Mobile apps are one of the prominent content delivery channels today. It is a platform that connects businesses and customers with ease to sell, announce, enquire and purchase. The last few years have seen a surge in usage of smartphones – especially Apple and Android powered phones. Subsequently, businesses were forced to build their own mobile apps for end users.
There are quite a few ways to build a mobile application and deliver content through a mobile device.
NATIVE MOBILE APPS
These are apps that sit and run on the mobile device of a user, it may be on an Apple’s iOS device or an Android device. The app is built to operate on specific platforms such iOS, Android, and Windows. The apps could be for specific b2b or b2c needs and the genre is widespread, to name a few such as banking apps, social networking, reading the news, or shopping. The platforms have been constantly evolving with improvisations towards user interface design, user experience controls, battery consumption related controls, energy savers, high performance, and scalability.
Being built to operate in native devices they look and perform better. The disadvantage is that if you wish to build and launch an app on more than one platform, you will need to start again from both the design and development perspectives for each platform.
We at EphronTechnologies have mastered the art of creating apps of both ends – b2b and b2c categories. Our designers, developers, and architects are trained and proficient in applying latest technologies to suit the need of customers.
iOS is the native operating system for Apple. They’re built using the legacy Objective-C and now a newer language called Swift.
In 2014, Apple launched Swift, which is a simpler language. Not only is it easier to learn, but it was also designed to be fast. According to Apple’s site, Swift is up to 2.6 times faster than Objective-C.
Apple provides Xcode which is the integrated development environment that developers use to create the native iOS app.
If you’re creating an Android app, your developer will build it using Java. It has a lower learning curve, so it’s not as challenging to find proven developers. Android Studio is the officially integrated development environment used for developing Android apps, though traditionally developers have been using Eclipse.
It again provides a great user experience. Android, being an open source platform unlike iOS, it has been the most sought platform of the phone making companies such as Samsung( the early adopters), Lenovo, HTC, Huawei, Panasonic etc.
This combined operating strength of these companies is constantly giving sleepless nights to iPhone makers. It is an uneven competition being fought ethically well by Apple.
Windows Phone is in third place in terms of market size, but it’s being handheld by the software giant – Microsoft and might be worth considering if you’re building an enterprise app. Apps for Windows Phone are made using C# or VB.NET languages. Microsoft’s Visual Studio provides a powerful integrated development environment. It’s probably the most developer friendly of the three main native platforms.
The biggest thing that might or could happen is more and more enterprise mobile solutions could be on windows in the near future, just because of business houses being run and dependent on Microsoft technologies and services.
Microsoft has wisely recognized the need for effective mobile solutions for its customers and has rolled out its Windows platform for mobile at the right time. The biggest advantage could its close integration with other Microsoft services such as Dynamics, AX, Sharepoint, and SaaS – Windows Azure.
HYBRID MOBILE APPS
Hybrid mobile app is a mix of native and browser run web elements. It can be installed on the device and run via a web browser. They’re built using HTML5 language. Initially, HTML5 enjoyed adoption by a number of the leading internet domains, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and the Financial Times. In 2012, it appeared to be the future of mobile.
However, in 2013, all those companies, except for the Financial Times, stopped using HTML5 apps and built new native apps even though it required starting over from scratch more or less.
The reason? The user experience wasn’t that good, as fast, reliable, or smooth as native apps. It was a big problem for Facebook, which has so many images downloading and displaying on the fly.
Whereas the Financial Times continued to use since the content changes happened less frequently than Facebook HTML5 app.
There’s continuous debate about the future of hybrid apps. Their potential is enormous as there’s a benefit in not having to build and maintain apps for separate native platforms, which obviously helps is huge cost saving. Native apps require two or three times the work as opposed to just one in a hybrid.
WEB APPS VS. RESPONSIVE WEB APPS
Traditional web apps are websites built to work on computers or laptops which have a wider screen. What’s the difference between a traditional web app and a responsive web app? A responsive web app uses a unique design layer and when it’s opened on a mobile device (i.e., a phone or tablet), the app alters and fits itself well depending on the type of device you’re viewing it on.
While a web and response web will be easier to build, the cons are:
It can’t tap the native phone features. For example, the camera on an iPhone
Performance is a bit low compared to native apps.
Personalization is nearly impossible unlike on native mobile apps.
RESPONSIVE WEB APPS
A Responsive web app has the same design as the web app, but its design layer is programmed to fit the screen size better when displayed on a mobile device.
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