LeapIn.it has been designed as a mobile app. This post will give some consideration into how the app will be accessed.
- A website targeted for mobile devices – if a user were to go to http://leapin.it on their mobile web browser, they would be presented with an interface in which they could use the social network. However, this would not have access to the camera, so scanning barcodes would not be possible.
- A native app for mobile devices – an app would be available for users to download, which would be a packaged version of the above website. As a native app, it would have access to the phone’s hardware, allowing the scanning of barcodes.
The native app is favourable as it permits the scanning of barcodes. However, generally native apps may not be downloaded from arbitrary website – they must be placed onto digital distribution networks which are accessible by mobile devices – for example, Google Play on Android, and the App Store on iPhone. The process of downloading these apps would be as follows:
- Google Play: This is the default digital distribution network for Android, so is normally provided on Android phones. Users require a Google account, and once logged in, will be able to search for leapin.it and download it. The app will be identified by LeapIn.it and the LeapIn.it icon.
- App Store: This is the digital distribution network provided on Apple iPhone and iPod. Again, a user may search for “leapin.it” and download it. The app will be identified by LeapIn.it and the LeapIn.it icon.
In conclusion, we offer users the choice of using a web-app, which may be accessed through a web browser, or downloading and using a native app which will be available on digital distribution networks. Our plan to use Apache Cordova means that the app will not necessarily be limited to Android and iOS, so in future it may be made available on Windows Store, among others.