Most of our articles about mobile giving apps talk about the user experience—as they should. But in this article, we’re focusing more on those dealing with the back end of the app experience. And those who research, select and support ongoing maintenance of a mobile giving app for their church.
So, as we introduce Give2, our new free next-gen church mobile giving app, we want you to know why and how it’s different, better for givers … and especially better for YOU, the keeper of the church app.
View our 1-minute Give2 video introduction
The Next-Gen Mobile Giving Experience
What makes Give2 “next-Gen”?
The fact that it's a Progressive Web App (PWA). The new kids on the block, PWAs have been quietly infiltrating the digital world for a while now. You’ve likely used one without even knowing it, as big brands like Spotify, Starbucks, BBC, Lancome, BMW, Forbes, Uber, Wordle, Pinterest … and many others … now use PWAs.
For users, the experience is faster, uses less battery power on devices, and is easier to start using than native apps. But progressive web apps do something unique: They also solve the ORGANIZATION’S pain points:
- Frustrating, time-consuming dependence on app stores, which includes applying to the app store and meeting strenuous standards for acceptance. If your app builder fails to keep the app updated to these standards, you can lose your app without notice!
- The high cost of building and maintaining an app when A) app use is declining and B) mobile transactions are abandoned 86% of the time (primarily due to the experience)
- The ongoing challenge of keeping the app and your content updated, which sometimes requires an IT or developer skill set.
What is a Progressive Web App?
To put it simply, a PWA is a website that functions like an app. (Source) In fact, it’s virtually indistinguishable from a native app (the ones you’re most familiar with), and offers the same or even better user-friendly experience. It’s the perfect answer to the challenges churches have faced with traditional apps.
There is no downside to a PWA. They are inexpensive (Give2 is free to Vision2 customers), eliminate app store hassles and the need for IT or developer involvement. A PWA can even provide new ways of engaging with users. (Source)
If you want to simply learn what Give2 offers, scroll down to the bottom of this post. For those who want to understand why Give2 is “next-gen” and better, dive into our beginner’s level comparison guide:
Progressive Web Apps vs. Other Mobile Experiences
Let’s compare PWAs to native and hybrid apps and responsive websites:
TRADITIONAL NATIVE APP
What It Is: Native apps are designed to run on a particular operating system, typically iOS and Android. (Source) This means you must have two apps built to accommodate your users’ device systems.
Pros: The user experience for a custom app can be very good (depending on the performance of the platform supporting it, of course…the giving system on the app won’t be better than the giving system itself) The app can have very robust features.
Cons: The biggest downsides of native apps for users is that the app’s data is stored on their devices, gobbling up battery life, and the downloading process can be cumbersome. The biggest downsides for churches are:
- Custom apps are very expensive and are often not utilized by church members. Free or inexpensive templated apps can be lightweight (offering little value over a responsive website), and sometimes lack ongoing support.
- Jumping through app store hoops for both iOS and Android versions … and hoping your app developer keeps your apps updated.
The Winner: PWAs are inexpensive or free, don’t require an app-store application, or any IT or developer experience to upload to your site. They’re also easy for users. They simply download the PWA from your site (and an icon, if they choose), then start giving. The app is fast and doesn’t use any more battery life than viewing a webpage.
What It Is: A hybrid app is built with one language framework that functions across all platforms. Examples include Instagram, Twitter and Tesla. (Source)
Pros: It’s faster and less expensive to develop only one app, instead of two, and bug fixes are rolled out more easily than across two apps.
Cons: Hybrid apps can’t handle complex functionality and heavy graphics as well. The overall quality of hybrid apps is hotly debated, which means some provide a great experience and others don’t.
The Winner: PWAs are cheaper, function faster and allow you to have all the features you could have with a native app.
What It Is: Responsive (a.k.a. mobile-friendly) websites render web pages and forms smoothly on mobile devices.
Pros: Users don’t need to download anything. They see exactly what is on the website and can quickly access the app, especially if they bookmark the site. No data is stored on the phone, saving battery life. There is no additional cost. Before Give2, this was our recommended choice for churches.
Cons: This experience is slightly slower and lacking in app features.
The Winner: PWAs combine the best of native and hybrid apps AND mobile-friendly websites, with none of the cons.
PWA + Vision2’s Comprehensive Giving Platform = Give2 Church Mobile App
Give2 brings together the power and benefits of a PWA with the Vision2 media-rich giving experience that is like no other. Download the flyer to unpack all the features of our all new church mobile giving app, or visit Give2: Elevating the Mobile Experience for Today’s Giver.