Why Your Business Should Be Using Micro Apps

Thinking about building a mobile app for your team or department? There's a very good chance you don’t need one. 

Want to deliver the same benefits of a full mobile app but much faster and at a lower cost? Say hello to Micro Apps. Small bits of workflow with a specific focus that can reach anyone and everyone in your organisation.

At Blink we’ve been fans of the Micro App for ages because they are highly effective and they fit in with our ethos of keeping things simple. We built the Blink Launchpad for organisations to deploy Micro Apps to their employees over two years ago and it’s incredibly powerful.

Staff Card Micro App

Using Blink, our customers have built a range of Micro Apps for their organisations. From automating the timesheet process and showing the cash balance on your staff card through to presenting consolidated patient information to hospital consultants and empowering sales reps in the field with the latest information.

Technically, Micro Apps are lightweight responsive web apps built using well understood technology like Javascript and HTML. They run within a parent platform like Blink that takes care of things like authentication and authorisation so the Micro App can simply focus on the problem it’s solving.

Using the parent app for the complex stuff means that building one is within reach of every developer and they can create lots of Micro Apps without duplicating effort on complex shared components like location and permissions. 

Since your employees only need to install the parent platform, one Micro App runs everywhere that the platform does. In the case of Blink that means your App runs on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac and any desktop that has a web browser. So everyone can use whatever you’ve built immediately.

Rather than creating and deploying a fully fledged native mobile app which requires iOS and Android streams, developers, project management and a large budget. One junior developer puts together a responsive web app in a day, you get to see your dream in real life really quickly and you can deploy it across your Micro App platform to everyone that needs it as soon as you’re happy with it.

In Asia WeChat have proven the use of micro-apps by embedding them on top of their messaging platform. Users are able to search for a Micro App (they call them Mini Programs) open them without any additional sign-in and immediately get value out of them.

Micro Apps have made WeChat more than just the place you go to message your contacts. As a WeChat user you can hail a cab, watch Game of Thrones, pay for your McDonalds, translate your messages or shop at any number of stores.

Blink's Launchpad is part of Blink Home and available to everyone by default. The Micro App approach de-risks innovation because the barriers to entry are low.

They encourage citizen development amongst your teams and let people remove friction from their workdays themselves, without making a big deal about it.

What is not to love?

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