Revolutionize Your Website to an Android App: Here’s Why and How to Convert!
Many individuals are interested in turning their website into Android app but hesitate to take on the project fully. They are uncertain about the advantages that native mobile apps can offer to their brand. This is a valid concern. After all, wouldn’t a responsive mobile site be sufficient? What extra benefits does converting a website into an app provide that your site does not already have?
Key Insights into the Usage of Mobile Apps
According to eMarketer, 90% of smartphone users spend their time on mobile apps, while only 10% conduct web searches. This can be attributed to the fact that mobile apps offer a better user experience, increased productivity, and more features and offerings.
For instance, Booking, a popular hotel booking website, provides additional discounts for users who book through their mobile app. On average, Americans spend four hours a day on their mobile phones, and the market value for mobile apps is expected to surpass $3,798 million by 2025, up from $920 million in 2017.
Furthermore, 89% of users prefer using mobile apps to access online content, while only 11% use websites. With such compelling statistics, it is a good time for businesses to convert websites to the mobile app.
Many well-known brands have already recognized the value of mobile apps and have converted their websites into mobile apps or Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) like Dropbox, Zillow, Google Docs, and Airbnb.
Benefits Of Having A Business App
Converting a company website into a dedicated business app has several benefits. Here are some reasons why it is necessary:
1. Develop a personalized and direct marketing channel: By going mobile, businesses gain direct access to customer information, which helps improve marketing efforts. Apps can be used to distribute content to users more effectively than other traditional marketing channels, and businesses can gather information from user sessions and app access points.
2. Increase customer engagement: Converting a website into a mobile app provides businesses access to more features than a web browser. By utilizing features such as contacts, browser data, camera functions, GPS, and more, businesses can create a more engaging and enjoyable experience for their customers, resulting in increased customer engagement.
3. App store presence: Google Play and the App Store are where people go to find solutions to their problems. By having a presence on these platforms, businesses can increase their visibility and reach new customers. Users searching for related keywords can find a company’s app, which is a great resource. Additionally, having an app on a user’s home screen increases the likelihood of them using the app.
4. Multi-touch feature: Apps for iOS and Android support multiple touches, allowing users to interact with the app using a variety of gestures, such as swiping and pinching. This creates a more engaging and tailored user experience, making the app more habit-forming.
5. Boost customer loyalty: Maintaining a high client retention rate is essential for every successful company. Offering outstanding value and ensuring customers are continually satisfied are two ways to achieve this.
Additionally, loyalty programs are an excellent way to go the extra mile. However, creating a difficult-to-join program can be counterproductive.
A Website or a Mobile App: What is the Best Choice for Your Business?
Mobile applications offer a range of benefits to businesses, but it is not necessary for every business to convert their website into an app. There are certain factors to consider before making the decision.
1. Healthcare/Fitness: Healthcare and fitness businesses that offer remote monitoring services with wearable medical devices and fitness trackers typically require a mobile app to bridge the gap between the device and the database. A mobile app is necessary for the device to establish a connection and transmit data to a centralized database.
2. Online Marketplaces: For online marketplaces, mobile apps are crucial as they account for 67% of all eCommerce sales worldwide. Mobile apps offer a seamless user experience with features such as notifications, quick order tracking, increased security, and much more, unlike websites that require users to open a browser, type the URL and sign in.
3. Interactivity/Gaming: Gaming and interactive apps benefit greatly from mobile applications as they save user data locally, allowing for fast and seamless data retrieval. Users can use their camera, send messages to contacts, use GPS, talk, and access social media while playing games, enhancing the interactive experience.
4. Fintech/Banking: Fintech and banking businesses require mobile apps to provide easy access to various digital payment options, mobile wallets, UPI, and other services. Mobile apps offer frictionless transactions, which websites cannot provide in this cashless era.
5. Complex Calculations: Businesses dealing with complex calculations and handling large volumes of data can also benefit from converting their website into a mobile application. This can improve efficiency and user appeal.
Factors to Consider When Converting a Website into a Mobile App
As experts in developing mobile and web applications, we have some suggestions for businesses looking to create a competitive mobile app, particularly if they plan to convert their website into an app.
1. Consider the platform-specific UI design guidelines: iOS and Android, the two most popular mobile platforms, have fundamental interface design guidelines that all mobile apps in their official stores must follow. Therefore, businesses must follow the principles of Flat Design (for iOS) and Material Design (for Android) when designing their mobile app to ensure compliance with these guidelines.
2. Estimate the app development cost and timeline: Developing software can be costly, and the more complex the app is, the more expensive it will be to develop. According to a survey, developing a “basic app” can cost anywhere between $38,000 to $91,000. Factors to consider when estimating app development expenses include the number of features to be included and the time it will take to develop the app. It usually takes around 3-4 months to develop and prepare an app for release. Businesses should consider these factors before starting app development, as they will affect the app’s overall cost.
Choose the development platform (Native vs. Hybrid):
3. Native App Development: Native apps are built from scratch specifically for the iOS and Android platforms. Native app developers are in high demand because these apps are known for their excellent performance. For instance, apps like Uber and Airbnb require a lot of processing power, making native apps the ideal choice for such complex apps. Native apps also have access to the device’s native functions, such as GPS, facial recognition, and the accelerometer, making them the best choice for apps that need to use these features.
Steps to Convert a Website Into a Mobile App
1. Compile a Feature List: Before starting the development process, it is essential for businesses to make a list of features they want to include in their mobile app. This helps them stay within budget, estimate costs, and have a clear idea of what they need to build. It is important to validate the feature list and ensure that each feature is valuable to the audience, rather than just a showy bonus.
To convert a website into a mobile app, there are several factors to consider:
- Focus on user experience (UX)
- Implement gesture-based navigation
- Maintain consistency
- Use a hamburger menu for navigation and notifications
2. Design a User-Friendly UX: A mobile app should offer a user-friendly UX design that is responsive and loads content quickly. This is the main reason why a mobile app is preferred over a website. It is essential to pay attention to where the content appears and how quickly everything loads, especially during crucial actions such as registration or login, which should happen almost instantly on mobile devices.
The goal is to create an app interface that is more responsive than the website. The fundamental objective of converting a website into an app is defeated if the website is more responsive than the mobile app.
3. Automate Data Backup: Despite taking precautions to reduce the risks of a data breach, it is still possible that one might occur. It is important to regularly back up data to avoid data loss. If the website’s data is backed up, businesses will not lose anything even if a bug deletes it.
4. Optimize the Display Format for Mobile Devices: It is crucial to match the interface’s display format to that of mobile devices, as mobile apps typically have size restrictions due to display size. The mobile application should use the battery of the user’s device sparingly.
Additionally, the app should be optimized for efficient operation within the chosen operating system and should not conflict with other processes on the device. It should be responsive even on weaker hardware and interact smoothly with the device’s specific functionalities, such as touchscreens, contact books, cameras, GPS sensors, etc.
5. Implement Local Memory and Cache Logic: Caching helps web pages load faster on browsers. However, a slightly different logic is used for mobile applications. The technology uses the smartphone’s internal memory to cache data.
6. Hire an App Development Team: Businesses can hire an app development team to design and create an app that meets the company’s requirements. A development team can handle all aspects of establishing and developing an app, including UI/UX design, creating graphics, coding, user acquisition, marketing strategy, etc.
A successful app should offer value, provide solutions, be cost-effective, and be user-friendly, regardless of the platform type. Achieving all these characteristics together requires exceptional discipline. It is important to continuously maintain and improve the app to ensure its productivity. This responsibility is not limited to when converting a website into an app.