What’s a native app, anyway?
You’ll already have heard the word on the street – that we’re working on a native Timely iOS app. We can barely contain our excitement!
It’s all part of some work we’re doing with the Apple Mobility Partner Program (MPP). MPP is a program designed to help improve businesses by connecting people with the apps they need. So, for us, that means helping get a native Timely app to the people who really need it – service-based businesses (like hairdressers and personal trainers) who need an app to run their business and save them time.
We’re lucky enough to be a part of this cool program. Part of our role in MPP involves upping our game when it comes to what we offer our iOS users. Hence, the native app!
But we realize it may be a little less exciting if you’re thinking “what’s a native app and why should I care?”
We already have a downloadable app, but this new one will work quite differently. I’m going to a get a little nerdy and explain why we’re so excited about releasing our first native Timely iOS app, and why it’s so cool, but first let’s figure out – what’s a native app?
Web, hybrid and native apps
In the world of smartphones, there are three types of apps, all of which you’ve probably used on your phone before. Here’s a closer look at the different types:
These are websites that look and feel like an app, but are used inside your phone’s website browser. For example, if you don’t want to download Facebook’s app, you can just open a website browser and type in www.facebook.com. The website automatically detects that you’re on a mobile phone, and adjusts itself accordingly. So, it’s still a website, but it presents itself differently so you can navigate it easily on your phone. You can use Timely in this way if you want to.
It works, but it can be a bit slow, and if the web app isn’t set up properly it can be frustrating for the user.
A hybrid app is part web app, part native app. You download it onto your phone, you get more screen real estate, and it functions more like a traditional phone app. The app essentially displays the mobile version, but with a little more screen space.
Our old iOS app is a hybrid app. That’s why it looks exactly like the mobile version you can access on your browser.
Our new jam! Native apps live on your device, after you download them from the App Store. The best part is that they’re more optimized for your device, which means they’re faster.
They can also interact with other parts of your phone. You know how Facebook and Instagram let you know if you have new messages or likes? They can do that because they’re native apps living on your phone.
Native apps also make it really easy to connect to other native apps. So integrations (like Vend, Xero, MailChimp, and MYOB) suddenly become way smoother! We’re dipping our toes into this territory with a slick new iPad integration with Vend: check out the details here. We’ll be able to do a lot more of that with a native app, simply because it’s easier to make native apps talk nicely to each other.
Why we’re excited about it
Going native is just the first step in a long journey of making the Timely iOS app better. It opens up a world of possibilities to us (and you!) for future versions of the app:
- Improved user experience (since it’s made specifically with iPads and iPhones in mind)
- Notifications on your device
- Seamless integration with others apps on your device
And on top of all that it will be absolutely beautiful to look at! We’ve got a kick-ass iOS development team on the case, and we know you’re going to love the app when it’s ready.
Working with Apple on MPP means that we’ll be better able to help small business owners, which a whole bunch of our customers are. Having an A+ mobile app helps people run their business on their terms. And that’s what we want for all of you! Successful business, done your way.
Of course, all good things take time, so we’re releasing the app slowly to make sure everything goes according to plan.
Interested in beta testing?
We’re looking for other nerdy folk who have an eye for detail and love to play around on iOS devices. If you’re keen to be part of our beta testing of the new app, pop on over here and give us your details.