Mobile app development for The Metal Store
- iOS apps
- Android apps
We built and now maintain the native Android and iOS mobile apps for The Metal Store.
A native mobile application is one that uses the libraries and frameworks of the operating system it is on (in this case Android or iOS) rather than a hybrid solution: an extra layer of abstraction that tries to behave like both operating systems. There are times when one is a better fit more than the other.
In this instance we chose a native over a hybrid solution to take advantage of a familiar look and feel for the customer and to implement a fast offline cache of the store. It was a close call but fortunately we have the in-house skills for developing on both platforms.
Fast offline cache
In the initial brief The Metal Store wanted their apps to be fast. To do this we decided we'd cache the whole shop offline. That means the details of every category and product are stored on the phone and shoppers can search, browse and view the content without the delay of a round-trip to the website. They can continue shopping even without a network connection. They only need to be connected when they're ready to checkout.
As the shopper uses the application their offline cache gets updated behind the scenes so the information stays fresh.
Whilst the website offers online payments by PayPal and Handepay we simplified the mobile experience to our favourite: Stripe. Stripe has a clean, native mobile user interface, supports the secure saving of credit card details for future use and lets us plug in Apple Pay for a seamless checkout experience.