Types of Mobile Apps: Things Every Clients Should Know
The primary questions that any company planning to build a mobile app will have to answer is: what is a mobile app and what type of mobile app should we build?
Other companies may boast about their native apps built from the ground up, or you may learn they have a web app or a hybrid app. But what are these terms really meant to mean?
In this article, we hope to explain the types of mobile apps and the differences between these types and evaluate each from both a pro and a con viewpoint so you can make an educated decision.
Different Mobile Applications: Types and Specs
In terms of the technology used to code them, there are three basic types of mobile apps:
- Native App: An app that is native to a platform or operating system is called a native app.
- Web App: A web app is a version of a website that is specific to mobile devices and can be viewed using any mobile browser.
- Hybrid App: Hybrid apps combine native and web apps but are wrapped within a native app, and can be downloaded on an app store or have their own icon.
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What are the apps? Pros, Cons and Specifications
Mobile apps are designed specifically for the operating system (OS) of a mobile device. This means that native apps can be developed for either Android or iOS, not to mention the rest of the platforms and devices. Apps that are designed for just one platform can’t be used on another – a Blackberry app cannot be used with an Android phone or an iOS app cannot be used with a Windows phone. Types of android applications are examples of this.
Pros: Due to their focus, native apps tend to perform better due to their speed and reliability. Mobile apps generally eat up fewer resources on the device than other types. By utilizing the native UI of the device, native apps offer a better user experience.
Moreover, since native apps connect directly to the device’s hardware, they have access to the device’s features such as Bluetooth, phonebook contacts, camera roll, and NFC.
Cons: If you develop native apps, the disadvantage is that you have to duplicate your efforts across multiple platforms. Your code will not work on different platforms. This increases the cost. Additionally, the codebase must be updated and maintained for each version.
Whenever a new version of the app is released, the user must download the file and reinstall it. As a result, native apps take up valuable storage space on your device
You can access web apps on your mobile device using a web browser, similar to native apps. Unlike standalone apps, they do not require you to download and install code to your device. These websites are actually responsive and change their user interface based on the device the user is using. You can often simply bookmark the website URL on your device when you are given the option to “install” a web app. Progressive web apps (PWAs) run as native apps inside the browser, and that’s one type of web app.
Pros: Because it’s web-based, it doesn’t need to be tailored to a specific platform or operating system. This lowers the cost of development. Plus, you don’t have to download anything. Because they don’t use your device’s memory as a native app, maintenance can be simplified – just push the update live online. The update does not have to be downloaded.
Cons: Web applications require a certain browser to function correctly. It is possible that users will have varying experiences based on the functionality available within one browser and not within another.
They won’t work completely offline because they are shells for websites. It will still require an internet connection to back up data, provide new data, and refresh the screen even if they have an offline mode.
Hybrid applications are also available. This type of application looks and feels like a native application. Although they may look like native apps, they are truly web apps that look like native apps. They may even be fast, responsive, and even function offline.
Pros: A hybrid app can be built more quickly and at a lower cost than a native app. The hybrid app can therefore serve as a proof-of-concept for native apps, proving the viability of developing them. Moreover, they load quickly, are ideal for use in slower internet connections, and provide consistent user experiences. As a result of using one code base, maintenance is easier.
Cons: Hybrid apps may not be as fast or powerful as native apps.
Choosing the Right App: Types of Mobile Apps
Making a decision on what type of app you will develop is an important step when developing an app. On some types of apps, certain features will be ideal, while on others they will not.
Answer the following question during your review of these decision factors: Which of these factors is most important to you today? Depending on the answer, you’ll need to prioritize a specific type.
- Factor of Decision: I Need an App Soon!
A web app is the best option if you want an app built in the shortest possible amount of time. As well as speeding up development, one codebase ensures that your users will already have the software they need to use the app: a mobile browser.
- Factor of Decision: I am Limited in Resources
A web app or a hybrid app may be a better choice if time and money are limited. Hybrid apps provide you with the opportunity to test the market with a minimum viable product that can be in use within a few months. After a successful native version is built, the full-featured version can be developed.
- Factor of Decision: The App Should Be Fast and Reliable
A native app is the only option if performance is crucial. A speedy, stable, and customizable app like this will give you the edge in your business.
It’s not a simple one-and-done decision when choosing what type of mobile app you’re going to build. Based on user needs, another type can always be built down the road.
As soon as you make use of Mobile application development services and your app is built, ensure you monitor the metrics that have an impact on your brand’s growth. Do you want to develop an app? Contact us now!