Skip to main content

Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Creating a Long-term Mobile Strategy: Is it possible?


Sure.  You can create a one-off iPhone app.  But what do you need to think about to create a long-term mobile strategy that works for your museum?
Since 2009, the sales of smartphone devices have increased nearly
100 percent, according to a Gartner study. The mobile market has more than 4 billion subscribers and access to the internet has never been less dependent on location than it is today. Gartner predicts that by 2013, mobile phones could surpass PCs as the way people access the web, with the number of smartphones and web-enabled phones worldwide reaching 1.82 billion and continuing to climb. With growth, the smartphone market is becoming increasingly diverse. Several platforms exist for mobile phone apps, including Apple, Android, Symbian and Windows.
With no single platform dominating the market, it’s difficult to make a decision about which type of app to develop, and expensive to develop applications for more than one.  In addition, native apps are cost-prohibitive for many organizations, especially smaller ones. Forrester estimates that a basic, no-frills app can cost $20,000, with a sophisticated app running as much as $150,000. The cost is for a single platform—say, the iPhone or the Android—and is repeated if apps are being developed for multiple platforms to allow the full spectrum of visitors to access them. Any changes to the app and regular maintenance require a programmer, with an estimated cost of $5,000 to $8,000 per year. Developing a native app also requires the developer to go through the app store submission process on each platform, which can be time-consuming and frustrating. Each update made by a programmer requires another submission through the app stores. This particular step of the process is difficult to control and often riddled with delays.
Native versus Web App?
Streaming versus bundled?
iPhone versus Android?
In-house versus 3rd party developers?
The questions go on and on.


Exhibitor Briefing - discuss your product. Confirmed Exhibitors only


AndreasRandow's picture
Andreas is a technological engineer by trade, but an artist at heart. A highly skilled photographer, software architect, programmer, and entrepreneur, Andreas is a Boston transplant from Karlsruhe, Germany. In addition to running TourSphere, LLC and his photo studio, Andreas dabbles in poetry,...