In the digital era today, the use of smartphones is ubiquitous. From CEOs to administrative staffs, in the business environment, smartphones have become an important element of everyone’s life. Running like the lifeline of a smartphone are mobile applications, designed to perform a whole range of functions. Native applications, built with a fair touch of innovation and purpose, can act as a source of competitive advantage.
A classic debate from the world of enterprise applications is the one between native apps and HTML5. HTML5 has made good progress in the recent years and has found a place in the good books of app developers. But at the end, it is the native mobile platform that wins while talking about both customer-facing as well as employee mobile apps.
At the crux of field service management is the need to reach out to far flung technicians with the right updates and at the right time. A native app does a better job at this. Read on to find out more reasons to explain why native apps are domineering over HTML5 applications in this field of work.
The demands of an organization, with respect to an application, differ from one another in size, complexity and usage. Invoking the various functions of an application through a browser with HTML5 is no better or faster that achieving the same through a native app.
Better user experience
Rich animated content always scores better than the monotonous display of text. Consider a healthcare app that showcases the polio vaccine administration plan through video, graphs and charts to the field workers than a whole array of words used to represent the same information. The power of animated content cannot be underestimated while using mobile applications and native apps are more efficient in rendering high quality graphics and visual content.
Augments the efforts of field workers by using the features of the device
The ability of the native apps to use the features like camera and location of the mobile device gives it an edge over the applications built with HTML5. While HTML5 applications may use features like the GPS or accelerometer, they tend to suffer while the demands become more complex and the need to use the inherent features of the phone arises.
While dealing with sensitive information, encryption becomes a necessary tool. Application of the right security protocols and checking of compliance regulatory measures are essential for the proper functioning of field services. Dealing with secure data over a browser-based application can be tricky and the chances of hacking attacks are also large. Native apps, on the other hand, can facilitate encryption of cached data and also ensure all required regulations are in place (this is of great use in the healthcare industry).
Native apps must be adapted to the various operating systems they are made to work with. For instance, a native app works different on the Android OS when compared to an iPhone. The same happens with HTML5 applications which must be adapted to each and every browser such as Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer. The chances of a field service provider failing to access an application to the incompatibility of his browser with the OS is much high.
Native apps continue to perform their function even when one device or OS from the whole range is compromised. The information is absorbed and is made to reach the field service workers or the central organization as soon as the Internet connection is enabled. HTML5 applications fail to deliver business continuity when the Internet or the browser or the source is compromised.
A few final words…
Native apps come with a substantial cost. The cost involved is directly proportional to the quality of service and an assurance of better results and revenue. Field service workers have the responsibility to directly face customers and native apps could be the most efficient, reliable and robust tool to complement their work.