A Mobile Application is a computer program or software application that is designed to run on a mobile device such as smartphone or tablet computer or watch. Mobile applications originally are intended for productivity assistance such as email, calendar or contact databases. But public demand for mobile applications causes rapid expansion into other areas such as factory automation, GPS and location based services, order tracking, ticket purchases and so on. Therefore, there are now millions of mobile applications available.
Mobile applications are generally downloaded from application distribution platforms which are operated by owner of the mobile operating system, such as Applications Store (iOS) or Google Play Store. Some applications are free. But some applications have prices, with the profit is split between applications creator and distribution platform.
With mobile applications we serve to provide users with similar services to those accessed on PCs. Mobile applications are generally small and individual software units with limited function. The use of mobile applications software originally is popularized by Apple Inc. and its Application Store, which offers thousands of applications for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
There are 3 types of mobile applications:
1. Native Applications.
We develop native applications for a single mobile operating system exclusively. Therefore, they are “native” for a particular platform or device.
Native applications built for systems like:
- iOS on Objective-C or Swift.
- Android on Java.
- Windows Phone on Net.
In other words Android application won’t be able to be used on iPhone.
Main advantages of native applications are high performance and ensure good user experience as developers use native device UI. Moreover, an access to wide range of APIs that puts no limit on application usage. Native applications are distinctly accessible from application stores of their kind and have the clear tendency to reach target customers.
2. Hybrid Applications for all platforms altogether with Xamarin, React Native, Ionic, Angular Mobile Sencha Touch etc.
Hybrid multi platform applications are fast and relatively easy to develop. Single code base for all platforms ensures low cost maintenance and smooth updates. Widely used APIs, like gyroscope, accelerometer, geo-location is available.
On the other hand, hybrid applications lack in performance, speed and overall optimization in comparison to native applications for instance. There are also certain design issues due to application inability to look in the same way on two or more platforms.
3. Web Applications as responsive versions of website to work on any mobile device.
Web applications require minimum device memory. As all personal databases are saved on a server. So users can get access from any device whenever there is internet connection. That is why the use of web applications with poor connection would result in bad user experience. The drawback is access to not that many APIs for developers, with exception of geo-location and few others.