Mobile application development
, you would agree, is the process of creating software applications that run on a mobile device, such that it births creating installable software bundles (code, binaries, etc.), implementing backend services such as data access with an API, and testing the application on select devices, right?
Well, as a result, anyone considering developing a mobile app for their company would eventually have to address the question, "What kind of mobile app do we build?"
The good news is, you can discover that a company has a web app or a hybrid app by reading about other brands who boast about how they designed their native app from the ground up. But exactly, what do those words imply?
In this article, I will be sharing with you the main types of Mobile Applications [Mobile app]. If you had prior knowledge on this, you must have observed I squealed them out in the last paragraph; Alright, let's go straight in!
Going by the technology used to code, there are three basic types of mobile apps if we categorize them.
- Native Applications
- Hybrid Applications
- Web Applications
A little digression; in today's smartphone market, there are two main channels. Apple Inc.'s iOS application is one of them. The iOS platform is the operating system that runs on Apple's iconic iPhone handsets. Google's Android is the second. Many other OEMs, in addition to Google, use the Android operating system to create their smartphones and other smart devices.
Native applications are designed exclusively for the operating system of a mobile device (OS). As a result, you can build native Android or iOS mobile applications, as well as apps for other platforms and computers. You can't mix and match apps because they're made for only one device. For example, you can't use a Blackberry app on an Android phone or an iOS app on a Windows phone.
The Native apps are coded using a variety of programming languages. Some examples include Java, Kotlin, Python, Swift, Objective-C, C++, and React.
- Native apps have the advantage of being quicker and more dependable in terms of results due to their single emphasis.
- Native applications make use of the device's native user interface, providing a better consumer experience.
- They use the device's power more efficiently than other forms of mobile apps.
- Because native apps connect with the device’s hardware directly, they have access to a broad choice of device features like Bluetooth, phonebook contacts, camera roll, NFC, and more.
- You have to replicate efforts for each of the various platforms when creating them. You can't reuse the code you write for one platform on another. Costs rise as a result. Not to mention the time and effort required to maintain and upgrade each version's codebase.
- The Native app consumes space in the device storage.
These are mobile applications that have the appearance and sound of native apps. They may have a home screen app icon, responsive design, fast performance, and even the ability to work offline, but they're web apps designed to look like native apps.
Hybrid apps use a mixture of web technologies and native APIs. They’re developed using: Ionic, Objective C, Swift, HTML5, and others.
- A hybrid app is much faster and less expensive to develop than a native app.
- They also load quickly, making them suitable for use in countries with slower internet connections.
- They also provide users with a consistent experience.
- Finally, since they share a code base, they have a lot less code to maintain.
- Hybrid apps might lack power and speed, which are the hallmarks of native apps.
Web apps are similar to native apps, but they are accessed via your mobile device's web browser. They aren't standalone applications in the sense that you don't have to download and install code to use them. They're mobile-friendly websites that adjust their user interface to the user's computer. When you see the option to "install" a web app, it usually only saves the website URL to your device's bookmarks.
- Because it’s web-based, there is no need to customize it to a platform or OS. This cuts down on development costs.
- They are entirely dependent on the browser used on the device.
One golden rule for Mobile app developers is that whatever type of app they create, it must make life easier. Either for anyone or a certain group of people, in company or just for a good time. And all types of applications, whether native, hybrid, or mobile, cater to the end needs of the user.