applications and infrastructure is secure as you do with an other system in your organization

Define the owner

In the past, it was just assumed that IT would own total responsibility for the applications and system. Today’s more modern strategy is that IT should maintain the system and the line of business maintain the content.

Measure the Return on Investment

A mobile application should have a measurable ROI. Measure your investment and have metrics as a major component of your mobile application strategy. You should have a plan to show your company all the ways the mobile application will save money, resources and improve efficiencies.

Remember that a mobile application is not a mobile strategy. Sofbang has demonstrated an outstanding level of innovation in delivering proven, mobile solutions that can solve customer’s most critical business challenges. Contact one of our experts to learn more on how Sofbang can help your company establish a mobile strategy that can drive real business value with results.

Proximity Based Marketing Solution Accelerator – A New Trend for Marketing Your Business

Proximity based marketing is a strategy deployed within a mobile application with the help of WiFi or beacons to communicate directly with your customer in a way that is timely, relevant and tailored to them. With the built-in ability to deliver appropriate and personalized mobile experiences, proximity marketing has seen widespread adoption and growth with both business and customers. Proximity marketing enables brands to communicate better with more highly targeted and personalized information towards the consumer.

With the advancement in technology, mobile devices have become the preferred way of accessing digital content. Businesses are constantly trying to find new and creative ways to engage with their customers – especially around consumer loyalty and improving customer satisfaction. However, they find that they lack the necessary resources to dedicate an elaborate marketing strategy targeted to their customers.

To connect successfully with their mobile consumers, retailers need an advanced solution. In my opinion, proximity based marketing is a clear answer.

The automation capabilities of beacon technology used in proximity marketing can lay the foundation for creating and executing an engagement strategy that sets a business apart from its competitors.

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Sofbang has utilized its cloud experience, creating our Proximity Based Marketing solution accelerator,  to deliver a mobile experience for businesses like retailers and hotels to notify guests or consumers about on-site promotions and events, restaurants for sending daily specials or coupons, and travel hubs providing maps, relevant information or display ads, etc. It allows you to connect with customers while they are near your business and encourages them to take action. Our easy- to-use solution accelerator appeals to, tech-savvy shoppers while improving the shopper experience, growing your core shopper base, and gaining insights on store performance.

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The Proximity Based Marketing solution accelerator provides retailers the ability to enhance a customer’s shopping experience by sending them personalized messages and rewards while they are shopping in the store. A customizable notification feature welcomes customers as they enter the store – via the app in their smartphone.  Its integration capabilities efficiently and securely interface with backend systems such as Oracle Data Cloud, BlueKai, Eloqua or other marketing analytics centric platforms. With the power of the Oracle Mobile Platform and the help of WiFi or Bluetooth beacons, it incorporates robust mechanisms for accepting data collection (e.g. when the consumer is physically in the store and which department they are in) We utilize Estimote beacons, being the preferred proximity marketing beacon of choice, which broadcast radio signals through built-in antennas that communicate with a customer’s mobile device. The mobile devices interpret the data that is contained in a customer’s ID, sensor readings, or URL addresses sent by the beacons to launch notifications. The messages are shown on the notification panel and let shoppers instantly receive sale information and allow them to accept and add the offer to their cart. The solution offers a way to conduct context-aware interaction with customers and provide relevant information about the product and the brand.

Additionally, Sofbang’s Proximity Based Marketing solution accelerator enables retailers with the ability to improve the content that is sent to their customers the next time they are in the store by allowing you to identify behavioral buying habits which lead to better data of the customer.

The application delivers the following benefits:

  • Offering highly targeted on-the-spot coupons and exclusive offers
  • Connect with customers or potential customers when they are more likely making a purchase
  • Friendly and engaging ways to market and sell to your customers
  • Access to real-time analytics and insights on customer shopping behaviors that can help to better improve marketing and sales strategies.
  • Market directly to your consumer at the right place, at the right time with highly appropriate and personalized notifications.

 

Enter the Oracle Forms Extreme Mobile Makeover Contest

In a world where everything is at the tip of your fingers, why are your enterprise systems glued to your desktop?  Imagine if you could access and operate your Oracle Forms/EBS Systems from any location.  What if your Oracle Forms system was so agile and easy to adapt, that any business function performed in Oracle Forms could be included in a mobile application? What would you include in your mobile strategy?

How about …

  • Doing time reporting directly from your mobile device
  • Managing work orders and entering follow up actions in the field
  • Performing onsite inspections
  • Generating revenue with point of sale solutions

…all without redeveloping your Oracle Forms/EBS systems.

Now is the chance to see for yourself!

By using our solution, we can expose existing Forms applications to mobile without writing one line of code. That’s right!  No code and no need for redevelopment or migration of Oracle Forms.

Not possible?

It is.  And to prove how easy it is, we are hosting an extreme makeover mobile use case competition with our contest partner AuraPlayer.  Together we will select three companies to showcase a business case that is currently a legacy to mobile challenge.  This summer, we will develop a prototype mobile application for each of the three finalists free of charge (trial software licenses included).  The finalists’ applications will be presented at Oracle OpenWorld in San Fransisco in September 2016.  Find the full details here.

Want to enter the contest and see your Oracle Forms application on a mobile device? All you have to do is complete this application before Monday, June 20, 2016. Three finalist will be selected to get a prototype of their app developed, and exposure of their creative mobile vision at Oracle OpenWorld.

In addition, one winning finalist will be selected to receive: A free Samsung 6S Edge+ 

Samsung and Oracle Providing the Engine for Enterprises to Mobilize their Business in the Cloud

Sofbang Samsung App

Two leaders in enterprise technology are providing customers the tools that accelerate development and delivery of mobile solutions

Samsung and Oracle are making it easier for enterprises to embrace today’s modern work setting and take their business to the cloud. The two innovation leaders are partnering to give developers and solution providers the advanced tools to create and deliver mobile apps and enterprise solutions. The collaborative effort will let professionals gain a new level of mobile functionality for ultimate engagement and productivity.

Samsung and Oracle are working closely with select systems integrators, like Sofbang to help customers across all industries leverage their existing legacy systems and take advantage of the benefits of mobile and cloud, modernizing their IT infrastructure, empowering users and realizing greater cost efficiencies. The companies are also working together on an expanded set of Apache Cordova plug-ins and code samples to help customers modernize their enterprise applications with rich mobile user experiences. This brings together the market-leading strength of each company – Oracle’s exceptional enterprise software and Samsung’s elite device features.

Samsung and Oracle have worked with a number of systems integrators to foster creation of innovative mobile and Internet of Things enterprise solutions. Sofbang’s contracts management solution, which was developed to allow comprehensive management and approval of contracts through rich notifications on Samsung Gear S wearables and secured by Samsung’s KNOX mobile security platform will be showcased at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 22-26th.

“In today’s mobile environment, it is critical that businesses deploy a mobile-first strategy to maintain success and accomplish growth,” said Young Kim, Vice President, Enterprise Business Team at Samsung Electronics. “Samsung and Oracle are not only helping customers through mobility but also enabling developers and solution providers to create next generation mobile applications and services that are driving a new frontier of productivity.”

Sofbang’s Contracts Management Mobile App that leverages the Oracle Mobile Cloud Service will also be on display at Mobile World Congress, including industry-specific solutions from both Oracle and Samsung. Samsung will be located at Booth 6A30 in Hall 6, with Oracle at Booth 3B20 Hall 3.