App development or app dev is a broad term. We further categorize them by types, namely Native apps, Responsive Web apps and Hybrid apps.
- A native mobile app is a smartphone application that is coded in the same programming language as the platform for which the app is designed. Example Java for Android operating systems. Native apps provide fast performance, high reliability, may be used without Internet. This type of app is more expensive to develop because different apps need to be build for different operating systems.
- Responsive web apps are websites that renders itself to the device it’s being viewed from, example mobile phones, tablets, computers etc. We generally use responsive CSS frameworks such as Bootstrap to do this. Also, these sites run within the mobile’s web browser and do not have to communicate with a server. This type of app is cheaper to develop because same app can be used for multiple platforms. It is great for building minimum viable products or MVPs.
- Hybrid apps are similar to native apps. Unlike, web applications, these apps can use accelerometer, camera and local storage from the device. App design can be problematic because UI and UX conventions are different for different platforms. This is a good solution if cost is a factor but app needs to avail certain phone functionalities.
Apps can also be classified based on complexities. We built the following apps often: Simple Apps, Database Apps, Gaming Apps and Multi Feature apps.
- A simple app has few screens, 3 or 4 screens at most. These apps have minimum features. These apps do not store any user data or previous user interactions.
- Database apps stores information on the user's device or on a remote server. These types of apps allows users to save lists, manage logins, sync data between devices. In this type of app development, we also provide guidance on whether the data is built into the app as is the case with native apps or store it into online web services as we do in hybrid apps.
- Gaming apps can be very complex. Load speed, graphics, superior user experience are key to gaming apps. These are more expensive to build than traditional apps.
- Similar to simple apps, except that multi feature apps have several screens. These apps also have many features.