Different Types of Mobile Apps: How do you choose?

March 28, 2023

Mobile application is a significant part of the digital solutions business that is adapting. For Business, it is one of the easiest and fastest ways to connect to customers. Mobile applications are not limited to big companies, whether you are a start-up or a mid-size company, a mobile application is a tool that helps you grow your business and connect with your customers. The global market for mobile applications is growing rapidly and reached a figure of USD 206.85 billion in 2022. Innovation in technology, better internet connectivity, digitization of organizations, the digital economy, and the constant increase in smartphone users are some of the factors responsible for the constant demand for mobile applications.

The mobile application store has an app for almost everything. Lifestyle, Education, Entertainment, Gaming, e-commerce, health, and well-being are some of the major categories in the application store. Businesses looking to develop a mobile application should look for a mobile application development company, that can guide them through the process and build a high-performing application. The type of mobile application needed for a company may depend on the requirements and some other factors. We have covered all the information regarding different types of applications, their differences, and their benefits so that you can pick the right type of application for your business.

Why does your business need a mobile application?

Benefits of mobile app for your business

1. Brand building – Mobile applications help in building a relationship with the customer and help the customer in forming associations with the company.
2. Marketing – Mobile apps are profusely used as a marketing tool. Companies use it for all promotional activities.
3. Customer reach and retention – Owning a mobile application, makes it faster and easier for companies to reach their customers and increases the engagement ratio.
4. Analytics – Business collects a lot of customer data through mobile apps, and the analysis of the data provides insights about the customers. This information when used in decision-making and product upgradation contributes to business success.
5. Customer relationship management – In case of any grievances the customer can contact the business instantly through a mobile application and the redressal of the complaint is quick. Mobile applications have chatbots that are 24/7 available, which provide all the required information to the user.

Types of mobile applications

The mobile apps are categorized based on the technology they use, their characteristics, and their features. Broadly it is divided into 3

  1. Native Apps
  2. Hybrid Apps
  3. Web Apps

1. Native application

Native mobile applications are developed for a specific operating system. The mobile application is built keeping in mind the particular operating system specifications. Native applications are built using platform-specific programming languages. An app built for the android operating system would not work on any other platform such as ios or windows.

Benefits of Native mobile application

  1. High performance – Businesses choose a native mobile application for its high performance. Since it is built for a single platform, native mobile apps are more reliable and faster.
  2. Security – It leverages the built-in security features of the operating system, building a secure application. There are permission management features on the mobile that helps in regulating security.
  3. Offline – Native applications are downloaded on the devices of the user. Therefore certain features work offline too.
  4. Better integration – It provides seamless integration with the hardware configuration too. It makes complete use of mobile features like GPS, Bluetooth, camera.
  5. UI/UX – The user interface of native applications provides an interactive and enhanced user experience to the users.

Limitations of Native application

  1. Single Platform – Since it is platform specific, the native application runs on a single operating system.
  2. New feature addition – It requires a separate code base if any new feature has to be added.

Technologies used for building Native mobile applications – Java, C++, Kotlin, React, Objective-C, Swift, Python.

2. Web apps

Web applications are programs stored on a remote server, accessed on the device through a web browser. Web applications are different from native applications as they are not stored on devices. They are not available or stored in the application store. Web apps are designed to be responsive for every screen size.

Benefits of Web applications

  1. Platform independent – It is not restricted to one operating system. This application works on all operating systems, whether it is android, windows, or ios. Therefore it eliminates the need of creating multiple applications for different OS, saving time and cost.
  2. No installation – For accessing this application you need a web browser and the internet, there is no installation required on the device. Resulting in saving storage space on the device.
  3. Easy maintenance – The maintenance of web applications is simpler as it is stored on the server and the changes can be made and updated on the server side.
  4. Accessibility – The user can access from any device and anywhere, as the application is accessed directly from the browser.
  5. No App marketplace – There is no requirement to take permission from the app store and place it on the store.

Limitations of Web application

  1. Works online only – Doesn’t work in offline mode if you wish to use the app internet connectivity is a must, users cannot access it without an internet connection.
  2. Limited access to mobile – Since this application is not stored on the device, it cannot use all the features of mobile such as camera, Bluetooth, and many more, which also limits the functionality of the application.

Technologies used for building Web applications – JavaScript, CSS, Ruby, HTML5

3. Hybrid Applications

This application type as the name suggests is a combination of native and web applications. It has features of both native and web applications. It is not limited to a single operating system. They are stored on the device and have access to the device’s features.

Benefits of Hybrid application

  1. Easy and Quick to be built – It requires a single code base making the development of the application fast.
  2. Works offline – It is downloaded and available to the user even when not connected to the internet.
  3. Easy updation and maintenance – It uses a single code base, which makes it easy to maintain and update. It also uses HTML which also makes it easy to maintain.
  4. Multi-platform – It is not created focused on a single operating system or platform, it supports all the different platforms.
  5. Fast Loading – The loading speed is good, and works smoothly with a slow internet connection also.

Limitation of Hybrid application

  1. Power – When compared to native applications it is not a high-performance application. The user can face difficulty in adding complex functions to the application.
  2. Device accessibility – Limited features of the device can be accessed by a Hybrid application restricting certain functionalities.

Technologies used for building Hybrid applications – HTML5, Swift, Objective C, Ionic, Native script, React Native.

Factors to Choose the Right Mobile App Type

Now, you are aware of the different types of mobile applications, their benefits, and limitations also their usage. You can consult a mobile application development company and discuss the requirements of your business and come to a guided conclusion about which application to pick.

The three important factors that you need to consider before making that decision are:

1. Time

One of the most crucial factors is time for any type of mobile app development. You need to be aware of the time you have to launch the application. As a business owner, if you have limited time, your choice of application would vary.

2. Performance

If you need a simple functional application to be built and don’t have complex features to be added, you can choose an application that is simple to build and performs the required functionalities. For businesses that handle a larger user base and need advanced features then developing a native application can be best for your business.

3. Target audience

If you are planning to build an application, you need to know the user base for your application. If you already have a customer base then you can choose from the native or hybrid applications as the consumer would go to the application store and download the application. On the other hand, if you are targeting a general audience then building a web application would be a better option.

Ending Note

We have presented a complete detailed guide on the types of mobile applications present in the market and how they are similar or different from each other. We have also mentioned the points you need to consider before choosing the application type. This would help you in understanding different mobile application types and making the right choice for your business.

We have been working with companies coming from different sectors with unique requirements depending on the industry. As a mobile app development service provider, we have the experience that enables us to deliver high-performing, interactive, user-friendly applications that would help you attain your business goals. Connect with us to hire dedicated mobile app developers that would help you build top-notch applications.


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