Last week we covered some of the reasons a company would use create a Metro Style application in the business world. This week, we’d like to cover why you might choose Windows 8 as the platform for your information consuming (versus producing) employees.
With the ubiquity of smart phones and tablets, technology decision makers have many options for deploying mobile apps. The app could be designed to target a specific device/OS, such as Android, iOS for iPhone or iPad, and now Windows 8. The app could also be built as a web application designed for use on a phone or tablet. Why target Windows 8 instead of another mobile platform?
A trickier question is why one would develop a Metro-style app instead of a tablet-friendly web application. We believe that there are differentiating features of Windows 8 and Metro applications that make it preferable.
Windows 8 offers many compelling features that could be useful for many business applications. Here are just a few:
Sharing is easy
When running a Metro Style application, users can click “Share” on the Charms bar (new Windows 8 navigation bar). This allows them to see if any other apps that are running have data to share. This could be very useful for a business with a custom app, as it would allow data to be easily shared back and forth between apps, custom or otherwise.
Searching is quick
While running one app, a user can search all the other apps in the system. This can save time switching back and forth between apps looking for information.
Grabbing user attention is improved
Windows 8 has several novel ways to get the attention of a user: tile messages, badges and toasts. With these, alerts can be displayed directly on the tile used to launch an app, through an icon displayed on the start tile, or unobtrusive pop-ups in whatever app is currently running. This could allow important business information to be conveyed that much faster since there are so many ways to grab the user’s attention.
Worth the switch?
The flexibility of coding languages and ease of sharing, searching and user notification all could add up to savings in time and efficiency for both the developer of the application and the user. For businesses with employees already using a tablet or planning to switch to one soon, these savings could add up enough to justify using the Metro Style for your next custom enterprise app.