A mobile app: What is it?
The phrase mobile app stands for mobile application. It is an application software that is created to run on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
The first mobile applications were around as early as the end of the 20th century, most of them consisted of arcade games, calculators, and ring tone editors.
More sophisticated software began appearing on devices in 2008, although most of them were created for general convenience and included things like a calendar, weather information, or a contact list.
Exponential growth over time
However, in the past 6 years, the use of apps and the function of apps has grown exponentially. In May of 2012, a report was released that indicated the use of apps by mobile users was overtaking the use of browsers – 51.1% to 49.8%.
In 2013, apps generated roughly $25 billion. Now apps can be used for everything from scanning a prescription or barcode to giving driving directions to downloading the boarding pass for your next flight. And as the use of apps grows, the importance of apps for businesses, including yours, grows with them.
Types of apps:
There are three general types of apps: native, web, and hybrid
– Native: Native apps are specifically created for a platform, such as iPhone or Android, and they can make use of all of the device’s features, such as the camera, GPS, list of contacts, and notification system.
They are called native apps because they are “native” to whatever device they were developed on for use. These are the apps that you generally find in places such as Google Play or Apple’s App Store. These apps are generally the fastest of the three types of apps.
– Web: A web app is a web site that acts like a native application, but they are not installed or implemented the same way. They use a web browser and usually use HTML5. They also rely on a common web browser in order to render the app.
However, the distinction between native apps and web apps is growing smaller as more sites begin using HTML5. A web app can have some advantages over a native app because they are easier to create and develop and they provide cross-platform compatibility.
– Hybrid: A hybrid app is just what its name sounds like – a combination of web app and native app. They “live” in an app store and can make use of a device’s features in much the same way as a native app.
However, they also rely on HTML5 and the browser, except that in the case of a hybrid app the browser is embedded in the app. Hybrid apps, like web apps, are easier to build than native apps, and they have the added benefit of being a bit faster as well. They also make it possible to access features of the device that a web app cannot always access, such as the camera or accelerometer.