A mobile application, also known as an app, is a kind of software that is designed to run on mobile phones. For example, if you are using a smartphone or tablet, then you can see applications were initially prepared to assist people in increasing productivity.
You must be thinking, how can an app help you in productivity? Well, smartphones are the inseparable medium that helps us do everything starting from waking up with an alarm to adjusting the thermostat and lighting. This all thing can only be possible with the help of a few apps. Yes, you heard it right! And app industry has been constantly growing and bringing new types of apps to our life.
So, if you are planning to build an app for your business, then you need to understand the major types of mobile app technology. In this article, we have shared the three types of applications with their advantages and features so that you can choose accordingly.
Although there is a vast classification of mobile applications, they can be classified into three major types.
- Native Applications
- Web-Based Application
- Hybrid Application
Native applications, also known as platform-specific applications, refer to those operating systems that are designed for a particular platform, be it iOS or Android. Native apps work with the specific device’s OS in ways that enable them to perform faster and more flexibly than alternative application types, hence you can not mix and match.
Also, Developers create a separate app version for each one in case the app is marketed to users of various device types, A platform-specific language is used to design these applications. For example, Native Android application uses Java, and iOS applications are built using Objective-C and XCode.
These applications live on the device and are accessed through icons on the device’s home screen. One can install a native app directly on any device. This mobile application technology uses cloud-based storage, so the data associated with the native app can store on the device or remotely. A few examples of native applications include WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, and Pokemon Go. Also, this application has been used for most of the features and tools such as sensors, contacts, cameras, etc.
There are many advantages of native apps in the market of mobile application technology.
The native applications are more secure as compared to web apps as those mobile applications rely on various websites to perform the tasks. These apps can also utilize an SSL certificate pinning in terms of preventing men-in-the-middle attacks. Also, when it comes to security vulnerability, Native mobile application technology has far more tools and options to deal with them.
Native applications have the best performance as the app has been created and optimized for a specific platform. They are highly responsive and ensure high performance as native apps are built using core programming languages and the code in this application is generally clean. So, they run much smoother irrespective of users’ input and output.
Using native app development, there is less chance for bugs to occur as there is no dependence on a cross-platform tool like Cordova or Xamarin. Also, native app developers use SDK (Software Development Kit) with its minimal features for developing their apps.
For a native platform, UI or UX will be mixed and properly learned by the users. On this platform, the entire broader UI will be standard in the native applications in mobile application technology. The UI of native apps always matches the user experiences of the Operating System. People will easily understand how to navigate the application.
Native apps can be configured very quickly because they are compatible with a single platform. Another greatest advantage of this mobile application technology is the push notification that goes through the iOS server and Google’s Cloud Messaging.
Using native mobile applications is the best option if there is no connectivity. Anything can perform offline including Planners, organizers, navigators, and even games as their content has been already downloaded.
A web-based application is a software that can be accessed by users if they have an internet connection using HTTP without the need of existing in the device’s memory. That means it does not require any installation process to use this app. These applications usually run inside a web browser and do require an active internet connection to work. Additionally, the web app does not need any updating as they are not installed on the computer or smartphone. They can update themselves in the web-hosted browser.
However, there are web-based applications also that may be client-based, where a small part of the program is downloaded to a user’s desktop, but processing is done over the internet on an external server. This mobile application technology is basically a particular type of software that allows users to interact with a remote server through a web browser interface.
The use of mobile web applications has increased quite hugely in the past few days as they are replacing desktop applications and becoming a crucial instrument for small and large businesses around the world who are keen to use mobile application technology. A few examples of Web-Based apps include Gmail, Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc.
There are various advantages of web-based applications.
Web applications can be more widely used across any platform than traditional installed ones. Unlike software, web-based applications can be accessed anytime and anywhere via any PC as long as your device has an active internet connection. A web browser ( Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox, etc) is needed to run this application.
This software does not need to be installed and configured thus making it easy to quickly increase the number of active users. As the business grows, this mobile application technology can grow as well. Moreover, if any issues occur anytime, there is no need to change the operating system, but the server can be replaced completely without any effort.
