• Michael K. Williams

Types of mobile applications

The number of mobile device users is growing steadily, which affects the expansion of the application market. New programs for Android, iOS, Windows and other operating systems are released daily, and each one finds its consumer.

There are several types of mobile applications, differing in functionality, timing and cost of implementation. Let's analyze each type, analyze the pros and cons and determine which one will be the best option in a given situation.

According to the peculiarities of work, all applications are divided into 3 groups:


Cross-platform, they are hybrid;

Web applications.

Native applications

The most widespread and demanded type of applications. Created for a specific operating system (Android, iOS, Windows Phone).

A striking example of native applications are preinstalled programs on a mobile device: phone book, alarm clock, calendar, etc.

Social networking applications are also native: Facebook, Instagram, VKontakte, Twitter.

Choosing a native application for your business, you will receive a huge functionality:

Various effects,

Branched menu,

Beautiful and unusual animation.

Such applications work quickly, take up less memory, consume battery power more economically, make the most of all the functions of the operating system: voice recorder, phone, calendar, etc.

Geolocation designation in the native application allows you to customize offers and promotions based on the user's location.

For example, you can send push notifications when a consumer is near your store or cafe, or they can get a discount that is valid only in their region.

For maximum audience coverage, it is recommended to develop applications for different operating systems. They may have the same design and functionality, but they will be different programs.

Please note that the development of several applications (even those that seem exactly the same to you) increases not only the terms of work, but also its cost.

Hybrid applications

Hybrid or cross-platform applications occupy an intermediate position between native and web applications; they are developed on the same platform for all operating systems (if they will be used as native applications).

This approach to development can significantly reduce the time and cost of work , but the capabilities of the application itself are also reduced. Hybrids have more options in terms of functionality and personalization for the user.

It is ideal for visually rich applications such as games.

The disadvantages of hybrid programs include limited access to the hardware of the mobile device. The design of such applications does not adapt to the expansion and size of the screen, which can cause a number of inconveniences. If the application is too complex, then it is better to opt for native development.

Web applications

Web applications are adaptation of sites for mobile users.

The indisputable advantage of such applications is the possibility of one-time creation for all platforms.

Of the disadvantages of web applications, it is worth noting that they do not allow using some built-in functions in a mobile device and, most importantly, they are not available in mobile application markets.

It all depends on the needs of the customer.

How to choose a platform?

Development cost

Given the development of a program for multiple platforms, native applications are the most expensive.

The cost of a mashup is usually about 30% higher than the cost of a native one for any one platform. Those. a hybrid will cost 30% more than a native iOS only. The lowest cost for web applications. This is due to the same code for all platforms and the use of a common set of tools.


This is one of the factors that affects the user experience of using the application.

Native applications have access to the functionality of the platform for which they are developed, which significantly improves the performance of such applications.

The performance of web applications directly depends on factors that we cannot control: the speed of the Internet, the browser that the user uses, the state of the mobile device itself.

With mashups, everything is ambiguous. With the right design, they can convert a web application to a native one well. However, if the application is complex, it is technically impossible to use many of the functionality of native applications. This can negatively affect the reputation of the application and cause much more problems than developing a full-fledged native application(Android App Development Company in Nyc).


The success of any application ensures its distribution. Hybrid and native apps are distributed the same way - in the app store. One of the advantages of this promotion is the ability to get organic traffic within the store. And if the app is doing well, it could end up on the homepage, driving additional traffic.

The disadvantage of this distribution is the limitations and requirements of the store, which often prevent the advertising of the application from being placed in the form in which we would like.

Web applications have no restrictions in this regard: you can run it on your own terms. A significant drawback is the lack of privileges that the presence of the application in the store gives.

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