Building a mobile application is a comprehensive and time-consuming process. There are numerous different apps for different purposes: games, business, education, safety, health, etc. When building an app, you should very well know your target audience. This would help not only to provide the right user interface and functionality but also pick the right operating system (if you need only one) and technology for this purpose.
If you want to get a successful application(s), you should do a research first. It would be of great help to prepare well-detailed technical requirements. Once you really know what you need, you can start choosing the right approach to build your application.
1. Custom Mobile App Development
With this solution, you can get an app that would be fully customized as per your requirements. This means you can have any functionality you want, any features and so on. Your app won’t be restricted in any way as with other approaches. In simple words, you get exactly what you want and how you want it. Depending on your project’s complexity, you would need to hire mobile app developer or a few of them. Custom/bespoke app development usually requires more time and resources but offers robust personalization and the main focus of the app is entailed.
2. Native Mobile App Development
This approach is the best choice if your target audience uses only one particular OS (Android, iOS, etc). If that’s not the case, you would need to build 2 (or more) separate apps for each OS which is quite expensive. In any case, native mobile applications show the best performance ensuring pleasant user experience. Moreover, native applications can take advantage of device-specific hardware and software as they are written using specific programming language: iOS apps are written in Swift or Objective-C and Android apps are written in Java.
3. Cross-Platform Mobile App Development
This approach has been really popular lately. With the help of tools like React Native and Xamarin, you can build an app that would run on different operating systems. As you can imagine, these apps are less customized and don’t have such a performance as with native development. On the other hand, with this approach, you can get a “platform agnostic” application even with a relatively small budget. The process of building such an app does not take so much time as with native or custom apps.
4. Mobile Web App Development
To use a web app, a user doesn’t need to actually find, download and install it. Everything works in the browser. Still, web apps can use most of the device’s hardware and software, delivering push notifications and so on. This kind of application works really great in the e-commerce industry. They do not require a very high speed of Internet connection and some functionalities are available even offline. Building a mobile web app would be cheaper than a native one.
5. Hybrid Mobile App Development
Hybrid apps are created with the help of web development technologies like HTML, CSS, and JS based applications. These apps show web content with the help of WebView (native wrapper). A hybrid app is something between the web and native apps. Hybrid apps are multi-platform apps and can run on different operating systems. They are also relatively cheap to build. On the other hand, you would compromise in performance and functionality. These kind of apps can be created using tools like Ionic, Apache Cordova, Xamarin and others.
These days people spend most of their time on their gadgets browsing the web, using applications and so on. Any competitive business needs to have a solid online presence. It can be a website or an application or even both (depending on the business and its goals). By building the right kind of application, you can reach your target audience and deliver the solution they have been looking for. Thus, you can significantly increase your sales and revenue.
Now, when you know the basic differences between different types of mobile applications, it would be easier to tell which one is the best solution for your business. As mentioned previously, everything depends on your technical requirements and your business goals. To make the right decision, it would be best to do research and find out what is your target audience. Then, you can prepare a technical requirement and decide what kind of app you need. Good luck!