3 Types of Mobile Event Apps

One of the key decisions you need to make when implementing a mobile event app is deciding which type of app will best meet your objective.

For a meeting planner, it is important to have a basic understanding of the types of apps including the pros and cons as you work with your mobile app developer during the selection process.


The following chart breaks down the three basic types of mobile apps:

What It Is
Native Apps
Built specifically to the needs of the various operating systems such as Apple’s iOS or Android
  • Speed, performance and user interface are optimized
  • Works without Internet connection
  • Must build a specific app for each operating system
  • Takes more time to develop and deploy
  • Higher development costs
Web-Based Apps
Websites built using HTML that are designed specifically for smaller screens
  • No need to distribute using app stores
  • Works on any device with a browser, but experience varies
  • Lower deployment costs
  • Slower performance
  • Internet connection is required
Hybrid Apps
Native app shell with feeds from the website
  • Caches content, so it works offline to a degree
  • Downloadable from app stores
  • Easier to deploy cross-platform than native apps
  • Lower cost than native apps
  • Doesn’t run as smoothly as native apps
  • Offline performance can be inconsistent
  • Built to specific operating system


Do You Need Your Mobile Event App to Work Offline?

Because most mobile event apps will be used extensively within a convention or exhibit hall, it is likely you will want to provide an app that can be used offline. This means you will probably be going down the path of either a native or hybrid app.

  • Both native and hybrid apps will function offline.
  • Native apps have better offline performance but are more costly.
  • Hybrid apps can vary in performance from vendor to vendor based on design. If you go with a hybrid app, make sure you understand functionality around caching of content and how offline performance works. It is likely you will lose some functionality.

Tip #1: Test all demo apps in airplane mode so you can see how the app performs offline.

Will You Be Serving Users With Both Smartphones and Tablets?

When apps are built, they are usually optimized for either a smartphone or tablet.

  • Web-based apps can usually transparently service both products.
  • Native and hybrid apps usually need to be optimized for a device. This doesn’t mean the apps will not work on both devices, but some of the screen layouts, menus and navigation are optimized when built for a specific device.

Tip #2: If you are targeting one device over the other, it is important to notify your vendor.

What type of mobile event app is your organization looking at implementing?

About Omnipress

Omnipress delivers educational content for associations and other organizations. Digital and print solutions for in-person, virtual, and hybrid conferences and training programs.

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