3 Types of Mobile Apps for Business and When To Use Them
For most businesses, creating their own app requires the help of experts, such as a mobile app development agency in Chicago. However, before you start pitching ideas, you must have a clear end goal in mind. Knowing the three types of mobile apps is the first step in that direction.
This guide defines each type, presents a few benefits, and the best use cases for your review.
1. Develop a web app for greater accessibility
2. Tap into device features with a native app
3. Reach more people faster with a hybrid app
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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1. Develop a Web App for Greater Accessibility
A web app is the most basic type that a mobile app development agency in Chicago is likely to create for clients. Any app developer you hire would recommend this as a business’s first step into the mobile app arena, because it uses the least time and financial resources to make.
Its most prominent upside is that anyone can access it through any device or operating system (OS), without the need to install anything. However, this limits the app’s features to what the browser can use, as well as requires an active internet connection for accessing and using the app.
Overall, choosing web apps offers the most potential benefits for the least amount of investment.
- As a service that exists on your website, a web app adds to your SEO and SERP rank.
- A web app is faster and more cost-efficient to develop than other types of mobile apps.
- Users can access them anywhere and from any device with a good internet connection.
Despite its simplicity, the web app is not lacking compared to the more intricate native app or the popular hybrid app. ChatGPT, which shares the same base model as the top AI mobile apps on the market, is a web app. In fact, these apps rose to their spot thanks to ChatGPT’s reputation.
Here are some of the best use cases for developing a web app over other types of mobile apps:
1. Your app does not need to access a device’s native features to function as intended.
2. You want to reach as many people and make your mobile app as available as possible.
3. The target user base for your app is always online (i.e., have an internet connection).
2. Tap Into Device Features With a Native App
Unlike a web app, a native app focuses on creating a seamless user experience (UX) through the integration of device features with the app’s capabilities. Its versions differ according to the OS or device running them, which explains the discrepancies between iOS and Android apps.
Yahoo Mail is an excellent example of a native app. It integrates iOS’s native document scanner on its App Store version to allow users to attach clean copies of documents in their emails. This is noticeably absent from the Android version, which does not have a native scanner feature.
Given that, a native app comes with benefits that other types of mobile apps cannot replicate:
- Native apps make full use of native device features to consistently deliver seamless UX.
- Users are more likely to stay engaged, because of the app’s many immersive features.
- A well-made native app heightens the benchmark for your business and boosts its online reputation.
While powerful and effective, high development costs block native apps as a viable option for small businesses. Moreover, native apps are significantly harder to publish and maintain due to the strict guidelines of individual app stores.
A mobile app development agency in Chicago would recommend native apps in these cases:
1. Hefty development and upkeep costs are not an issue for your business and app idea.
2. Immersive UX is the biggest selling point of your app concept (e.g., mobile game apps).
3. You want to explore the limits of mobile app development and native device features.
3. Reach More People Faster With a Hybrid App
A hybrid app sits somewhere in the middle of a native app and a web app. It is built more or less like a web app, but with the ability to use native device features for better UX like a native app. That makes it ideal for businesses that offer essential services, such as travel and e-commerce.
Developers can create a native-like app for just about any app market that they want to enter, using a single codebase. What’s needed is to wrap it in a native shell, which is taking the app’s code and making it look and feel like a native app. Users can then download the app to their devices.
The key advantages of choosing a hybrid app includes:
- It functions similarly to a web app but with the offline usability and the UX of a native app.
- Development and turnaround time are shorter for a hybrid app than for a native app.
- You can develop and maintain apps for multiple OSs and device types simultaneously.
A hybrid app works best for expanding your reach beyond your website (i.e., app stores), without spending too much time or resources on app development. This type of mobile app works best for startups and small businesses that need to make smart and frugal choices.
In addition, hybrid apps work better than either native or web apps in the following use cases:
1. You offer a SaaS product and want to expand your reach among primarily mobile users.
2. Content is your main product, and you want to make it available to your users offline.
3. You want to test the waters before diving into developing a native app for your business.
Today’s businesses are turning to mobile apps for new opportunities, and so should you. But that does not mean rushing into it is the answer. Take time to learn about each type of mobile app to pick the best one for your business, users, and resources. Consult an expert if possible.
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