What Type of App is Right for your Idea?

Smartphones have become an essential element of our daily lives. From waking us up with an alarm in the morning to taking us back home with an online ride-booking app in the evening, our life revolves around the usage of smartphones.

New technology keep redefining what building an ‘App’ means. Today we have an app for almost everything. However, there is always a new opportunity that arises. I’m sure, if you are reading this, there is already a great app idea in the back of your mind, but you don’t know where to start. The aim for this guide is to give you an overview of what type of apps exist and hopefully share insights that will inform you sufficiently enough to make a decision on your app idea.

Types of Mobile Apps

There are three types of mobile apps in terms of development. These are native, hybrid, and web apps. We are going to discuss each one with all the pros and cons to provide you with a better understanding of these classifications.

Native Apps

When it comes to the native mobile apps, these are designed and developed while keeping a single platform in mind. For example, developing an app specifically for Google’s Android platform can be said to be creating a native app. You can develop native apps for each mobile platform like Apple’s iOS and Google's Android.

Advantages

Increased User Experience: Since native apps are designed according to the particular requirements of the platform, smoother user experience can be attained. Users get a polished interface with various customisable options.

Robust Processing: Native apps closely integrate with the hardware of mobile devices, which makes them more robust while processing. You can see increased productivity when using this type of app development.

More Recognisable Look and Feel: The more development models become closer to the understanding of a platform, the more customisability and performance can be achieved. Native apps do the same and provide a more professional look and feel.

Works Offline: Although some features of these apps might not work offline, these apps can be flawlessly operated without a network connection. Due to their independence on the internet, users can easily use them without any worries.

Disadvantages

Expensive: The development cost of native apps are far more than other types because more specialised tools and skillsets are required to develop them.

Lengthy Download and Installation Procedures: Since these apps come with a lot of built-in functionalities and dependencies on the app stores, download and installation time can get lengthy.

Require Frequent Upgrades: Native apps cannot be easily managed unless you provide frequent updates of your app version to the users.

How Native Apps are developed on each platform:

Android

• Android SDK with Android Studio is the official IDE for Android

• Programming Languages used:

        - Java

        - Kotlin

        - C++

• Firebase – Comprehensive Development Platform

• Android Jetpack – Collection of pre-made Android components

iOS

• Xcode – iOS official IDE

• Testflight – Beta testing app

• Programming Languages used:

       - Swift

       - Objective-C

Hybrid Apps

Hybrid apps are installed on smartphones just like the native ones, but these are operated through web browsers. These apps use common programming languages and frameworks such as HTML5 and Javascript. The development streamlining process increases time and financial efficiency compared to their native counterparts. If the primary purpose of your app is just to provide useful content, it’s one of the best approaches. Usually, a single hybrid app can work on multiple platforms such as Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android.

Advantages

Saves Time and Money: It becomes magical when you put in the effort of developing a single app, but you get the benefits of a bunch of apps. Hybrid apps save you a lot of time, effort, and money.

Compatible with Various Platforms: The compatibility of a single hybrid app with various platforms makes it a more usable and powerful app development approach.

Easier to Update: It becomes quite simple to update your app across different platforms as all you need to do is just update your single hybrid app.

Disadvantages

Requires Network Connection: Since hybrid apps largely depend upon the internet connection, users might face limited access to various app features. 

Limited Capabilities: Hybrid apps come with a general understanding and compatibility of the hardware as well as the Operating System software of each mobile platform. These apps cannot work flawlessly because, in the end, every platform has its own requirements on how it handles the hardware and other functionalities.

Comparatively Low User Experience: The flow of user navigation can only be perfect in the native apps since these comply with all the requirements of the mobile system. Users might feel a lowered user experience when using hybrid apps.

How Hybrid Apps are developed:

• React Native

• Ionic

• Flutter

• Programming Languages used:

        - HTML

        - CSS

        - JavaScript

Web Apps

Web apps are incredibly admired because of their interoperability across every platform. In fact, these apps are the responsive websites which could also be said as the adaptable web applications. The flexibility of design these apps provide cannot be found in other types because they adapt themselves according to different screens and sizes.  

Advantages

Adaptive User Experience: Since web apps automatically fit according to the user’s screen requirements, the user experience is increased. Users love apps that work flawlessly no matter which device they use.

Convenient Development Efforts: Development of web apps is also quite easier because you don’t have to use complex programming languages. Popular languages like PHP, Javascript and others are usually sufficient to develop web apps.

Flexible Access: Across various platforms, web apps work in the same manner on each platform. Due to their web-based structure, every device which can access the internet can be used to run these apps.

Always Updated: You don’t have to upload an updated version of your app on each platform because the inter-operability of web apps are there for you. These apps are always updated and ready to use.

Disadvantages

Network Reliance: As the name suggests, web apps can only work through a network connection. Their dependency on the network can be a problem for various users.

Reduced Speed: As these apps are not directly integrated with the hardware of mobile devices, speed and performance is compromised most of the time. Speed can also become slower due to the network connection.

Security Concerns: Web apps could be vulnerable to attacks through a network because their entire functionality depends upon a network connection. This could be a serious matter if your app is data-sensitive.

How Web Apps are developed:

Similar to hybrid apps, frameworks are common place in the industry

Front End

• React

• Vue

Back End

• Django in Python

• Laravel in PHP

Bonus - No Code Apps

Here comes the new way to make apps with minimal programming efforts. No code apps can be built through various online mobile app development tools. You might have to write a bit of code, but the frequency of coding in this type of application is minimal compared to all the others.

Advantages

Increased Efficiency: Since you don’t have to write code for these apps, the complexities can be handled easily. These apps prove to be quite efficient because their testing has been a focus throughout the development process.

Saves Time, Cost, and Effort: You don’t have to wait for months or even years while developing your dream app using the no-code approach. It saves your time and money, as well as the effort, that you put into the development and designing process.

Convenient App Development: It’s one of the most convenient ways to develop an app because it’s faster and operates well.

Disadvantages

• Decreased Quality: When going for the no-code approach, there is a strong chance that you may decrease the quality of your app. This is because there are pre-built tools or templates with the same interfaces for each app.

• Redundancy: Lack of customisability can be a problem for you if you select the no-code approach. It may result in redundant apps in the future.

No Code Apps Tools:

• Zapier

• Mailer Lite

• Webflow

• Bubble

• AirTable

• Carrd

Summary

Developing apps in the modern age has never been easier, but building great apps still takes proper analysis and planning. Choosing the right app development type can be challenging, but in the long run, you will see the benefits of it in the form of your app idea success. Just by focusing on your requirements, you can conquer the app development market conveniently.