I’m sure you’ve heard of Apples iTunes and their AppStore. Almost every day, you’ll hear people with iPhones say “check out this new app”
If you’ve got a bricks and mortar business, thinking of starting one, or have an online business, and looking for new ways to attract more customers, you’ve probably thought about wanting an “app” that your customers could use to interact more fully with you – and you with them.
The Cons of Creating an App
First up, you need a Mac based computer. Secondly, you need to learn Objective-C. Thirdly, you need to learn the Apple iOS SDK (Software Development Kit). Fourthly (is that a word?) you need to test it in the emulator, and then test it on a real device (however the hell you manage that!), and Fifthly (looks like filthy doesn’t it?!) you have to submit your app to Apple and fill out some red tape forms and so on and so forth.
That’s a bit too much carry-on for my liking.
And finally – you get 70% of the revenue – Apple keep the other 30%
The Pros of Creating an App
Your app is seen in the AppStore, in iTunes etc etc…. blah blah. I’m sure you’ve read the raves.
If you really want to go down this path, and create native iOS apps, why not check this out? iPhone DevSecrets.
Do you have the resources to develop an app? Even if you outsourced the development, the back and forth headache of testing, checking etc seems to me to be a big barrier to smaller players wanting to get into that market.
I think I’ve identified a better way.
Meet Google, HTML5, and standard web pages.
Here’s The Interesting Bit
Google are, I’m sure you’ll agree, a major driving force on the Internet. That’s probably an understatement. Everyone talks about SEO, Google rankings, how to get to position 1 in Google.
What you probably don’t know, is that Google is actively pushing the “web-app” – just go to http://www.chromeexperiments.com/ to learn more. Of course, they’re pushing their Chrome web browser, but Apple’s Safari web browser (on the iPhone and iPad) displays these web apps just as well.
And that’s where it gets interesting.
Instead of creating a “native” iPhone or iPad app using Apple’s developer tools, why not create web apps like that which are featured on the Chrome Experiments site?
And if you have your own self-hosted server, there is nothing stopping you from creating your own “web app” – with all the glory, visuals, sound, keyboard interaction and offline database storage that the entire ”HTML5″ environment, can offer you!
Where To Go From Here?
I’ll be actively investigating this entire thing over the next few weeks – I’ve already gotten a minimal app written for my wife’s real estate business that runs perfectly on Firefox and Chrome on the PC, and Safari on both my wife’s iPhone and my iPad. And they all look the same on all these platforms.
The reach there is incredible. Think about that – if you wanted to create an Apple only app, you’d only be able to use it on an iOS device (an iPhone or an iPad) – a web app on the other hand gives you a much broader reach to your customers – no matter where they are, no matter what device they use, they’ll still be able to use your new web app.
So join me in this new adventure. I’m going to be learning as much about HTML5 as I possibly can (the “canvas” element holds so much promise for the visuals!) so if there are any questions you have, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I really want to help you achieve your goals – so lets bounce ideas off one another and see what we can achieve.