The main reason why users prefer to download a mobile app rather than open a mobile website is because they want an easier, faster and better experience on their devices. Browsing a website is not always convenient, even though the sites are optimized. Some elements may not appear like they are intended to be, and a lot of functionality may be less-than prominent on a website that has been actually designed for a desktop.
However, all is not cool with mobile apps because several companies try to build apps that are loaded with features for a wide range of user interests. In doing so, the mobile app becomes heavy, cumbersome, and exhausting for the users. These challenges can only be addressed by micro apps.
The Challenges of Loaded Apps
Tons of Functionality:
In their quest to stay ahead of the competition, several companies continue to build more and more sophisticated apps by adding on newer functionalities and features to them. This makes the app larger in size, slower in loading time, and with increased difficulty in using them. These apps also tend to occupy a larger storage space on the devices. Eventually, users become frustrated and uninstall these apps within a few days or in a few hours sometimes!
Absence of Quick Solution:
Many times, users download apps to perform a specific task or to obtain a quick solution. For example, some people download a fitness app only to record their daily meal schedules. However, upon download, they find out that it isn’t that easy to accomplish. They need to enter their age, weight, waist circumference, etc. and the list goes on and on. Finally, when they reach the point of recording their meals, they find out much to their dismay that the available diet chart is very limited in scope and does not allow them to record their meal schedules! Frustrated, they uninstall the app immediately.
Compulsory Access & Permissions:
For people who are concerned with their privacy, downloading a loaded app can become an unnerving experience. Users are expected to give a wide range of permissions to the app, including access to contacts, messages, picture gallery, location etc. Concerned at the prospect of identity theft, users immediately decline those permissions and uninstall the app.
Small is Indeed Beautiful
Micro App is a customized HTML/HTML5 application that is built to let users perform a few specific functions without having to navigate too much. It has a small set of features and hence loads faster, looks simpler, and performs the specific tasks promptly.
Compressed and Highly Customized:
Since the micro apps are highly customized for performing a specific task, they are compact and goal-oriented. Users can enjoy a few specific features on the app, without the overhang of confusing features. It is a minimal version of the larger app, which is flexible and easy to use. Besides, it is designed in such a way that the user interface, images and buttons are optimized for a fast and convenient user experience.
Circumvent the App Stores:
Since the micro apps are typically built using HTML/HTML5, they can avoid going through an app store and can load dynamically into the existing communication tools. Developers can either embed them into a full-feature web app or use them as a communication tool inside an existing mobile application. Without doubt, this approach helps developers save a lot of time and effort that is otherwise required for getting the app promoted through app stores.
Independence From Other Apps:
Facebook messenger is a good example of a micro app, because it can be used independently from the main Facebook app. It allows users to see who is online and chat with them. Thus, a micro app should not only have a unique process for the service, but should also manage a single, independent database. This kind of approach calls for a decentralized app management, wherein there is greater clarity and lower overall development cost.
As mobile apps become heavily loaded with the addition of newer modules, businesses are increasingly looking at micro apps as a solution for some specific features. A micro app architecture gives much more flexibility to the developers in making apps that solve a specific function within the larger set of functions that the app is designed for. Some good examples are: Google Hangouts, Slack, and AccuWeather.