Currently, the application is used by both large and small companies with many different purposes. It is used to streamline production and increase ease of work. In this article, we will discuss what the mobile application is, different types of mobile applications, and examples of common applications in use today.
If you have ever spent a little time learning about the activities of building apps on mobile phones, you will probably know briefly about the terms such as Native App, Mobile web app, or Hybrid App. These are the basics of mobile programming. Based on the programming language, types of mobile application can be divided into three categories as follows:
- Native App: native app.
- Web App: web application.
- Hybrid App: hybrid application.
Although they are all applications programmed for use on mobile, each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Table of Contents
- What is a mobile application?
- Native application
- Web application
- Hybrid application
What is a mobile application?
A mobile application is defined as a type of software that can be installed and run on computers, tablets, smartphones, or other electronic devices. Most mobile applications have specific and narrow functionalities.
For example, a food delivery mobile application can be designed only for a user to receive food delivered from local restaurants and cannot be used for anything else such as shopping for groceries or making restaurant reservations. There are millions of apps available in different categories like business, productivity, shopping, and scheduling.
Apps can be particularly important for businesses for a number of reasons, including:
- Help business owners quickly deploy software that helps companies operate more efficiently.
- Cost savings than other types of software.
- Expand the reach of a business.
- Increase a company’s productivity.
- Allow employees to perform business functions outside of the office.
- Offer a number of services for businesses, including accounting, inventory management, and CRM software.
What is a native application?
Native App, also known roughly as Native Application – is one of the types of mobile application written specifically for a type of operating systems such as iOS, Android, and Windows using the respective programming language. For example, the Android operating system will use the Java or Kotlin programming language, iOS is developed in Swift or Object-C, or on the Windows operating system, it is only suitable for C#.
What are the strengths of the native application?
- The first and also the biggest advantage of native apps is that it allows users to access and use all the features easily. At the same time, it is very rare to see errors if it is designed completely. Native app access features include hardware such as camera, GPS, recording device, etc.; Personal rights such as copy, create, write, read files on the phone’s memory, make calls, text messages, etc.
- User experience: Most users care little about technology, they just need to know if the app has easy and smooth operation or not. Research by Equation Reach: 79% of users will only retry an app once or twice if it doesn’t work for the first time. And the Native app has proven the ability to please users better than other types of mobile application.
- Native apps are great for products that require high performance and have custom features that are cooperative with the platform.
- Data protection/Data Security – It’s a lot easier to make the Native app secure. That’s the advantage a lot of companies are interested in providing their customers.
- Overall functionality – The application will have critical capabilities to connect the hardware features of the device and to different databases. No additional plugins or tools are needed.
- Lighter build – Compact build capacity, less device memory consumption.
What about the weaknesses of a native application?
Native app or any other app is not the perfect version. Aside from the advantages, they will have a few minor downsides that can be difficult to use.
A native app can only run on a certain operating system. For each operating system, the programmer has to write its own code, leading to inconsistencies between application versions, high costs, and requiring the programmer to master multiple programming languages.
The version diversity of the operating system hinders the popularization of native apps, leading to devices running the old operating system failing to install.
>> Read more: Top 7 best Native App Example that Merchants can learn from
What is a web application?
A Web Application (also known as Progressive Web App) is a computer program that uses a web browser and web technology to perform tasks through the Internet.
Understanding “What is a web application?” is not enough, you should also know how this versatile application works to make the management process more smooth.
How do web apps work?
Web Application requires the webserver to manage requests from the client, the application server to perform the requested tasks, and sometimes a database to store information. Application server technologies range from ASP.NET, ASP, and ColdFusion, PHP, and JSP.
Here’s the typical web application’s operating sequence:
- The user activates the request to the web server over the Internet, through a web browser or user interface from the application.
- The web server forwards the request to the appropriate web application server.
- The Web application server performs the requested task, such as querying the database or processing the data and then produces the result according to the requested data.
- The web application server sends the results to the webserver with the requested information or the processed data.
- The web server responds to the client with the requested information appearing on the user screen.
Web app example
Web applications include online forms, shopping carts, word processors, spreadsheets, video and image editing, file conversion, file scanning, and email programs. Popular applications include Google Apps and Microsoft 365.
Google Apps for work include Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, online storage, etc. Other functions include the online sharing of documents and calendars. This allows all team members to access the same version of the document.
7 Main benefits that web application brings to a business
- Web applications run on multiple platforms regardless of the operating system or any device, as long as there is a compatible browser.
- All users can access the same instance at any time.
- They are not installed on the hard drive; therefore, you do not need to worry about the effects of capacity.
- Easy installation and maintenance: By using the web app, you will avoid using troublesome software installation and memory on any device.
- Web application reduces software piracy in subscription-based web applications.
- A higher level of security: Since web applications store information on a remote service, as long as you know your URL (web address), username, and password, you can securely sign in to any computer or mobile device connected to the internet.
- They reduce costs for both the business and the end-user because the business requires less support and maintenance and lower requirements for end-user computers.
Web apps allow them to exchange information with target markets and execute transactions quickly and securely. However, efficiency only occurs when businesses can capture and store all the necessary data, have the means to process information, and present the results to users.
What is a hybrid application?
The hybrid application is the perfect combination of the advantages of Native App and Mobile Web. This application is similar to most other types of mobile applications.
They are installed on the phone so you can take pictures, connect with friends through social networks, play entertaining games, or many other useful functions.
This difference allows Hybrid to access most of the functions of the mobile phone hardware including camera, phonebook, accelerometer, sound, etc. This is an advantage of Hybrid compared to other applications when not restricted from accessing mobile phone browsers.
Advantages of hybrid application
Hybrid is an application that possesses many outstanding advantages such as:
- Hybrid is an application that only needs to be written once but can be run in many places to maximize cost savings.
- This application can be easily posted to the Play Store or App Store for users to easily download and use.
- Hybrid App can do many functions that a Native App cannot do.
- The Hybrid has its own embedded browser with applications.
- Hybrid can take advantage of many features available in mobile phone equipment.
- Hybrid App helps web developers use some of AngularJs, CSS, HTML skills to create mobile applications without having to know Objective – C or Java.
- The development of the Hybrid App is easier than with other applications.
- Maintenance of the Hybrid App is simple and fast, it does not take much time.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Application
Although it possesses many outstanding advantages among types of mobile application, the Hybrid App cannot avoid minor disadvantages such as:
- Hybrid apps run slower than Native Apps.
- In the process of using Hybrid, sometimes it gets jerky.
- The visual interface is less familiar than other applications.
- Certain hardware-related tasks can be difficult to perform.
>> Read more: What can we learn from the best hybrid app examples
This article can help you not only answer the question “What are the types of mobile application?”, but also help you understand more deeply the value that it brings to your business. Each type of mobile application has different advantages and disadvantages. It is important that you understand them well and always take the time to think about which ones you like and are suitable for you.