Mobile app development is no longer optional due to the variety of available devices and screen sizes. From the year 2014 more than half internet activity is made via mobile device as opposed to desktop. At this point businesses cannot afford to ignore mobile compatibility.
Currently there are three separate options for mobile : responsive websites, hybrid applications and native applications.
Responsive websites are the cheapest solution. Basically they adapt to browser window size and this is the job of the website template, which governs the look and feel of the site. It is guaranteed to work on any device with a web browser. Another advantage is that there are plenty of content management systems that might actually fit your needs out of the box. These are easy to manage and configure without in-depth programming knowledge. A drawback is you do not have direct access to any perks of running on a mobile device : camera, gps, accelerometer etc.
Hybrid applications are the compromise between price and effectiveness. A website is wrapped in a lightweight mobile application that simply loads the website automatically. There are plenty of code libraries allowing the use of the mobile gadgets. With minimal adaptation a hybrid app can work on all mobile devices and posted on their respective app markets. There is a need to wrap the database in a web service module called an API. The mobile applications and the website interact with the database using the common API.
Native mobile applications are efficient but expensive. They require an API as well but they only work on a very specific device type. This means that you will pay roughly the same price as the hybrid application for each device including a website version. The best part about this is that they are efficient, the interface looks familiar to the user , while the mobile device gadgets and sensors are easily available.
At this point you might have a better idea about what is the best choice for your project. While you are on the subject why not send us a description so we can give you a free estimate: Contact us.