Dec 22, 2023 By Geoff Parent 8 min
By Geoff Parent
Geoff is a writer and guest contributor to sidebar Magazine.
TL;DR: If you have a mobile website, but not a native mobile app, you’re missing out on an opportunity to deliver a more convenient, engaging option for your users! With a native app, you can optimize your mobile experience for both iOS and Android devices. Because web-based apps run in a mobile browser, they are limited to the functionality available through the browser. Native apps, on the other hand, can access the hardware and functionality of the device itself, leading to a wide range of new features and possibilities. Let's explore the benefits, and how to get started.
When you convert your existing website to a native iOS or Android app with Median, you’ll gain access to an extensive library of native plugins to help you harness the power of native functionality without the need for extensive web development:
When you’re choosing native plugins to add to your app, it’s important to think carefully about which features and functionality will help:
With that, here are thirteen highly useful native app plugins to help guide your thinking.
Push notifications are a highly effective way of reaching all, or a subset, of your users directly on their mobile devices with updates, announcements, offers and other information. You can also integrate push into your website to send personalized alerts to your users and update them on specific events within your app. Add push notifications to your app using a variety of third-party providers such as OneSignal.
Social login provides a seamless login experience for end users using any combination of Facebook Login, Google Sign-in and Sign in with Apple. If a user is already logged into any of these accounts on their device, this plugin allows them to log in to your app with one tap.
Social login is highly useful during the initial sign-up process and each subsequent time the user is logging in to their account in your app. Without social login, your users must manually create an additional account and fill in their username and password to login to your app.
This plugin allows users to play audio natively on iOS and Android devices with playback controls and track information displayed on the device lock screen. Media playback will continue even when your app is backgrounded and/or the device is locked and screen turned off. This plugin can also be used to play the audio track of a video while the device screen is turned off.
This plugin allows your users to use their device camera to scan QR codes and barcodes directly in your app. This plugin streamlines and simplifies data entry and accessibility by leveraging existing barcodes and QR codes (product UPC barcodes, travel document QR codes, etc).
The document scanner native plugin allows your users to easily scan documents of all kinds via their device’s camera. This plugin uses image processing technology to crop, rotate and optimize the scanned image to ensure the resulting electronic document is legible and meets compliance requirements.
These native plugins provide users with a seamless login experience if their devices utilize Apple's Face ID and Touch ID authentication on iOS and Android’s Biometric Authentication. Once your users login and create a session you can prompt them to use their Face/Touch ID / Biometrics for future logins.
This plugin allows your business to seamlessly accept payment within your app to facilitate in-app purchases and create subscriptions. It makes it far easier for your users to purchase digital and physical products, unlock premium features, add subscriptions, and more. And because the plugin leverages Apple and Google’s IAP platforms, both Apple and Google manage all payment processing and future billing/subscription management.
This plugin uses the Google Ads platform to allow your business or organization to run native banner and/or interstitial ads in your app. Native ads deliver an enhanced user experience and generate higher conversions and revenue than browser-based ads.
With the offline download manager, users can manually or automatically download files for offline usage. Your users will see a user interface that lists all files stored to their device While this plugin is typically used for PDF documentation and video/audio files, it is applicable for any file format that can be opened on the device.
This plugin is useful when users must be able to access large file sizes or a large quantity of files at all times, even in areas with poor cellular coverage or no cellular/wifi access.
This plugin is used to meet app compliance requirements. It helps ensure that your app is not running on an insecure or compromised device on which data could be accessed improperly.
With Google Firebase Analytics, your business or organization can harness the power of the Google Analytics platform and enable enhanced event tracking within your mobile app. This plugin can help you add notable app events to your Google Analytics platform such as app installs, app opens and app clicks to help you track and optimize user engagement. It is highly useful for businesses or organizations with a vested interest in tracking, optimizing and improving the performance of their app.
This plugin makes it far easier for users to add their payment details and complete payments. Using machine vision, this plugin can read any credit card and extract the card number and details. Users simply have to hold their camera in front of a card to capture cardholder name, card number and expiry date without typing. If you’re looking to make a digital image of the card in question, refer to the Document Scanner plugin.
Regardless of the services your business or organization provides, the Median platform can help you optimize and enhance how your users interact with your brand on mobile devices. Our highly intuitive native App Studio makes it easy to convert your existing website into a stunning feature-packed native app for both iOS and Android devices. You can quickly publish an app that leverages your existing web content and add Native Plugins to provide even more functionality for your users.
To learn more about our full range of app building services, browse our full library of native plugins, and try out the Median App Studio for yourself, click here.
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