Comparing Different Types of Mobile Application Development

Comparing Different Types of Mobile Application Development

Have a great idea for a product or service? It is critical to make your product or service accessible to mobile users. Once you start considering how to develop your mobile application, you will come across terms such as native app, hybrid app, cross-platform, and technologies such as Xamarin, Ionic, ReactNative etc. In this post, our mobile app development experts guide you through the development process.

The Mobile App Primer

Here is an overview of the key components to be aware of when it comes to a mobile application and the development required for successful execution. 

There are different Operating Systems (OS) for mobile devices: Android (87.7 percent market share) and iOS (12.1 percent) are the most popular ones currently (together they make up 99.8 percent of the market). Others are Windows Mobile, Blackberry OS, etc. (only .02 percent of market share). [Here's the details of the mobile app market share as of 2017 Q2]

Each Operating System (OS) needs the application program to be in a particular format so that it can be run on the device. For Android we write code in Java, and for iOS we write code in Objective-C or Swift. Writing apps in the native language of the OS is called Native App Development

When you see an app that is available for both Android and iOS, it means the developers had to package it separately for each platform and complete corresponding development.

Understanding Mobile Application Development Types

As a mobile app developer you’ll want to reach as many possible within your target audience. This requires the same development efforts multiple times for each platform, and for the same product. 

To avoid the costs involved in these repetitive efforts, ‘Cross-platform App Development’ (sometimes simply Hybrid App Development) type, would be the right solution. This works on the principle of “write-once-run-everywhere”.

There are two kinds of cross-platform app development practices:

1. Web-Hybrid App Development

All operating systems have some way of displaying web content, called a web view. Writing the application using HTML/CSS/JavaScript technologies, this will enable the application to be compatible with any mobile OS. These apps will have a native container, which will give it more access to device hardware than is available for a web-app running on a web browser. Some example frameworks are Cordova & Ionic.

2. Native-Hybrid App Development

Most parts of the app are written in a common language, which gets converted into a native form to eventually run on each OS. Since it is converted into an executable format supported natively by the OS, it runs much smoother, the performance is better and gives a usage feel that is in the likeness of a natively-developed app usage. Some examples are, Xamarin & ReactNative.

Deciding on the Right Mobile App Development

So, given at least three ways to develop your application, how do you decide what to start out with? To assist you in this decision-making process, here is the list of comparisons between native, Web-hybrid and Native-Hybrid mobile application developments:

Differentiating Native, Web-Hybrid, and Native-Hybrid mobile development options

Despite all these comparisons, the result of this would depend purely on the kind of app being developed. A web-hybrid development could be considered if your requirement is any of the below:

  • Less complicated functionality
  • Less features accessing hardware
  • A quick POC (proof of concept)
  • Limited budget

If your requirement doesn’t come within the above, then Native or Native-Hybrid development would be a better option.

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About the Author

Mobile app enterprise development lead Aswin KumarAswin Kumar is the Practice Head for Mobile Solutions at V-Soft Consulting. Aswin leads the design and development that collaborates with leading companies to build mobile capabilities for existing and newly innovative platforms. Aswin and his team understand the requirement for back-end integration of cloud or premise based systems with a mobile application that delivers industry leading results for the enterprise. Aswin also leads the emerging technology initiatives like AR, AI, and ML.

Connect with Aswin on LinkedIn here, email, or learn more about how mobile enablement done right can transform your company here.


Topics: Mobile Application Development, Technology, Main, Mobile Applications

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