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Introduction of Mobile App Development

Mobile app development is the process of creating software applications that run on mobile devices. The mobile app development process involves creating installable software bundles, implementing backend services such as data access with APIs, and testing the app on targeted devices.

Mobile app development is rapidly growing from finance, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, insurance, education, and other industrial verticals that meet user expectations for convenient ways to conduct transactions and access information. Now mobile devices are the most popular way for people and businesses to connect with the internet, communication, entertainment, payments, learning, business visibility, customer loyalty, marketing channel, customer service, and many other reasons – and that’s why businesses need mobile apps too.

Yet mobile app development might seem daunting. Once you have selected the operating systems, 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 Operating Systems:

There are two dominant operating systems in the modern smartphone market. One is the iOS operating system from Apple that powers Apple’s popular line of iPhone smartphones and other iOS based smart devices. Second is the Android operating system from Google that is used by Google & other OEMs to build their smartphones and other Android based smart devices.

Developing apps for iOS vs. developing apps for Android involves different software development kits (SDKs) and different development tools. While Apple uses iOS exclusively for its own devices, Google makes Android available to own devices and other OEMs too. You can build successful mobile apps for many devices by targeting both of these operating systems.

How to Choose the Best Mobile App Development Platforms?

Many clients choose to build their apps on Android. Because the vast majority of smartphones run on Android devices, Android app development is often easier than iOS app development, Android app 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 building 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 – in this case, iOS will be a top priority.

Mobile App Development Approaches and Pros & Cons:

There are 4 major development approaches when building mobile 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, features required by the app, the development budget & time, and team availability to maintain the app. Let’s explore the approaches and pros & cons of mobile app development platforms.

No.ApproachesOverviewProsCons
1Native Mobile AppsNative mobile apps are written in the programming languages & frameworks provided by the platform owner and run directly on the operating system of the device such as iOS and Android.Good runtime performance and direct access to device APIsHigher costs when building & maintaining the app and multiple code-bases for each platform
2Cross-Platform Mobile AppsCross-platform mobile apps can be written in a variety of programming languages & frameworks, but they are compiled into a native app running directly on the operating system of the device.Single code base for multiple platforms and easy to build & maintain the appDependents on bridges & libraries for native device features and performance limitations due to bridging
3Hybrid Mobile AppsHybrid mobile apps are built with standard web technologies such as JavaScript, CSS, 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.Shared code base between the web & mobile apps and using web development skill-set for building mobile appsLow performance compared to native apps and limited support for native device features
4Progressive Web AppsPWAs 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.Same app is available both for web & mobile and no installation is required, accessible through a URLLimited support for native device features and 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.

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, CSS. Because you are denied access to the operating system’s native APIs, hybrid development works best for simple applications such as 3 or 4 pages apps with limited functionality.

Conclusion

Do you want to build a mobile app in Native, Cross-Platform, Hybrid, or PWA approaches? or Are you developing mobile apps for Android, iOS, iPhone, iPad devices using cross-platform technologies such as Flutter or React Native? – Think about what’s most important for your mobile app, study the market trends, desired user experience, features required by the app, budget & time, etc.

Talk to a mobile app development company and understand how they can add value to your mobile app in terms of technical expertise & business knowledge. Choose an experienced technology partner, like us, who can help you to explain the best approach for your mobile app and also deliver a high-quality mobile app within the budget & time. Are you considering mobile app development? or Do you want to hire dedicated mobile app developers? – Contact Us!