AMA4: iMessage Apps and Native Apps vs Libraries

This blog post is part of a recent AMA hosted at Sean Ellis’,  with Prabhjot Singh, cofounder + President at We are fans of Sean Ellis and wrote about why Growth Hackers need Growth Intelligence.

Edward Stephens: What do you make of Apples iOS 10 update permitting apps to be built for iMessage? Do you think this is too little too late for them to compete with WhatsApp and Telegram? Do you think any of the major messenger platforms can recreate what WeChat have in China?

Messaging as a platform has gained significant momentum. We talked about the messaging platform, bots and apps line LINE, WeChat, WhatsApp and Messenger in

Apple in particular is late into the game with iMessage Apps, but their large install base will let them catch up quickly. I’m always impressed with how much focus on great experience and attention to detail in put into their solutions.

The introduction of iMessage App store, ability to create sticker packs without programming knowledge should be instrumental in growing the iMessage app market. We are seeing numerous developers are already implementing iMessage App extensions.

[Editor: Dickey blogged about using Pyze in iMessage Apps and the Messages Framework Apps recently.]

Edward Stephens: Should entrepreneurs looking to bootstrap sometimes create mobile friendly sites/web apps in React.js instead of forking out for full mobile solutions?

 JavaScript libraries like React.js and even gaming platforms like Unity make it easy for app publishers to quickly reuse their knowledge and bring an app to market on multiple platforms. However, sometimes it may not be the best solution because it provides a limited experience vs. native apps. So depending on your app, React may be fine. But keep in mind it is a large library, not as mature as angular and only supports views. Native apps always offer the best experiences and you can take advantage of latest environments.

You have access to device sensors, Apple Pay, Camera, Bluetooth, etc and you control the end-to-end experience.

For simple apps, react.js works well. In certain cases, app publishers start with a JavaScript framework, gather feedback and switch to a native app once they know exactly what they are building.