Web-based applications are great at storing data. Nowadays, people need to have a huge amount of storage on their devices. If you gather all your data from native applications, chances are that it’s scattered around multiple databases thus making it a problem because it may slow down the software’s performance. But the web-based application store all your data in the cloud-a powerful server that can access your data quickly and distribute it as and when required by the users.
Web-based applications run on dedicated servers which are constantly monitored and maintained by professional web administrators. Thus making them much more secure than the native applications and any potential breaches can be checked easily. Also, these applications provided an extra layer of security by removing access to the data and back-end server if your systems are complex and carry more data.
We do not need to install the software on the machines of the client. So there is no need to reinstall the application when it undergoes major updates. Also, if we want to replace the entire software on the server, there will be no requirement for changes on the client servers if they still can access the server. That means maintenance can be accomplished through the central point easily.
Web-based application has a far greater level of ability to integrate with any other systems than isolated desktop applications. Web-based applications are significantly interoperable because they can be linked easily. For instance, a web-based shopping cart system can be linked with a web-based accounting package.
Hybrid applications are basically a combination of both native applications and web-based applications. Just because hybrid mobile apps fall in the middle of the spectrum of native apps and web apps, they share some properties of both, giving this middle-of-the-road approach a few clear advantages.
In this era of Mobile Application Technology, hybrid apps are the most widely used applications as they can be used both on websites as well as on native devices. These applications are easily available on app stores, can access hardware on your phone, and are installed on your device, just like a native app. Also, they can be used on desktops through their web-based versions.
Hybrid applications have many features among which most common is their ability to function whether or not the device is connected to an active internet connection. They can be integrated with the file system of devices. This application also has an embedded browser to improve access to dynamic online content.
Among all the application types, hybrid applications have the best advantages.
Hybrid mobile application technology combines the advantages of native and web apps which means it is providing a fantastic user experience by combining native UX with a basic back-end structure. It remarkably offers a consistent and flawless user experience across both iOS and Android platforms. The applications adjust themselves to the screens of different devices so that they can seamlessly display data along with streaming data. The UX stays smooth during the time of fixing and updating all across the platforms.
Wider Market Reach
They can target various platforms perfectly with a single solution. In this competitive mobile application technology market, it becomes a lucrative option to reach out to a high number of users using different mobile platforms. Hybrid applications also provide a unique avenue for enterprises that looking for an app to expand their business operations.
Easy to maintain
The hybrid mobile applications are very easy to maintain. We all know that it is not possible to upgrade phones whenever the OS is updated. In such concerns, hybrid applications are your go-to choice. To update native apps, the development teams need to roll out new updating versions for every platform. But in this case, a hybrid application eliminates versioning and makes app management as simple as updating a web page, that too in real-time.
Through this method, it becomes easy for the application to target different types of a platform without the need to use various code bases. Native apps use a single code base for various platforms whereas hybrid apps enable development teams to accelerate the development process. It reduces the time to market significantly. This mobile application technology can be published on multiple mobile app stores with a common code.
Mobile apps face drawbacks that arise due to a lack of offline support very often. Therefore it becomes challenging for app development companies to serve customers living in places where there is no proper internet facility. Researches indicate that 70 percent of users abandon an app. Do you know why? Because it takes too long to load. However, the offline accessibility feature of hybrid applications helps overcome this challenge. Therefore, the end-users will not going to face any glitches and can have uninterrupted access to the app’s data.
Attracts the right people
The maximum number of web-based applications have got disconnected from the OS of various devices and environments. They lack the zeal of today’s produced applications and fail to emulate a number of well-maintained local applications. Hybrid apps are well-versed in the inner workings of a device’s operating system. This allows the mobile application to draw the attention of the target audience.
Lastly, in the advancement of technology, mobile applications and technology have become an inevitable part of life. Every other day, a new application is being developed. Being an ever-growing and emerging technology, mobile application technology will continue to be a core service in computing and information and communications technology. Most people are trying to use a mobile device and mobile application instead of a desktop for an easy task.
Gradually the use of mobile applications is increasing corresponding to the use of desktop applications. Mobile applications of this generation are highly capable and are used more by the users and the impacts of applications are rising a lot.