Types of mobile apps

There are three main types of mobile apps including native apps, web-based mobile apps and hybrid apps. Hybrid mobile apps combine elements of native and web-based apps. Native apps include Android, Windows Phone, and iOS. Hybrid apps are designed for platforms including Xamarin, Angular Mobile Sencha Touch, React Native, Iconic and others. On the other hand, web-based apps are responsive versions of websites designed in order to work on any mobile device.

Native Mobile Apps

Native apps are developed for a certain mobile device operating system like Windows Phone or Android. Therefore, they are native for a certain device or platform. Apps built for Android, Windows Phone, Blackberry, Symbian cannot be used on any other platform expect on their own. Therefore, a mobile app designed for Android can only be used on an Android device. Main advantages of native apps are good user experience and high performance. In addition, an access to broad range of APIs puts no limits on app usage. Native mobile apps are accessible form app stores of their kind and have that very clear tendency of reaching target customers. Some disadvantages of native mobile apps include higher costs in comparison to other types of mobile apps. Creating a native mobile app duplicates costs since maintenance and separate supports for different apps are required that result in greater product price.

“In my opinion, the future of mobile is the future of everything.”
Matt Galligan, Digital Transformation Manager at Salesforce

Hybrid Mobile Apps

Hybrid mobile apps are specifically built using different multi-platform web technologies like JavaScript and HTML5. Hybrid apps are website applications created in a native wrapper that means they use elements of both native and web-based apps. Hybrid apps also possess common cons and pros of both web mobile and native mobile applications. Hybrid multi-platform mobile apps are relatively easy to develop which is a clear advantage. Since code base for hybrid apps ensures that low-cost maintenance alongside smooth updates. On the other hand, hybrid application lack in speed, performance and overall optimization compared to native mobile apps. There are also specific design issues thanks to apps inability to look in the same way on different platforms.

Web-Based Apps

Web-based applications behave in very similar fashion to those native mobile apps. Web apps use a certain browser in order to run and they are commonly written in CSS, JavaScript or HTML5. Web apps redirect users to URL and further offer install options by creating a bookmark on their browser. The greatest advantage of web apps is that they require a minimum of device memory. Users can access web apps from any device that is connected to the Internet. All personal databases are saved on a certain server, so the use of web applications with poor internet connection commonly results in very bad user experience. Another drawback on web apps is access to not so many APIs, with exception of geolocation and several others. In addition, a performance of web-based apps is inextricably linked to network connection and browser work. Therefore, only around fourteen percent of time users spend on web-based apps as only some of device APIs can be used like geolocation.

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Categories of Apps

There are thirty-three categories of application in Google Play and twenty-to categories in Apple’s App Store. However, there are only seven app categories which have managed to reach more than three percent of users according to latest studies. Commonly used seven categories of apps include gaming apps, business, education, lifestyle, entertainment, utilities, travel, book, health and fitness and food and drink. Around twenty-four percent of users download gaming apps. Gaming apps are followed by ten-percent of users who download business, education and lifestyle apps. By far the most popular category is gaming apps. This is not surprising since the average personal time spent playing mobile games is constantly inversing according to the latest research. Mobile gaming and gaming apps have always been thriving, so developers spend more time and money into creating new games on regular basis. Gaming apps in popularity are followed by business app commonly referred to as productivity apps. Modern-day portable devices are capable of performing various complex tasks, so there is no wonder business apps used for billing, sending emails and checking working progress are on the second place. The most commonly used business apps include Adobe Acrobat Reader, Voxer Walkie-Talkie Messenger, and Indeed Job Search. On the third place are educational apps. Leading apps in education category are Duolingo, Photomath, and Quizlet. Educations apps are followed by popular lifestyle apps like Tinder, Text Free, and AroundMe. Entertainment apps are also very popular like Netflix, Dubsmash, Talking Tom Cat, Amazon Prime Video and other. Utility apps closely follow entertainment apps in a number of downloads. The most popular utility apps include Bitmoji, Flashlight, QR Reader, Speed Test and My Verizon. Other popular categories of apps include travel apps like Google Earth and Uber.