Navigating the world of mobile app development can be complex. As the popularity and sheer number of mobile apps increase along with the escalating popularity of mobile devices, so do the opportunities to engage users with your app. However, it is essential to note the term ‘app’ encompasses a wide variety of specialized programs, many of which are more than just fun and games.
Media companies, retail giants, and organizations worldwide have begun harnessing apps to increase profits, exposure, or gather market data. It’s truly unique what a ‘good’ app can do for your business or organization, though many people don’t understand how complex the development process can be. Designing and building an app can be hard work, so before you dive too deep into your options, it’s essential to get a grounded understanding of the basics. No set rules specify the functions each type of app must perform, and each type of app can be found across all mobile devices and operating systems.
Mobile apps can be categorized into 3 main groups: Native Apps, Mobile Web Apps & Hybrid Apps.
Native apps get their name from being preprogrammed into a specific device and are, hence, native to your device. For example, when you first start using your iPhone, each app gets a particular button on the home screen that allows you to open it and start utilizing its functions. Developed specifically for a particular device, they perform specific functions such as organizing contacts or providing GPS and directional information. These are the apps you have on your phone when you first start using it, and a prime example of a Native app is the Maps app on your iPhone.
Mobile Web Apps
Mobile web apps can be considered websites designed to look and respond like native applications. Thanks to the HTML5 platform, providing users with a ‘native’ performance experience allowed large websites to be accessed and enjoyed on mobile devices without sacrificing the quality of the user experience. This allowed many large media-based websites to be ‘condensed’ into portable, mini websites that behave like an ‘app’ would – meaning convenience for the user.
Hybrid apps are essentially a combination of both types. They can utilize the features found in your device (microphone, camera, motion sensors, etc.) to perform specific tasks or harness these features to help you perform daily tasks ‘better’ with their help. For example, many retail companies offer hybrid apps that let you view their database of products and improve your shopping experience by providing coupons or features that use the technology on your phone. Media companies allow you to access tons of information, such as articles or image galleries, and contribute to the catalog of details by uploading media you have created, all without touching a desktop. Whether you choose to develop your idea as a WebView app or a Compiled Hybrid app, many tough questions will need to be answered before your idea becomes a reality.
Mobile app development companies now specialize in creating/building all types of mobile apps, and some of the results are truly astounding. Working with a full-scale company can make the process much more straightforward, as they have in-house teams to assist you at every stage. Integrating marketing professionals and technical experts can ensure that the final product is better than what you initially envisioned, from the design to the testing phase. No matter what type of mobile app you want to develop, work with a professional company to get professional results.