Mobile journey – The four types of mobile App.
Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog
There are four distinct types of mobile app that should be understood, before a company starts on a Mobile journey.
- Web Apps – Mobile websites or apps that run from inside a browser.
- Native Apps – Typical mobile apps these can be downloaded from app stores
- Hybrid Apps – A mix of both web app and a native container.
- Alternative Native Apps – App’s which are not written in a Native language, but compiled to a Native runtime.
Web Apps and Mobile Websites
- Runs inside a browser (Safari, Chrome, etc)
- Built like a regular website or a web app
- Designed to look good on mobile devices
- Easy to build (HTML/CSS/JS), this enables your web site developers to move into mobile development.
- Easy to maintain
- Cheaper than native and hybrid apps
- Single app can be made to run on all platforms.
- Needs to run in a browser
- Slower than a native apps
- Less interactive and less intuitive than a native app
- No icon (Although short cuts icon’s can be made)
- Cannot be submitted to a app stores.
- Cannot interact with device utilities, for example Camera, security etc.
- It is difficult for a Web App to interact with a Mobile App.
- Database storage on the device is limited to the amount allowed within the browser.
Native Mobile Apps
- Most common type of mobile app found on mobile devices.
- Built for specific platforms
- Built using native programming languages
- Uses the App stores to distribute the mobile apps like the Apple App store, the Google play store or the Microsoft Store.
- Very fast
- Built to run on specific platform
- Distributed in app stores
- Interactive & intuitive
- Interacts with device utilities – Camera, Maps, Thumb recognition Security, face recognition security, Cloud, eMail, Calendar etc.
- Single platform, although typically you can easily support both Tablet and Smart Phone shaped devices with one app.
- Harder typically higher level languages for example Swift for Apple, Java for Android or C# for Windows.
- Very expensive to develop and test
- Harder to maintain than Web App’s
Hybrid Mobile Apps
- This is a combination of native & web apps
- The HTML runs inside of a container or webview, this container is usually a Native application.
- Much cheaper than a native app
- Single app for all platforms
- No browser needed
- Can usually access device utilities using an API
- Faster to develop than native apps
- Slower to run than native apps
- More expensive than web apps
- Less interactive than native apps.
- Does not have the same user experience of a native app.
Alternative Native Apps
- These applications are not built using Native languages like Swift for Apple, Java for Android or C# for Windows. They are built using a variant language like:
- Xamarin – A native app built using C# with Mono .NET framework.
- Agentry – A native app built using a 4GL (4th Generation language) including database design and synchronisation.
- Able to use alternative languages
- Quicker to develop than the native languages
- Allows cross- platform development
- Not as many plugins required to interact with mobile device hardware.
- Dependant on Third party product roadmap’s