Over the past few years, there has been a rapid increase in the number of mobile applications available on different app stores. However, not all of these apps are created equally.
Historically, mobile applications were created as native which means they were built for specific platforms, such as iOS or Android. But with that said, cloud applications are starting to become more popular, and for good reasons.
If you are considering cloud development but you are not sure what to do, this guide will help you make an informed decision.
What Are Mobile Cloud Apps?
Mobile cloud apps are similar to web-based applications since they both run on external servers and require the use of a web browser on the mobile device to display the content. However, unlike web apps, they are not totally dependent on a web browser to function.
Cloud applications typically take up little or no storage space on users’ devices. Data is stored on a remote data center and generally operated by a third party. The back-end takes care of the access, integration and security aspects.
Cloud apps are popular for their responsiveness and the fact that they don’t need to be stored permanently on the device. If there is a good internet connection and the application is well written, it is sure to provide the same experience as a desktop app, while offering the portability of a web application.
Below are some of the most important advantages that can fully answer your question of why you should be using cloud mobile applications for your business in 2020.
1. Not Specific To One Platform
Unlike native apps, cloud applications operate on both Android and iOS. This helps to reach a wider number of audience and makes your job much easier since you no longer have to decide what platform to build for first. If you have ever created a native app, you know how difficult this choice can be. Though with cloud mobile applications you will still need to understand your target audience, the choice of the operating system becomes irrelevant.
The cost of development is undoubtedly an important factor that motivates businesses to opt for mobile cloud applications. The cost of building a mobile application depends on the functionality integrated into it.
Companies that start to develop native mobile applications for both iOS and Android at the same time are more likely to spend twice as more on the development process alone. Cloud mobile applications are more appealing in that respect because the development cost is typically lower. What is more, you have to create only one app and it will work on both platforms.
One more consideration is maintenance. As a business, you need to look into the future. Besides paying for the app development, you need to allocate your budget wisely to be able to pay for application maintenance. Although cloud development isn’t free but it can save you a substantial sum of money.
Time is money, especially in the case of cloud mobile app development. Native mobile app development can be a lengthy process. The development timeframe depends entirely on the type of application you want to get created. In comparison to cloud application development, native app development is time-consuming.
If you want your app to include sophisticated features, the development process can take between 6 and 12 months. For complex mobile applications, it may take more than a year to build an app before it can be released. That could mean a year to build for each platform if you opt for native mobile app development.
The development of cloud apps takes less time as you don’t have to go through this process twice. What is more, you manage to reach both Android and iOS users with just one app.
A faster launch means that you will be able to see investment returns faster. In highly competitive markets, the sooner you manage to occupy a vacant place in the niche, the better.
4. No Installation Required
Cloud-based applications run directly from the cloud which means you don’t have to install them on your device and update to make them work. They function similarly to web-based applications. They interact directly with the cloud to fetch data, thus ensuring smooth running and great user experience.
The situation is different, however, in the case of native applications as they can function only when installed on users’ devices. Also, native applications will have different versions and require updates based on the type of device used.
5. Secure Data Storage
Native applications store data locally on mobile devices. This method can have many challenges since the data can be lost or the device can have errors and malfunctions.
If information is stored in the cloud, there is less risk of information being lost. This is particularly important if your application has to collect and store sensitive data about your users. For example, if your app collects payments, you will have to store customer billing information; and you are responsible for protecting it. If your company gains a reputation for allowing data breaches that compromise customer security, restoring it will be nearly impossible.
Storing data on the cloud is a safe method to protect both your customers and your business. All businesses should have an emergency backup plan, and cloud storage can help with that by creating a second copy of files. These files can be stored at a remote location and accessed through an internet connection. The cloud data is backed up to multiple servers, so even if one of the servers crashes, the data will still be safe on other servers.
6. Seamless Database Integration
The procedure of database integration can be time-consuming and tricky to conduct for some businesses and it can result in a more confusing process if it is done with a native mobile application.
Cloud mobile app development facilitates this complex procedure as all data is synced with the cloud server. Developers don’t have to write code for integrating databases when creating a cloud application.
7. Easier to Scale
After having released a mobile application, it is essential to keep updating it in line with users’ needs. Such an ability to constantly upgrade the app is one of the important factors that impact its success.
Regular maintenance isn’t cheap. But with that said, it is definitely necessary.
Cloud-based mobile applications score ensure easy scalability and better reliability. The on-demand virtual space of cloud applications provides unlimited storage space and more server resources. Cloud servers can scale up or down depending on the volume of traffic your application receives. Whenever you add features users won’t have to install a new update to benefit from the enhanced experience.
8. Data Recovery
Server damage is something that nobody wants to think about. But things happen and you need to be prepared for the unexpected. With cloud application development, the data is stored on different servers and regularly backed up. This helps to ensure that no accidents or breakages will lead to destruction and data loss.
Even though the chances of your local servers getting damaged may be slim, it is better to have everything stored in the cloud just in case something goes wrong. With an extensive server network of backups and fail-safes, the data is secure and up-to-date. Even if something goes wrong, you can rest assured that the data can be recovered.
Cloud mobile app development is a great option for businesses looking for a safe and cost-effective alternative to native mobile app development. In contrast to native applications, cloud applications are less expensive to develop and can get brought to market much faster.
Cloud applications don’t need to be installed on user devices to work and they ensure better protection of sensitive information and process payments. Also, it is easier to integrate the databases with your cloud app. Last but not least, cloud applications are easier to scale and let you easily recover and access data in the event of an emergency.