It is so easy to jump on the technology bandwagon and feel an urgency to have every shiny new media tool in your communications toolbox.  This is especially true with smart phone applications (apps).  It seems like most businesses either have apps or are in the process of developing apps.  As our friends at Apple remind us regularly, no matter what you are trying to do, “There’s an app for that!” But do all brands really need an app?  Let’s dig into this topic this week and see what we can discover.

 

What is a Smartphone App?  
Before you buy into the concept of developing an app for your brand, you first must have a strong understanding of what an app is and why it is useful. There are many different kinds of apps on the market today; the two primary kinds are native apps and web apps.

 

Native Apps
Native apps are apps that are designed specifically for a certain type of device; in other words, native apps are designed to operate specifically on a certain type of software (like the IPhone or Droid).  Native apps are good if you want your app to do really innovative and unusual things as it may be best to just focus on one operating system and master that for your purposes. However, a more versatile way to go is web apps.

 

Web Apps
Web apps are run from a web-based platform online, and are not specific to one specific kind of operating system.  Various devices tap into the web app online rather than from the device’s proprietary system.  Its not really obvious to the average user which apps are native apps and which are web apps, but as a general rule, any app that comes pre-installed on your device is very likely a native app (such at the IPhone’s mail system, or the Droid’s contact/address book).

 

Which One is Right for Me?
Deciding which kind of app is right for your organization can be tricky.  The answer to this question depends on many factors that would be worth talking through with whoever is going to build your app. There are websites that claim to teach you how to build your own app but the technology is very basic and inflexible. We advise working with a technology team that understands your needs and can custom build the perfect app for your organization.

 

At Cross and Crown, we are excited to announce that we are beginning to work with clients to build apps for their organizations. We really believe in the value of adding smart phone application services to your marketing and communications goals and would be more than happy to help you get started with an app for your organization.  Please contact us today if you would like to learn more about how an app for your organization may be the best next addition to your marketing mix.

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