Mobile application is mostly known as an App. It’s a software application which is designed to run or operate on mobile device, for instance tablets, watch and smartphones. Some of the mobile apps includes, calendar, email, contact database etc. The app has become more robust.
This high public demand for mobile apps has caused rapid expansion towards mobile games, GPS, factory automation, order tracking, location based services and ticket purchase. Hence million apps are now available.
The app is designed to serve the users in a similar way to those accessing services through Personal Computers (PCs). They are generally smaller individual units which has limited function. The App store offers many applications to iPhone, iPod and iPad touch. It may also refer to as web App, iPhone app, online app or some may call them as smartphone app.
Each mobile application provides isolated and limited functionality e.g. a game, mobile web browsing, whatsApp, or calculator. Mobile app avoids multitasking due to its limited hardware resources. To overcome the multitasking disadvantage, the apps are specified for a specific task or use. As a result, the consumer is able to pick the best or a desired app for his/her device.
He/she is also able to pick the app which is compatible with the device he/she possess as some apps are platform specific. The apps are downloaded from various application distribution platforms. The platforms are operated by different mobile operating system owners. These platforms includes, Google Play Store, App Store (iOS) etc. Users can download these apps for free from the platforms. Some other apps are priced. Hence, the user has to purchase the app online. The profit attained from the priced apps is distributed between the app creator and the distributer platform.
Types of Mobile Application
1. Native Apps
They are developed or designed for exclusively single Mobile OS (Operating System). Hence “native” to a particular platform/device. Apps designed for iOS, Windows phone, Android, Blackberry, and Symbian can only be used on those specified platforms. For instance, apps for Android phones can’t be used on iPhone platforms.
Advantage of the native apps is that its high performance. It also ensures good user experience because developers make use of native device UI. It has no app usage limitation as it access wide range APIs. Native apps are more expensive when compared to other types. The bigger price is as a result of the demand in developing app duplicates for the other platforms, maintenance and separate support.
2. Hybrid Apps
The disadvantages of the app are that the app lack in performance, overall optimization and speed when compared to native apps. Designers also face challenges when it comes to a scenario of making the app look the same in different platforms.
3. Mobile Web apps
They require minimal amount of device memory. This is because the personal databases are usually saved on serves. The data can be accessed by the users on any devices. But they must ensure that they are connected to an internet. So poor network connectivity results to a poor performance. Hence the cost is incurred in internet connectivity.
Categories of Mobile Apps
Depending on the purpose of the apps, mobile apps are grouped in the following categories.
o Gaming Apps
This is the most popular category. They are available in App Stores. From the statistics, it shows that game apps are the leading in downloading. New games evolve frequently. The main purpose is to entertain users. They includes, clash of Clans, Angry Birds, Solitaire, Angry Birds etc.
o Business Apps
Also known as productivity apps. They are second popular. Used for buying, billing, booking, sending emails etc. Examples include, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Indeed Job Search, Dragon Dictation, Square Register etc.
o Educational Apps
Used mostly by learners. Students may use it to learn while out of the class and are able to adjust their learning pace. They are also used by teachers and also to some organizations. Examples include, Duolido, Quizlet, Lumosity, Photomath etc.
o Lifestyle Apps
They cover human activities and also interests. From fitness, shopping fashion. They include Tinder, AroundMe, PINK Nation, DailyHoroscope etc.
There are more categories of mobile apps. The main essence of the category is the purpose at which the apps are designed for. The above categories discussed are the common one.
In conclusion, the golden rule in developing mobile apps is to make human life easier, either to certain group of individuals or to everyone. It should be known that all types of apps, be it hybrid, native or web apps, they are designed for catering the needs of users. Each app has its strongest advantage and disadvantage.