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Mobile App Development – Basics Explained in Detailed

Here’s everything you need to know about mobile application development in detail.

What is Mobile App Development?

Mobile application development is the process of creating applications that run on a mobile device. Mobile app development is rapidly growing. From finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, insurance, education, and other industries must meet user expectations for fast, convenient ways to conduct transactions and access information. Today, mobile devices are the most popular way for people to connect to the internet. To stay relevant, responsive, successful – businesses need mobile apps.

Yet mobile app development might seem daunting. Once you have selected the operating system platforms, you need to overcome the limitations of mobile devices and usher your app through the potential hurdles of distribution. Fortunately, by following a few basic guidelines and best practices, you can streamline your mobile app development journey.

Mobile App Development Platforms:

There are two dominant platforms in the modern smartphone market. One is the iOS platform from Apple. The iOS platform is the operating system that powers Apple’s popular line of iPhone smartphones. The second is Android from Google. The Android operating system is used not only by Google devices but also by many other OEMs to build their smartphones and other smart devices.

There are some similarities between these two platforms when building apps, developing apps for iOS vs. developing apps for Android involves using different software development kits (SDKs) and different development tools. While Apple uses iOS exclusively for its own devices, Google makes Android available to other companies provided they meet specific requirements such as including certain Google applications on the devices they ship. You can build successful mobile apps for hundreds of millions of devices by targeting both of these platforms.

How to Choose a Mobile App Development Platforms?

Many clients choose to build their apps on Android. Why? The vast majority of smartphones run Android; Android development is often easier than iOS development; Android development does not require owning a Mac, which would be more expensive than a PC; and the Google Play Store has fewer restrictions than the Apple App Store.

Depending on the intended use case for your app, you might have other considerations. For example, if you are designing a mobile app for your organization’s employees, you will need to support the platforms they use, even if that means developing for both Android and iOS. Or if you are building a mobile app for your customers – and you know the majority of your customers use iPhones – iOS will be a top priority.

Mobile App Development Approaches and Pros & Cons:

There are 4 major development approaches when building mobile apps.

1. Native Mobile Apps

2. Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

3. Hybrid Mobile Apps

4. Progressive Web Apps

Each of these approaches for developing mobile apps has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. When choosing the right development approach for your projects, we consider the desired user experience, native features required by the app, the development budget, time, and team available to maintain the app.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of mobile app development platforms.

1. Native Mobile Apps

Native mobile apps are written in the programming languages and frameworks provided by the platform owner and run directly on the operating system of the device such as iOS and Android.

Pros of Native Mobile Apps:

– Good runtime performance
– Direct access to device APIs

Cons of Native Mobile Apps:

– Higher costs when building and maintaining the app
– Multiple code-bases for each platform

2. Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

Cross-platform mobile apps can be written in a variety of programming languages and frameworks, but they are compiled into a native app running directly on the operating system of the device.

Pros of Cross-Platform Mobile Apps:

– Single code base for multiple platforms
– Easy to build and maintain the app

Cons of Cross-Platform Mobile Apps:

– Dependents on bridges and libraries for native device features
– Performance limitations due to bridging

3. Hybrid Mobile Apps

Hybrid mobile apps are built with standard web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 – and they are bundled as app installation packages. Contrary to the native apps, hybrid apps work on a web container which provides a browser runtime and a bridge for native device APIs via Apache Cordova.

Pros of Hybrid Mobile Apps:

– Shared code base between the web and mobile apps
– Using web development skill-set for building mobile apps

Cons of Hybrid Mobile Apps:

– Low performance compared to native apps
– Limited support for native device features

4. Progressive Web Apps

PWAs offer an alternative approach to traditional mobile apps development by skipping app store delivery and app installations. PWAs are web applications that utilize a set of browser capabilities such as working offline, running a background process, and adding a link to the device home screen – to provide an app-like user experience.

Pros of Progressive Web Apps:

– Same app is available both for web and mobile
– No installation required, accessible through a URL

Cons of Progressive Web Apps:

– Limited support for native device features
– App capabilities depend on the browser in use

Want to Develop Mobile Apps for both Android and iOS: Native or Hybrid?

Let’s say you need to develop mobile apps for both Android and iOS. What is the best approach?

You could develop two native applications. Taking advantage of native APIs and OS-specific languages can help you build a powerful app. Most enterprise apps, especially ones that require substantial API traffic, benefit from native development.

If you decide to develop native applications in serial, you will likely want to begin with Android – for some of the same reasons that many app developers often focus on Android. You will probably have better luck developing the full application as a proof of concept on Android and then converting it to iOS after release.

You will still need to rewrite the code for the native language and redesign the user interface because the different operating systems function very differently.

So why not start completely from scratch? While you can’t simply recompile the code into a new language, much of the back-end can be replicated across platforms. Frameworks, libraries, and third-party extensions often function identically in either environment, allowing you to avoid costly rework.

Another option is to go hybrid. Hybrid applications use a single codebase that can function on either platform. They are typically coded in a language that’s universally recognized, such as JavaScript, HTML, or CSS. Because you are denied access to the operating system’s native APIs, hybrid development works best for simple applications – 3 or 4-page apps with limited functionality.

Conclusion

Do you want to build a mobile app in Native, Cross-Platform, Hybrid, PWA, or with other approaches? Do you want Android App Development, iOS App Development, iPhone App Development, iPad App Development, Mobile App Development, Flutter App Development, React Native App Development, or other App Development? – Think about what’s most important for your mobile application, mobile app market trends, and any limiting factors in terms of desired user experience, native features required by the app, budget, time, team before you decide on mobile app development.

Talk to a Mobile App Development Company and understand how we will add value to your mobile app in terms of technical expertise and business knowledge. Choose an experienced technology partner, like us, who can not only help you understand the best approach for your mobile app but also deliver a high-quality mobile app within the budget and time. Have a mobile app project in mind? – Contact Us!