Mobile App Development

What is a mobile app?

Mobile app is software developed for handheld low power devices like mobile phones and PDAs. Mobile apps are usually developed for a specific purpose and the size of program is often small compared with large desktop applications. Today’s smartphones are nothing but a small computer, they have a processor, memory, display, keypad and almost everything a computer has but at a smaller scale. In addition, modern smartphones have compass, geolocation, camera and a number of other features which enable businesses and individuals to use them in incredibly useful ways.

Main mobile platforms

Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS dominate current mobile market. Therefore, all mobile applications should at least target these two platforms.

Types of mobile apps

Native mobile app

A native mobile app is created for one specific platform and it only works on that platform. For instance, an iOS app cannot run on Android and vice versa. Except for the design document (excluding technical specifications), there isn’t much that can be reused in the development process and development of an app e.g. for Android and iOS, are essentially two different projects. Though native app development is time intensive, it can provide better user interface with high quality graphics and faster processing.

Hybrid mobile app

A hybrid app is a blend of native mobile app and web app. For simplicity, we can say that a hybrid app is a native app which operates within a browser. From user’s perspective, a hybrid app provides similar functionality as does a native app, however it saves a developer from creating different versions of same app for different operating systems and devices.

    Hybrid Mobile App is the right choice for if you:
  • would like target multiple mobile platforms
  • want to make use of device capabilities like accelerometer or the camera
  • want your app to be working even when the device is offline
  • will not need advanced graphics or performance that only a native mobile app can provide

Mobile web app

Mobile web apps are web apps or dynamic websites that are accessed from web browsers. Fluid user interface enables web pages to adjust to the screen resolution of viewing device.

Most apparent advantage of creating a web app as opposed to native and hybrids apps is that only one implementation is required to reach all potential consumers. Also, a web app can be accessed from a greater range of mobile devices (including e-readers such as amazon’s kindle fire) and also from a greater range of desktop computers and laptops. Basically, a web app can be accessed by any device capable of running a browser.

Though web app has tremendous cost and time advantage over other types of apps, it does have significant drawbacks and limitations. For instance, it cannot connect with native apps on the device and cannot make use of hardware such as cameras and microphones. Also, its response time and speed depends on internet speed and server’s response time.