An Entrepreneur’s Guide To Mobile App Development Types And Technologies

Mobile app development is more significant than ever for businesses today due to its near-limitless potential of immersing consumers into leveraging certain products/services. As an entrepreneur, there would be a lot of things you’d have your eyes on to increase your audience.


But believe me, mobile apps are perhaps the best way to enhance your business presence. There’s a lot you could do with them. You could have push notifications sent on your customers’ phones so they could be up-to-date with the latest trends in your brand. 

Through data analytics, you can gain valuable insights on how customers use your app and use the information to make your services even better. All along the way, your customers will always have a reason to come back to your brand as your app remains installed on their smartphone.

But building the kind of mobile app that gets you all above-mentioned benefits isn’t easy, to say the least. The last thing you’d want is to build a mobile app with loads of bugs, errors and end up with negative ratings on app stores.

This is the reason why it’s so important to know which technologies, frameworks, and languages are the best for mobile app development. Though it’s not necessary to have in-depth knowledge in these to build a mobile app. But at least some ground-level facts would go a long way in helping you ensure that you’re on the right track.

Give A Read: How Mobile App Development Trends Changing the Way You Do Business?

 

Types of Mobile apps

Though generally there are only two top mobile OS platforms, there are various types of apps that are built for them. These types are:
  1. Native apps
  2. Hybrid apps
  3. Web apps
I have mentioned brief details about each of these types of mobile apps and also given some relevant information about the technologies used in their development. 

A) Native Apps

Image Source: Google Images
Native apps are mobile apps which are specifically developed for one platform. Say, if you only want to have an android app for your brand. You might invest in native mobile app development to build a feature-rich app that utilizes all functionalities provided by the OS platform.
Since they’re only built for specific platforms, you can’t have one app working on multiple operating systems.

Advantages

  • The core advantage of native apps is the amount of specialization it provides for the specific platform it’s built for. Native apps can deliver high-performance and an overall good UX since they can utilize the smartphone’s resources better, and all development is done specifically for supporting one particular OS.
  • Native apps could be easily published on the app store of the platform they’re built for (android or iOS) and are generally better if you have a specific audience around whom you’ve designed the app’s functionalities.

Disadvantages

  • Building native apps is a costly affair since you’d have to build separate apps for multiple platforms. Also, there will be a need to undertake additional costs of app maintenance and upgrades for multiple platforms. 
  • Other than costs, native mobile app development also takes more time since you’re essentially building, maintaining and upgrading two mobile apps separately.

Read Related Technology: 9 Popular Cross-Platform Tools for App Development in 2019

 

Popular Technologies Used In Native App Development

1. Kotlin

Kotlin was declared by Google as the official language or android app development at its I/O 2019 conference in 2019. It has been well-received by the android developer community and is seen as an alternative to using Java for android app development.

2. Java

Java used to be the official programming language for android app development up until google’s announcement this year. However, Java is still highly relevant in the Android ecosystem as Java resides at the core of the Android OS itself.

3. Swift

Swift is the official programming language for iOS app development. It replaced Objective-C back in 2014 and Apple soon made the language open-source in a bid to encourage more work on the iOS platform. Swift is considerably better than its predecessor, and has been widely recognized and accepted within the iOS developer community.

4. Objective-C

Objective-C used to be apple’s primary language for iOS app development before the introduction of swift. While swift may be considered the primary language for iOS app development today, Objective-C is still used in the core of iOS and won’t die out anytime soon.

B) Web Apps

Image Source: Google Images
Web apps are basically responsive websites that provide most of the functionality of apps but are accessible directly within a web browser. Though web apps cannot be directly installed from app stores like native apps, browsers do provide an option to “install” web apps. This option basically bookmarks the web app in the browser and puts an icon on the app drawer so the user can access it just like a native app.


Advantages

  • Web apps do not have to be installed on the smartphone, nor is there anything to be downloaded to use them- so that’s a convenience to users.
  • Since they run directly from the browser, web apps have much higher latency rates and run smoothly on most low-bandwidth networks.

Disadvantages

  • Web apps can only be accessed from a web browser, which severely limits its capabilities compared to native apps. While web apps can do common stuff such as sending push notifications, access to other device hardware and functionalities is limited on a web app.
  • Web apps are basically working in the shell of a website. So unlike native apps, they might stop working in the absence of an internet connection.

 

Read More: How To Make A Chatbot From Scratch and Why it is necessary for your application?

Popular technologies used in Web app development

 

1. HTML, CSS & JavaScript

HTML, CSS & JavaScript are the basic languages used in the development of all websites and web apps. Since web apps are an extension of websites, web apps also use the same base along with some additions. Read here to know about the differences between websites and web apps

2. Ruby

Ruby is a programming language which is used for web app development. There are multiple frameworks for this language, some of which are highly optimized for mobile app development.

3. Python

Python is a near-universal programming language that is used everywhere- from web development & design to machine learning. So it’s popularity in mobile web app development is obvious.

C) Hybrid Apps

Image Source: Google Images
Hybrid apps look and feel almost like native apps. But these are made on cross-platform tools which allow mobile app developers to build them simultaneously for multiple OS platforms. How can that be possible? Well, hybrid mobile apps are basically web apps wrapped in a native shell and distributed on OS app stores. 
This way, a hybrid app is similar to a native app in the sense that it has all its functionalities and can be published on app stores across both android & iOS platforms. At the same time, it essentially is a web app wrapped in a native shell- so it does not perform any differently than a web app would.

Advantages

  • One of the main advantages of hybrid apps is that it is simply easier to build. Compared to native mobile app development, hybrid apps need not be built separately for multiple platforms.
  • Since their functionality is mostly similar to a web app, they consume less power and data- which can be useful in areas with low-bandwidth networks

Disadvantages

  • Since hybrid apps are basically web apps in a native shell, they cannot use as much power as native apps do, and therefore are inferior in performance compared to the latter.

Popular Technologies used for hybrid app development

1. Xamarin

Xamarin is a cross-platform development tool primarily used for developing mobile apps for both Android & iOS operating systems. Xamarin was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. The biggest advantage of Xamarin is that it saves loads of time and effort compared to native app development, wherein brands need to build separate apps for each platform.

2. React Native

React Native is an open-source framework that allows the development of cross-platform mobile apps using JavaScript. It was developed by a Facebook engineer named Jordan Walke after the company’s founder- Mark Zuckerberg regretted depending too much on HTML for the social media platform.
Since it is used in cross-platform development, building mobile apps with React Native is considerably less time-consuming as compared to building native apps.

3. Ionic

Ionic is an open-source SDK for hybrid mobile app development. It combines HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript to build web apps through Android and iOS webviews. 

So how will you build your mobile app?

I’ve covered all the fundamental aspects of mobile app development- the types of mobile apps, and the most popular technologies that can be used to build them. Hopefully, this will give you an idea about what kind of requirements you’ll need while hiring mobile app developers for building an app.
 There are over 4 billion smartphone users across the world using a few out of 4.4 million apps out there. So obviously, an investment in mobile app development should be done the right way by choosing the right mobile app development company and working on an idea that funnels in the target audience in the desired way.

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