Mobile app development is all about building applications for mobile devices, such as smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, and wearables. One can download these applications either from the smartphone’s app store or a third-party source. But there are a few things that you must keep in mind while developing mobile apps. For instance, its design, app servers, app backend, and APIs along with app databases.
Here are different types of mobile app development along with their benefits that will help you understand its importance and how you can use it to get an edge over others.
Types of Mobile App Development
1. Native Mobile App Development
Native mobile app development makes use of the official development environment for the device to build mobile apps i.e., this approach uses Android Studio for Android devices and XCode in the case of iOS devices. You will notice that in native mobile apps, each development tool is specifically dedicated to the Operating System (OS) of the device, which brings a lot of advantages while developing native mobile apps.
Native mobile apps can have access to the latest developer features since they are backed with the official development technology i.e., native, for mobile apps of its operating system. For instance, in case there is a new feature introduced to the mobile app development industry, then the native developers will be able to use it before others can. Here are some of the major advantages of native mobile apps:
- They are more secure than hybrid apps.
- Bring the ease of customization and are more interactive.
- Native apps include the latest developer technologies and have faster speed.
- These apps tend to have fewer bugs during development.
But, as they say: there are two sides to a coin, native mobile app development also has a few disadvantages that can affect the development process. As we mentioned that the technology of the mobile app is specific to the operating system, it requires more effort to develop apps for both Android and iOS devices. It eventually increases the costs and development time of mobile app development. Major disadvantages of native mobile apps are:
- The development is quite expensive.
- It has slow development times.
- Acts as overkill for simple apps.
- Takes time to learn their functionality.
2. Android Native Mobile App Development
Android mobile apps use the Android Studio platform with Java as the programming language. Using Java is beneficial since it is a universal programming language and we can use it in other areas, such as server and backend. Android Studio replaced Eclipse with its release in May 2013 i.e., Eclipse is now rarely used in android mobile apps. Benefits of using Android Studio:
- Android Studio offers the developers a rich layout editor allowing them to drag-and-drop UI components while previewing the app live.
- Dragging and dropping the UI components facilities you to update the codes accordingly. You can edit the code afterwards to decide how the UI should turn out.
- Android Studio also has the backend editor: the place where the logic of the mobile applications lies, and where the main bulk of Java code can be found. It could be querying the database, editing fields in the database, or even calling an external API. The backend codes of Android Studio allow you to do all this.
In addition, there is also an android emulator in Android Studio that can simulate a real Android device, facilitating the app developers to preview and try their apps once the development process is done. You can even switch this option to a physical Android device. Using this feature, developers can easily see their app while identifying and iterating any changes required.
3. iOS Native Mobile App Development
We mostly use XCode in Swift for iOS native app development. The programming language, Swift, was developed by Apple itself, hence it is native. Though it is not as universal as Java, it can write programs for a range of Apple operating systems like macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Swift allows you to drag UI elements into the canvas so that you can preview how it looks like. It also allows you to select a function and drag the same to the UI element for creating other codes. iOS has an abundance of resources required to design clean-looking mobile apps for your users.
Unlike Java, the syntax for iOS app development in Swift is quite easy to learn because it is a lean programming language. To test your mobile apps, you just need to plug your device into the development machine. Also, TestFlight allows you to release the build for the public. The only limitation you will face in iOS mobile app development: you must have a MacBook to develop these apps.
4. Hybrid Mobile App Development
Hybrid mobile app development allows you to have a mobile app on both Android and iOS devices by writing a single code. Hybrid apps are mostly websites that are packaged into a mobile app.
This approach is ideal for a business to launch a mobile app quickly and efficiently since it cuts development costs down while mostly delivering the same quality of the mobile app. Ionic, the most common hybrid app development framework, is widely used now in mobile apps as it is agile, lean, and powerful.
Mobile app development allows you to have a stronger customer engagement while increasing your access to the customers, making their experience more valuable. Not only this, but it also helps you to increase customer engagement by enhancing their experience with your brand, which eventually leads to increased customer loyalty. Hence, by understanding mobile app development and its various types, you can certainly have an edge over your competitors.