When briefing your project, it is inevitable that you will come up against the question of whether to build a dynamic or static mobile application. Although the word dynamic has been coined by many marketers as essentially a synonym for “great!”, in this technical context it is true to its real meaning. Choosing the right architecture is a crucial initial step toward the success of your mobile app development, so let’s weigh your options…
First of all, it’s important that we define the difference between static and dynamic app structures.
Static applications are not reliant on connection to an online server or database. Apps built in this way are downloaded once, usually periodically updated, and are able to function offline only with the device on which they are installed.
Dynamic applications are in some way reliant on an online server or database. When connected, these apps are loaded from a central server so that any iterative changes to development, design or functionality are rolled out across all devices simultaneously.
First, we’ll look at some of the pros and cons of building a static mobile application.
Static apps are by their nature self-contained, and therefore their development is often comparatively simple. As a result, development costs are usually lower than a dynamic build, as there are no complex external databases to manage.
The fact that all the necessary data is bundled in the installation file also makes static apps easy to scale. As the app is attained through a simple download link, it can be distributed to millions of users without ever facing the problem of server overload.
However, for the same reason, the process of updating a static app is at the discretion of the user. In order to improve the user experience, your user base must actively choose to install your latest iteration. This exposes one crucial flaw: security.
If your initial app build has any security flaws, users who have already downloaded the app will be in danger of breach, and can only be helped if they update your application themselves. If you do decide to build a static application, it is essential that you thoroughly test security measures to ensure that the sensitive data of you and your users is adequately protected.
Although development costs for dynamic applications are slightly higher, they solve the problem of this rigid approach to product updates. A dynamic application can be optimized, fixed and tweaked across all devices. Additionally, dynamic apps are more likely to return insightful user data through engagement analytics. This allows you to build upon your UX design to deliver a product superior to the competition.
With dynamic applications, it is easy to bring new features online as development objects are not restricted by predetermined variables. New features can be added often without the need for software update, and when an update is required, it can be mandatory across all devices.
Another great benefit is that dynamic apps provide a platform for user interaction. Allowing users to interact not online with the software, but also with other users, can enrich your product exponentially. Think about different content curation platforms and the success of social networks. 21st-century tech is all about being social, so why should mobile applications be any different?
Finally, the basic requirement for a dynamic app is anything that is reliant on current data. In its most basic form, an app offering a service like weather forecasting, or concert listings, are reliant on up-to-date information. If your product relies on a fresh stream of updates, then dynamic is the only choice.