Tech Updates

Right Mobile Application Development Approach and Methodology

Learn how to choose the right mobile app development approach for the four most broadly used types of applications in the market.

Written by Niel Patel · 5 min read >
right mobile app development approach
  • Native Mobile Applications — that provide high performance and excellent user experiences.
  • Hybrid Mobile Applications — a native foundation with web-based flexibility
  • Progressive Web Applications — business agility with improving standards for functionality
  • Responsive Web Design — universal web solutions that centralize business functions
  • Cross-Platform App Development – Effective for budget control or low funding

Mobile app development is a tedious task. Choosing how to build a mobile app has the most dramatic effect on the eventual cost, time, and success of the project. Every mobile app idea has unique requirements that drive the decisions about which technologies, SDKs, and development tools can be used to build robust mobile apps. Some apps require maximum access to hardware for rich visual representation, and some require high flexibility to deploy changes in response to business needs.

In the first half of 2020, worldwide spending across app stores netted $50.1 billion – an subsequent increase of 23% from the first half of 2019 (Source: Forbes). Mobile app development is all set to score new records in 2020, even in COVID-19 times. Though mobile is on the rise, it is significant to choose the best approach that accommodates all your requirements, optimizes development time, and minimizes the development cost. If you hire a reliable mobile app development company, you can stay stress-free. The company can guide you throughout the process and develop smart solutions for your business. 

WHY ARE THERE DIFFERENT MOBILE APP DEVELOPMENT APPROACHES?

Mobile software development is still software development. If there’s one thing that twenty years of “desktop” software creation has taught the industry, it’s that

Each application is distinct. Every application has requirements that determine how it should be developed. For a rich visual display, some apps need full hardware access.
Some apps necessitate full versatility and the ability to deploy changes rapidly in response to changing business requirements.

A look inside every company’s product portfolio today would show a mix of web-based applications, desktop-based applications, and possibly software targeted at cross-platform plugins such as Silverlight, Flash, or Java.
In a new age of mobile software development, the same concepts apply. A mature mobile company with a well-thought-out plan would use a combination of Web, Hybrid, and Native approaches to create mobile apps. Knowing how to select the best approach for each application is the secret.

So, here are top mobile app development approaches that you can take for positive outcomes in the future.

  1. Native App Development

Native applications are built in a specific programming language for a specific device platform. It means the mobile app developers use platform-specific programming language, software development kits, and development environment. For instance, if you pick Android then the programming language will be Java or Kotlin, IDE will be Android Studio, and SDK will be Android SDK, and in the case of iOS then programming language will be Swift or Objective-C, IDE will be Xcode, and SDK will be iOS SDK.

When to choose Native app development?

  • When you have time and budget to acquire separate teams for iOS and Android app development
  • When you want to build a superior user interface and high-tech performance apps
  • When you want to have full access to the device’s hardware-related features, including gestures, camera, geolocation, etc.

More Advantages of Native App Development Approach

  • Overall, native apps have the best performance
  • Platform-specific UI implementation
  • 100% support of OS features
  • Total access to hardware-related features
  • Clear app update path and supported toolset
  • Native apps are highly reliable, secure, and responsive
  • Hybrid App Development

Developing a hybrid mobile app comes with a multitude of benefits for you and your customers. Hybrid apps are growing in popularity as they are less complicated to build and are a cost-effective option. If your website isn’t that complicated in terms of UI/UX, then hybrid apps are the right choice. Unlike native or web apps, hybrid app developers ensure that the app works seamlessly on every device and platform.

Advantages of Hybrid App Development

  • One of the biggest advantages, managing one codebase for your application
  • Not only saves time and money but also reach the market quickly and start generating profits
  • Allows you to access some of the device features also
  • Cross-Platform App Development

When it comes to native and cross-platform enterprise mobile app development, you need to look into business requirements. It may look like hybrid & cross-platform are the same, however, they are not. Cross-platform app development results in faster and uses a single toolset to deliver apps across multiple platforms. Some popular technologies that are used to develop cross-platform apps are React Native, Flutter, and Xamarin.

