When You Should Use Each Type of Mobile App Development
If you have ever considered approaching a mobile app development agency in Chicago for your brand, now is the right time to do so. The next wave of sweeping SEO changes is coming, and they will be big. To prepare for that, first start by learning about the different types of mobile apps.
This guide explores the four types of apps and breaks them down in layman’s terms, including:
- Why you should consider apps for your business
- The four types of apps and their pros and cons
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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Why Modern Businesses Need Mobile Apps
A massively popular trend right now is to apply artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to almost everything a brand does. AI has positioned itself as an increasingly relevant concept in content creation, from “writing” articles to “producing” videos and images.
The new, upcoming trend that everyone is discussing is mobile app development. While most, if not all, of us on the internet have experience using mobile apps, it is a different story when you think about app development. Start by learning the basics — the four types of mobile apps — outlined below:
Native Apps, the Best Choice for a Smooth UX
A native app is built specifically for a device type (desktop or mobile) or operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux). It taps into the device’s hardware and features to deliver an unparalleled user experience (UX). The native app sits at the higher end of app development.
A downside to this is that developing a native app has considerably higher costs that go along with its promise of better UX. In particular, you must build the app for each device type or system individually. Logically, you address app issues separately, leading to higher upkeep costs.
- Why choose native apps: A native app puts to use the original features of a device or operating system to create an immersive experience. It keeps your users engaged by giving them plenty of online and possibly offline functions. Native is best suited for businesses that want to deliver on UX.
- When to use native apps: A native app is resource heavy, both on the business’s finances and the device’s hardware. It works best when the developers have enough time to fully define its intended features and run ample tests to ensure a smooth rollout.
Web Apps, the Fastest and Cheapest to Build
If you want more relatable reasons to invest in mobile app development, think of the apps that most people use daily at work. Consider your business and how often you access Gmail, Zoom, and Slack products through a browser. They fall under the web app type of mobile app development.
Unlike a native app, a web app has limited functions and requires an active internet connection to access it. However, it has the advantage of accessibility due to its reliance on browsers. That means relatively faster outsourcing work for any mobile app development agency in Chicago.
- Why choose web apps: Out of the four types, a web app is by far the easiest and simplest because of its minimal requirements. As long as it works as intended on browsers, it is ready to use on every device that can install and use that browser.
- When to use web apps: Although internet usage is slowly moving in favor of mobile devices, web apps are not at a disadvantage. Web apps are a viable and cost-effective choice. In fact, the push for responsive design means that web apps should follow soon.
Hybrid Apps, a Suitable Middle Ground for All
A hybrid app is in between native and web apps. In layman’s terms, it is a web app hidden behind a native app user interface (UI). This gives it several advantages, such as a smooth experience, despite being lightweight and having fewer features.
Unlike native apps, hybrid apps fit different devices and operating systems. It does this by using a single codebase that can be packed into different native app shells, making it faster to deploy on many platforms simultaneously. Maintaining multiple hybrid apps is also easier.
- Why choose hybrid apps: Users often cannot tell the difference between a native and a hybrid app. Their primary concern is that the app is functional and accessible in the first place. Besides, hybrid apps tap into features such as notifications and camera use.
- When to use hybrid apps: Hybrid apps are a good middle ground for businesses that want to be present in app stores without depleting their resources on app development. They work best for companies that want to reach new users beyond just their websites.
Progressive Web Apps, the Best of Both Worlds
Although native and hybrid apps sound ideal, web apps have worked hard to keep pace. The progressive web app (PWA) raises the bar of what browser-based apps can do. It essentially packs a web app like a native app without installation.
All that is needed is to add it to your home screen to get it set up. Once you open the app, it runs on the browser you used to “install” it, and then functions exactly as it would when opened as a browser tab. That makes it a slighter approximation of a native app, except it has full web app functionality.
- Why choose progressive web apps: Many popular web apps like YouTube have begun modifying their services to accommodate PWAs. With one click, you can have a YouTube PWA ready to go. It truly gives you the best of the web and native versions.
- When to use progressive web apps: If your business already has a web app, this is the best way forward. PWAs, like web apps, are much better for SEO because they exist on your website and have a greater impact on search engine results page (SERP) rank.
The online space is highly competitive, so businesses always look for improved ways to get ahead of the field. The mobile app development race is a perfect example of this because you have many options, each with different pros and cons.
Need help creating the right mobile app development plan for your business? Contact us to learn how we can help.
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