Custom Software

Mobile Apps vs Custom Mobile Software: Understand the Differences

What is a mobile app, and what is custom mobile software? Are they the same thing? Read on to find the answers to these questions about mobile terminology.

Especially if you don’t engage with the field on a daily basis, mobile technology can quickly become confusing. Technical terms and jargon are a daily plight, and if you don’t know their meanings, it’s easy to simply tune out.

Custom mobile software is a perfect example of this problem: at first, it sounds like just another word for a mobile app. But while it technically is, its implications differ to the point where it tends to serve a very different function. If you need help in understanding the differences between apps and custom software, keep reading.

Mobile Apps, Defined

Mobile apps are easy to define. In short, they are pieces of software that anyone with a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) can download and start using. They tend to live in the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, where they are accessible for your audiences.

Here’s the problem, though: as you might have noticed, the term mobile app is both broad and vague. It stands for any application that can be downloaded by someone with a mobile device. That definition includes custom mobile software.

How Custom Mobile Software Enters the Equation

The best way to look at the concept is that custom mobile software, ultimately, is a very specific type of mobile app. In short, it’s a customized program that allows your business to perform very specific business processes.

For example, you might need financial software to help manage your business. Your budget and needs are unique, and you increasingly use mobile devices. In other words, you need custom mobile software to help your business needs. The most common use for this type of app relates to office management.

Internal vs. External Audiences

Because custom mobile software describes a specific type of mobile app, it’s easy to get confused. But here’s one way to keep the two concepts separate: think of mobile apps as directed to your external audiences, while custom mobile software can help you manage and improve your internal business processes.

A mobile app designed for external audiences should be designed to help promote, market, and grow your business. That means your user interface and the core purpose of the app should be directed specifically toward prospective and current customers. Custom mobile software built for businesses, on the other hand, depends on efficiency first and foremost. You will rely on it to manage your business processes, from financial to inventory and other needs.

What Kind of App Does Your Business Need?

Even after understanding the difference between both concepts, you may be left with questions. The most common one: does my business need one, the other, or both? The answer, as you might imagine, is that it depends.

Where do your current business challenges lie? Have you built up an internal infrastructure that allows you to efficiently service your customers? In that case, go with a mobile app designed for customers to use. Or do you have a successful marketing strategy in place, but need to improve your services for your customers? Custom mobile software designed for your internal staff can help you better reach your goals.

Of course, regardless of whether a mobile app or custom mobile software is right for your business, you need to work with experienced professionals who can develop a product that’s right for your business. Ultimately, regardless of if you’re developing for internal or external audiences, you need something that is tailored to fit your needs rather than having to fit those needs into a template-based solution.

Does your business need to develop a mobile app or custom mobile software to improve its external outreach and business processes? If so, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us to learn how our services can help your business grow and advance.

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