When And Why To Choose Cross-Platform App Development

  • When you want to build an app with a simple user interface but heavy logic
  • Cross-platform apps are 30% cheaper and 40% quicker than native apps
  • Allows up to 70% code reusability
  • Progressive Web App (PWA) Development

PWA is a smart step towards building the functionality of native apps in web apps. With the development of these types of apps, you can use features like push notifications, load on the home screen, and offline mode which makes it much similar to native app development. The dedicated progressive web app developers ensure they use the best set of practices to deliver a uniform and seamless experience to its users.

Advantages of PWA App Development

  • PWA offers 92% less data consumption compared to traditional apps
  • It might be cheaper but not at the expense of less functionality or quality  

How Do You Choose The Right Approach For Mobile App Development?

Choosing the best approach entirely depends on the requirements and budget of a company. But certain questions that are asked by app development companies based on which they can suggest you the right path for development. For instance,

Who is your target audience?

There is a big difference between B2B (business to business), B2C (business to customers), and B2E (business to employees) apps. Internal apps are often prioritized based on scalability and flexibility over rich experiences, thus hybrid and cross-platform are an ideal platform for them.

How long you have time to develop your app?

Timelines are a crucial factor in any software project development. If you have the goal to reach a global audience through multiple platforms in short timelines, then app developers probably choose PWA development.

Does your app need any device-specific features?

If you want GPS, camera, or any other in-built features, then native apps are the safest choice. Moreover, it offers seamless performance and high-tech security to the users.  Native apps provide rich experiences and animated interfaces that give you a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Key Approaches to Mobile Development Explained

The two most popular mobile operating systems are Android and iOS. Despite getting half as many downloads as Google Play Market, Apple’s App Store generates 75 percent more sales, according to App Annie. The takeaway is that launching an app that only supports one platform means foregoing a significant portion of sales as well as a large portion of the potential audience.

Given all of the advantages of native growth, creating two native apps at the same time may be far more wasteful. What if you plan to include Windows Phone and Blackberry devices in your coverage? It appears that creating a single app that can run on all platforms is a much better choice. Is that true, though?

So under what circumstances should you consider cross-platform or hybrid app development?

  • Your team lacks experience in native development.

Your team will use HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript to build apps without having to learn platform-specific languages if they use any of the previously mentioned technologies. You can also use all of your favorite libraries, such as AngularJS, ReactJS, and Ember.js.

  • You’re short on time.

If the time to market is less than six months, the hybrid method will save you a lot of time, while cross-platform will take you somewhere in the middle. Both approaches could be preferable because the software is created from a single source code and distributed across platforms, requiring much less effort than native apps.

  • You’re building an app for a temporary campaign.

Users wouldn’t want to download a big app for a one-time event that they will probably delete right after use. Still, such an app can improve a participant’s experience with the ability of offline access to the schedule or important documentation.

  • Midsize businesses

Cross-platform and hybrid would be a suitable solution for small companies that do not have the budget to support several development teams required for Android, iOS, and Windows. When you have a small team of developers and aim for more than one market, you can quickly accelerate growth with each of the approaches.

  • Low-budget applications with simple UI but heavy logic

Most of the cross-platform tools provide a close to native level of hardware capabilities and allow for a decent looking UI without much customization. This is particularly handy for B2B companies and enterprise mobility projects that set functionality way above looks. In case your project is for internal file or news sharing and a simplified interface, you will be satisfied with a hybrid app.

A Step in the Right Approach

You might get tempted when you advised going for the one size fits all solution to mobile app development. Any strategy that attempts to develop all apps using one approach can lead to inefficient development decisions, leading to wasting development time and money. Hire a dedicated mobile app development company that can guide you throughout the app development process and let you make the right choice. 

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