With the advent of technology and it becoming cheaper along with its pervasive ways, gone are the days when mobile phones were a high-end product availed by few only. Today, 7.26 billion people use mobile phones. Out of it, 6.64 billion use smartphones. Almost any business wants to capture its audience via this device in such a landscape. Hence in the digital era, when monochrome displays are being replaced with touchscreen and app-based phones, enterprises need to know about the mobile app development types.
Why Do Business Owners Need To Know About Mobile App Development?
It has become quite imperative that mobile app development signified business growth. A mobile app is a way to move forward regardless of being a supplier, entrepreneur, retailer, artist, or even an enterprise owner. It warrants reaching a more extensive audience base and means better business.
But before we go into further details about why business owners need to know about the mobile app development types, here is a quick look at what is referred to as mobile app development.
What Is Mobile App Development?
In simple words, it can be described as the comprehensive process of designing and developing software that can run seamlessly on any mobile device and platform. All mobile applications aim to showcase the product/service's unique features. Of course, optimizing the software is essential since it has its roots there. But the intention is to utilize the hardware and special features of the mobile device too, which helps the mobile apps be unique.
Most companies, entrepreneurs, and businesses owners will indeed outsource the app development to mobile app development companies. So then, why do the business owners need to have basic knowledge about the types of mobile applications?
Let's begin by reiterating that mobile app development is different from building apps for desktop computers. While using the hardware and the other unique device features, Mobile also offers limited and isolated functions. Hence, mobile app owners for customer satisfaction give the consumers the freedom to handpick the devices' functionalities.
Since there are three different mobile app development technologies, each having its benefits and drawbacks, it is always beneficial to know about them as a business owner. In addition, it will give you the advantage of knowing the features you want to incorporate in your mobile app as the business owner.
Additionally, the knowledge can help in identifying the efficient mobile app development companies that can deliver the type of - application you want for the business.
What Are The Different Types Of Mobile Apps Development?
In a report, Gartner predicted that about 80 percent of organizations handling customer services would move towards messaging platforms from Native Mobile Apps. But suppose you are not a mobile app developer, as a businessman wanting to develop an app for your company. In that case, you might not know what a Native Mobile App is and the other types of mobile app development technology and their differences.
As mentioned above, as a business owner, you should be aware of these app development technologies and the ways for mobile app development.
Mobile app development by types can be divided into three categories.
Native Mobile Apps:
Native apps can be referred to as software developed with a specific programming language that will work on a particular operating system only. For instance, most mobile devices operate either on Android or iOS operating systems. Therefore, a native app, when developed, will cater to any of these two OS.
Since they are developed for a specific OS, the native apps will use the hardware and features that are either iOS or Android. Furthermore, a native mobile app won't perform on another OS, like an Android native app won't function on iOS and vice versa.
In most cases, the languages are specific to the native app, and its OS, like Eclipse and Java, is used to build native Android apps, whereas Objective-C and Xcode are used for iOS apps.
Native apps are in demand among enterprises and those who want to offer exclusive OS features in the app. One of the main reasons that native apps are still making the rounds despite being expensive is because they can avail all the tools and features of the OS. Furthermore, they offer an elegant and seamless user experience and high performance.
The other factor that makes native apps in demand is they are easy to find on the OS-specific apps stores.
The biggest drawback of a native app is the codes created for one platform cannot be used in another, and you have to duplicate everything you did for one platform for the others. As a result, they drive the cost up and also increase the time-to-market.
If you are looking into finding an alternative to mobile app development that can cater to different OS and devices, then the next two are the options.
Web apps, also known as PWAs (Progressive Web Apps), are extensions of a website that can be saved to a mobile device or computer system like an app. The PWAs offer a native-like user experience as it uses the APIs and functionalities of a web browser.
As a result, irrespective of the device and the OS, the user's experience is like a native app. This is because the web page that is added to the device or computer mirrors the web application.
The benefit of PWAs is that they run on very little data and occupy very little space in the device. For instance, when a native app consumes 10 MBs of a device, a PWA can operate by occupying as little as 500KB. Regardless of the OS and the type of device, this feature allows PWAs to run faster than hybrid and even native apps at times.
The other benefits that PWAs offer are that you do not have to keep track of updates and update them as a user. Whenever you open the app, it gets updated automatically, and you can use the URL to share the PWAs easily.
The browser and its functionalities determine the experience of the app. Hence the performance and the features that you might enjoy can be only a concept to you because of different browsers. Also, since they are extensions of web pages, despite having an offline mode have glitches when functioning without the internet. Mainly without the internet, you cannot refresh get any new data on the app.
Hybrid Mobile Apps:
If any business looks into developing an app that will run across different operating systems, then a hybrid mobile app is the choice. It combines the best features offered by the native and the web apps.
Hybrid apps are easy to build on a single platform and cost-effective distribution. They can be found on all the OS apps stores.
Any entrepreneur or business who wants an app that does not require all the functionalities and features of a specific OS and high-performance can opt for this option. Also, because it uses a single code base, new features can be added easily and worked on offline. The added advantage of a hybrid app is its timer to market, shorter, and easy to maintain and update across a single platform.
However, since it needs to download each element on the OS, it is often slow as an app also, certain features like web apps might fail to work on hybrid apps.
How To Decide Which Mobile App Development Technology To Choose?
With the understanding of what different types of mobile app development are available in the market, as an app developer, you want to know how to select the right technology. At the same time, several factors can be taken into account, like the app's goal, requirements for the app, the skillset of the developer, and the company you hire, to name a few. But three factors that can guide you in choosing the right technology are:
How fast do you want the app?
If you want your app, immediately invest in PWAs. It allows your consumer to have them easily on their mobile browser without adding a new codebase for the app.
What resources do you have?
If you are running on limited resources but want to develop an app, invest in PWAs and hybrid apps. It gives you a chance to test the market before launching a full-fledged app with OS functions.
What should be the functionality of the app?
When you have the time and the resource to make an app that runs fast and has stability, consider a native mobile app. With a native app, you can customize the features of the app that are exclusive to the OS.
Whether native, hybrid, or PWAs, each has its uniqueness, benefits, and drawbacks. Depending on your app requirement and features you intend to offer your customers as a business owner, you have to call the kind of app you want. If you are unsure, then take the help of a professional. They can help you in deciding the right app as per your requirement.