“Native” apps are those which are written specifically for the device you’re using. For example, if you download an app from the Apple AppStore or Google Play, those apps are specifically written only to run on devices with their respective operating systems.
The other type of app is a “web app,” which is actually a website that can function like an app. There are pros and cons to both, but for most conferences, trade shows and conventions, a native app offers serious advantages.
Margo Pierce at EXPOtech explains:
(Native apps have) more flexibility for customizing features and functionality. For instance, you can enhance your show’s networking capability by providing a camera feature that will allow attendees to take photos and post them to the site photo album or integrated social media.
This is just one of many examples in the article “Going Native …Or Not” that appears in the July/August 2013 edition of EXPOtech. You can read the entire article here, and be sure to read the sidebar “Kick the App Developer’s Tires” for a concise guide in choosing the right app provider for your event.