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A study by Nielsen last year said 50.4 percent of American consumers use smartphones; 48.5 percent of these users are on Android while 32 percent are using Apple devices. With all the buzz in IT gearing towards having an effective mobile presence for the enterprise, very few business don’t know whether to adopt a mobile web app or a native mobile app.

What’s the difference between the two?

 

Mobile web app and native app comparison. Image courtesy of Six Revisions.

 

A mobile web app is an internet-based application accessed through a mobile device’s web browser which doesn’t need to be downloaded or installed. Meanwhile, a native mobile app has to be downloaded and directly installed onto the device. Normally, it has to be taken from a store or marketplace such as Google Play or App Store.

Deciding which mobile app presence is needed for the business is more of a question of function. A mobile web app is a more practical approach because it can be instantly accessed and is most of the time compatible across different devices. It is also flexible enough to be upgraded and can be easily found on the web because it appears on search results.

If you are using SharePoint 2010 and 2013, a mobile web app module is readily available for to create an immediate presence. A mobile classic view is the default for SharePoint 2010, while SharePoint 2013 offers a more contemporary, tiled and metro feel. With SharePoint 2013 hitting the market just late last year, it is about time that businesses migrate to a more flexible cloud-based solution packed with arsenals for the increasingly mobile workforce.

Different mobile views of SharePoint. Image courtesy of Eric Overfield.

 

What can we expect from SharePoint 2013? Here are just six of them.

First, SharePoint 2013 web mobile app has a more modern view built on HTML 5.

Best suited for mobile devices, SharePoint 2013 is built on HTML 5 that gives the mobile web app the metro look that is consistent to the design of Window 8 based platforms.

Now with a clean and highly compatible user interface across different browsers, your mobile web presence can be easily routed regardless of device it is accessed.

 

 

Image courtesy of CMS Wire.

 

Second, upload one content and see it cascade to all your pages.

Unlike before, SharePoint 2013 now allows you to upload contents from your mobile web app and see it cascade to all your master pages, page layouts and style sheets. This gives you less overhead because you no longer have to duplicate your content.

Third, documents can now be edited through Office Web Apps.

Because of SharePoint 2013’s new UI sporting bigger buttons, gesture support, context menus; together with its optimized touch screen support allowing touch – it is now convenient to edit documents online.

 

 

Image courtesy of CMS Wire.

 

Note though that SharePoint 2010 allows to do online document editing, but with a hack. SharePoint 2013 integrates this feature flawlessly through in the new version together with Office Web Apps.

Fourth, SharePoint 2013 is equipped with push notification support.

A staple for mobile devices, push notifications are very convenient if you need to get your updates real time. A feature that requires custom implementation, SharePoint 2013 push notification allows you to receive alerts from SharePoint lists and sites every time a new document is uploaded.

Fifth, SharePoint 2013 supports PeformacePoint and Excel Services reports.

A feature that is currently available only for iOS 5 iPads, SharePoint 2013 allows you to view reports on your tablets.

Sixth, SharePoint 2013 is equipped with Geolocation services.

Although it is still a feature that requires custom build, the geolocation feature of SharePoint 2013 can be utilized through Visual Studio. A geolocation field can be added on the list which allow users to plot their longitude and latitude that can be rendered to Bing Maps. This is quite a feat because a geolocation powered app is the best way to push custom and more relevant content.

SharePoint 2013 gives you six major reasons why it is about time for your business to start your mobile strategy. Know more what SharePoint can do for your mobile presence by talking to a specialist at Portal Integrators today.