Different Types of Mobile Applications

Before exploring the types of mobile applications, we need to know what exactly it means by the term, mobile applications. Mobile applications are application software designed to run on mobile devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers, etc. The purpose of designing mobile applications is to give similar services to the users which are accessible on PCs. Typically, mobile applications act as individual software which is small in size and with limited functions. There are several words that we use to refer to mobile applications. Most commonly, they are referred to as apps. Some use terms such as web app, online app, iPhone app, or smartphone app to refer to mobile applications. When it comes to mobile application development, we can identify three major types namely native apps, web apps, and hybrid apps. Let’s analyze these types with some examples. 

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Native apps, as the name implies, are designed exclusively for the operating system of the mobile device which means, there is a separate set of native apps for Android and there is another set of native apps for iOS (iPhone Operating System). For the coding process of native mobile applications, programming languages such as Java, Kotlin, Python, Swift, Objective-C, C++, and React are used. Native apps are highly efficient and faster when compared to other available apps. Another specialty is that native apps are capable of having a direct connection with the hardware of the device, enabling access to many device features such as Bluetooth, camera roll, etc. But there are some disadvantages of using native apps. If you are developing these apps, you have to duplicate the codes that you are generating to different platforms. That means, simply, the code you use in developing one platform couldn’t be replicated to the others. This consumes a huge cost and on the other hand, it would not be so easy to develop separate codes for various versions. Native apps frequently get new updates and the user has to download the new update and install it. This process would lead native apps to engulf your invaluable devices’ storage. Navigation programs, such as Waze, social apps such as Twitter, and Pokémon Go could be cited as examples for Native apps. 

The second type, web apps, are accessed by using the web browser on your mobile device. You will be needing an active network connection to have uninterrupted access to these applications. However, the behavior of native apps and web apps are much similar. The programming languages which are used to design web apps are HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and Ruby. The most appreciable feature of web apps is you don’t have to suffer from development costs like in native apps as these apps are entirely web-based. The efforts you need to apply to maintain these apps are less as you don’t have to download anything to keep the app updated.  Plus, these apps won’t consume the storage of your device. But the problem in using web apps is, they entirely depend on the type of browser you are using. You may face functionality errors if you change the browsers. You can’t get the maximum output from these apps if you are using them offline. For the data backing up process, internet connection is a “must” factor for web apps. Applications such as online forms, shopping carts, word processors, spreadsheets, video and photo editing, file conversion, file scanning, and email programs such as Gmail, Yahoo can be cited as very good examples of web applications. 

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And then there are the hybrid apps. These are web apps that look and feel like native apps. These apps have mixed features from both native and web apps. However, in reality, they are web apps developed in a way that the user feels and views as a native app. Developing hybrid apps are much easier and cost-effective when compared with the other two types. Since the loading speed of these apps is very fast, they would be ideal for countries with a low internet speed. But, when compared with native apps, the speed and power of hybrid apps may be less. Instagram and Evernote are some of the rapidly using hybrid applications in this century. 

This article gives you a piece of thorough knowledge on the types of mobile applications which are used by us daily. 

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