What are mobile app development technologies 2

The 3 most important technologies in app development

When planning your app, you first have to think about which technology you want to use to make your app a reality. This decision has a big impact on the success of your app. We will briefly explain the most important technologies to you and show you the advantages and disadvantages.

The 3 big technologies

Various technologies can be used in the development of apps. There are classic native apps on the one hand and modern web apps on the other, which are increasingly in demand, or hybrid apps that are a mixture of the two variants mentioned. All three technologies have advantages and disadvantages and can be used in different ways.

Native apps

Native apps can be understood as the original form of apps. They are developed specifically for an operating system in the corresponding language, e.g. speaks Java for Android and Swift for iOS. They can be installed on the user's end device via the corresponding app store.

Benefits of native apps

The biggest advantage of native apps is their performance potential. Native app development is suitable for complex apps that need to utilize the maximum performance of a smartphone.

Due to the necessary compatibility with an operating system, hardware components such as sensors, RF modules, Bluetooth or NFC can be controlled immediately and with high performance. The native variant is the best option when it comes to implementing projects that place the highest demands on the smartphone.

In addition, the usability of native apps can often be better designed. The dedicated development for each operating system allows the design guides and native UI elements of the respective operating system to be better integrated.

Cons of native apps

Since native apps are developed in different programming languages ​​(Java and Swift), two versions always have to be developed and maintained. Both conceptions require more effort. In order to achieve the maximum of native development, the design guidelines of Android and iOS should be taken into account when creating the user interface.

Web apps

A web app is understood to mean a website with features of a native app. This means that mobile websites can be supplemented with push notifications or offline functionalities, or GPS and cameras can be accessed. Classic web technologies such as HTML, CSS or JavaScript are used for this.

Web apps are platform-independent because they use common web technologies. Here you don't have to write a separate application for each operating system, it is sufficient to program one version. This version is then called up as a website (via smartphone, tablet or desktop PC) or installed as an app (Android and iOS) on the smartphone.

This technology is sponsored by Google. Since 2019 it has even been possible to publish the app in the Google Play Store via TrustedWeb Activity and Android Studio. This is an essential factor in selling an app. Because the store generates relevant installations.

This variant is not supported by Apple, there is no way to offer the app in the app store.

Benefits of web apps

First of all, the low development effort is worth mentioning here, as only one technology is used for web and app. The speed of development is also an advantage.

Disadvantages of web apps

Apple does not currently support the distribution of web apps. In terms of complexity and performance, web apps cannot compete with native apps. In some cases, the user experience is not entirely native, as web apps are developed across platforms.

Hybrid apps

Here native apps are combined with web apps. Like web apps, hybrid apps are based on web technologies such as HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. However, they run in a webview container. Basically, you can imagine a hybrid app like a web app that uses frameworks to give the app a small native housing (= app container). Hybrid applications are often developed by the following frameworks: Cordova, PhoneGap, Ionic or React Native.

The app container serves as an interface between the native technology and the web technology. This allows native functions to be controlled directly as required. With the native housing, it is also possible to publish the app in the Apple app store.

Advantages of hybrid apps

Hybrid apps are interesting because they combine the advantages of native and web-based apps. They are native and can therefore also be offered in the Apple store. Hybrid apps are very easy to develop as well as to maintain, since only one website needs to be developed, which is then exported for the corresponding operating system.

Disadvantages of hybrid apps

Since frameworks such as ReactNative or Cordova are used here, there is additional effort in development and maintenance (e.g. through updates of the frameworks). So they are more complex than web apps. The performance cannot keep up with native applications either.

Which technology is right for you?

You have now got to know the 3 most important technologies. But which one is right for you?

If your app is to solve complex, computationally intensive tasks, we recommend the native variant. If your app is simpler, you can use a web app. For the middle ground, a hybrid app can be the solution.

Thus, the question of the right technology cannot be answered across the board. To do this, you have to take the factors of time and effort into account. Unfortunately, we cannot give you an insider tip here. You are welcome to get advice from our experts and get an initial assessment.