Everything you need to know about the 3 types of mobile apps

What are the differences between the three types of mobile apps? How do you choose the best one? If you are an app developer, read on to find out!

How to choose the right type of mobile app

Before getting into the specifics, let’s go over some guidelines.

The pros and cons of all options need to be identified and weighed against each other. This requires analyzing each option’s technology.

Think through the app development process and consider how the various technologies make the following aspects easier or more difficult:

  • Coding;
  • Debugging;
  • Distribution,
  • Upgrading.

Now let’s look at each type of app on its own to gain a better understanding of them all.

Native Apps

Native apps only operate on the system they are specifically designed for. For example, Android apps work on Android devices but can’t be used on iPhones.

More facts about native apps

  • They have high-performance capabilities that greatly enhance user experience;
  • Native apps must be downloaded from the app store of the system they are designed for (Google Play Store or Apple App Store);
  • Developers need to create a version for each platform, which costs additional time and money;
  • Each platform has its own support and maintenance costs, further increasing the expense of native apps;
  • Native apps have been around the longest, therefore they have the best support system in the form of how-tos, tutorials, guides, and directions from other experienced developers,
  • They have the most access to device features.

Use native apps if:

  • Optimum performance is important to you;
  • You have more room in your budget for building and maintaining multiple versions of your app;
  • You have the extra time to build multiple versions of your app,
  • Maximum access to device features is required.

types-of-mobile-appsHybrid Apps

With multi-platform web technologies, hybrid apps are quicker and easier to develop than native apps.

More facts about hybrid apps

  • A single code that works across multiple systems eliminates the need to create an app version for each platform. This makes hybrid apps cheaper to build, maintain and update;
  • You get what you pay for. Hybrid apps can’t achieve the level of performance that native apps can;
  • Their appearance on different platforms isn’t identical;
  • Hybrid apps are built using third-party tools that allow communication to flow between the web view and the native platform,
  • Hybrid apps are relatively newer, so they don’t have as much helpful support as native apps do.

Use Hybrid apps if:

  • You can’t afford the cost of creating more than one version of your app,
  • You need your app built more quickly.

Web Apps

Previously, web apps could be slow and cumbersome to use, but app developers have been working hard to make improvements. The current result is Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).

More facts about PWAs

  • They run on a web browser;
  • They are written in HTML5, JavaScript, or CSS;
  • Users can obtain PWAs directly from the web page they are found on, eliminating the need to download them from the app store;
  • Search engines can find them;
  • They take up less memory;
  • PWAs can be accessed from any device since user data is stored on a server;
  • A technology called Service Workers makes it possible for the app to work offline,
  • As with hybrid apps, PWAs don’t have as much support as native apps do.

Use PWAs if:

  • Your goal is to create an E-Commerce site;
  • You don’t have the time, money, or desire to build multiple versions of your app,
  • You want to make it easier for your target market to obtain your app.

When considering the different types of mobile apps, make sure you choose one that meets your individual needs and goals and will make mobile app development as smooth as possible.