Market forces are marvellous, of course, but they do make things complicated.
If you want to build a mobile app that makes life easier for your customers, you have to think about at least three main operating systems: iOS, Android and BlackBerry. That means up to three times the work, and three times the effort in keeping the app up-to-date and functioning on all three platforms.
Given the rate at which Apple, Google and BlackBerry refresh and nuance their platforms, that can add up to a lot of time and cost devoted to keeping your app useful for your customers.
But, the good thing about market forces is that they do eventually find ways to solve the problems they create. Usually.
In this instance, the best solution we have found so far is the hybrid app, where all the smart functionality happens in the cloud and a lightweight client is the only thing residing on the device. That way, all the heavy lifting round upgrades only has to be done once, with the occasional minor tweak to the clients to keep them fit for purpose as their native environments evolve.
The work we did for Airbridge International Agencies (AIA) is typical of this scenario. They are a General Sales Agent (GSA) providing outsourced cargo services to airlines across the world, including Aeroflot, Royal Jordanian, SAS Cargo and China Southern.