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What are Responsive Apps?

By Kitakabee, Community Contributor -

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Did you know people spend 3.3 hours per day interacting with digital touchpoints using their smartphones? This has led to more users accessing the websites through mobile devices, where 59% of the global website traffic comes from mobile devices only as of Q2, 2022. 

Also, 57% of the users won’t recommend a business if its website is poorly designed for mobile usage. The paradigm shift makes it compulsory for a website to be compatible with various devices-browser-OS combinations.

So, it is important for developers to build responsive websites to deliver a quality customer experience and to hook the users. But launching a foolproof, agile, web app requires a crystal clear understanding of the concept of responsive web applications and access to the best tools.

What Are Responsive Apps?

Responsive apps refer to creating a website that can be accessed from a desktop, mobile, or any interface. 

A responsive app enables users to have a better experience irrespective of the device, OS, screen size, orientation, and browser platform. These apps are styled using an inline style, different layouts, and flexible images to ensure consistent UX.

Building responsive apps makes the website more accessible from different devices. 

Why Build Responsive Apps?

Building responsive apps helps businesses have a higher retention rate and attract more customers. Also, it helps make a user-friendly website that has good user interference. 

You can automatically scale your content and page components across multiple devices of different screen sizes and resolutions like tablets, mobiles, and desktops using a responsive design

You can increase conversions and build positive perceptions of your website and its brand. Hence, ensuring a responsive website design and conducting responsive design tests are critical.

But building a responsive web app can become daunting without a clear blueprint for the process. 

How to Build Responsive Apps?

58.3% of web developers say “not being responsive to different devices” is the core reason a website should be redesigned.

So, you need to build responsive websites in the first place. Building responsive apps involves multiple important steps, like:

  1. Setting up appropriate responsive breakpoints
  2. Starting with a fluid grid
  3. Consider a touchscreen with keyboard functions. 
  4. Defining typography
  5. Using a pre-designed theme or layout to save time
  6. Test responsiveness on real devices

Following these steps can help you achieve the desired responsiveness of your website, but there are a few additional things you can do.

Best Practices for Creating Responsive Apps

Let’s talk about the responsive best practices that will provide users with a better user experience while exploring websites or apps onany device on any screen resolution.

  • Flexibility and adaptivity

Every website is accessed through devices with different screen sizes and resolutions. Content or images cannot be distorted, cropped out, or obscured. So it’s good to have flexibility in font and layout and adaptability in screen size and resolution.

  • Breakpoints

A breakpoint is the specific point at which a website’s or app’s content and design will adapt precisely to give the best user experience.

  • Topography

Responsive websites need responsive font sizes, styles, and layouts. Making typography adjustments to screen size is necessary and will ease reading on multiple devices.

  • Responsive Design Elements

Having a crystal clear understanding of user requirements is vital in making design better. You must ensure that the design is soothing and delivers a great user experience. Elements such as Images, Videos, CTA Buttons, should comply with the responsive design. But while making a website responsive, the necessity of testing on real devices is often overlooked.

How to Test a Responsive App? 

While implementing and defining responsive design, checking how your website appears on different devices is important. You must avoid choosing a simulator or emulator and instead test responsive design on real devices to verify the design visible to the end-users.

Creating real user conditions in an on-site physical lab can be expensive, so you can choose a cloud platform like BrowserStack to access the latest real devices to check your web app’s responsiveness.

Responsive TestingYou can enter the URL of your website to check its responsiveness on multiple devices, OS, and browsers within no time. 

BrowserStack offers a real device cloud of over 3000 browsers and devices. You can sign up for free, select a browser-OS-device combination, and check how it renders on that device’s resolution.

Free Responsive Test on Commonly Used Resolutions

Try testing the responsiveness of your website on real devices.

Apart from responsive web apps, you can also test progressive and native apps using BrowserStack.

But what’s the major difference between these types of apps?

Difference Between Responsive Web, Progressive Web, and Native Apps 

Each type of app offers its disadvantages and advantages under different circumstances. We have finalized a few major factors we understand to be the core difference of these apps.

FactorProgressive Web AppResponsive Web AppNative App
Business caseIf you are targeting a large audience and looking for a quick market, then a progressive web app is great for you.As progressive web apps are only limited to websites, RWA is available on desktops and mobile devices.Reaching out to a larger audience can be costly for you with a native app.
CostProgressive web apps are cost-effective because of the limited use of resources.Web apps are the most cost-effective, as they require limited resources.Native apps require dedicated teams to handle compatibility with different platforms, which can be costly.
User experienceIt provides a good user experience but cannot leverage the advanced functionality of a smartphone, like geo-fencing or a camera.It provides a decent user experience similar to progressive web apps.It provides the best user experience because native apps are built for a specific platform.
SecurityLow-security compared to native apps.Low-security compared to progressive and native apps.Security is high because it’s easier to use multi-factor authentication (MFA), which is vital if an app has login functionality.
Local device accessNot good if your app requires local featuresCannot leverage the use of local device features.If your app requires local device features, then native apps are great.

Now that you have a basic understanding of native, web, and progressive apps, you must understand the importance of testing these apps before their official release.

Real Browsers and Devices for Responsive App Testing

Although responsive web apps are in high demand compared to other types of apps, you must test your apps on multiple real browsers and devices to validate theirresponsiveness.

Choose a responsive design checker like BrowserStack, which offers a real device cloud with instant, on-demand access to over 3000 real browsers and devices. Once you get your accurate and precise responsive test results, you can ensure that your end-user gets the best user experience, irrespective of their browser-OS-device combination.

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