What is a mobile app?
Now, of course, you already know where to find an application and where to download it on your mobile, but what are mobile applications and the different types of applications?
A mobile application is primarily software. It’s a downloadable program on a smartphone or tablet that includes a file installed and then executed by the operating system of your mobile.
Technically speaking, there are two types of mobile application that all users can encounter:
The native app
This type of app represents the majority of the apps we download every day. A native application is a mobile application developed specifically for one of the operating systems used by smartphones and tablets (iOS, Android, etc.).
Developing a native application generally makes it possible to use all the functionalities linked to the targeted operating system (GPS, accelerometer, camera, etc.) and makes it possible to offer generally richer applications than web applications. Once downloaded and installed, some applications can also be used without an Internet connection.
These applications can be distributed via download platforms (apps store for apple or google play store for android, for example) or installed directly locally on your device.
Hybrid or cross platform apps
In between mobile and web applications, the hybrid application is accessible on all application platforms. It is a mobile application that merges a web application’s characteristics with those of the native application mentioned above. It is a cross-platform technology, a considerable time saver if the project is not too complex and does not require the development of specific plugins.
This kind of mobile application minimizes the loads and duration of its development but at the expense of the quality which characterizes the native application.
Cross-platform applications are deemed to be less efficient and less fluid than native applications.
Where to distribute my mobile app?
In the same way that websites are listed in search engines, mobile applications are available on marketplaces but again dependent on the type of mobile terminal used. Most mobile applications are distributed from download platforms unique to your phone’s operating system:
- Play Store for Android. (Samsung laptop or tablets, for example)
- App Store for iOS. (Apple)
- Windows Store for Windows Mobile.
The applications are paid or free (generally with advertisements).
The applications can also be available locally, i.e. installed directly on a mobile device (phone or tablet). This is common for applications intended for the professional public (business applications, CRM, etc.).
In the end, what type of app should I choose?
There is no universal answer to this question. There are many factors to take into account. Much will depend on your project, your needs, objectives, means and the needs of your end-users. For example, developing a video game via an application will require many performance requirements from users, so you may have to think about developing this solution natively.