What is a Mobile Application?

 mobile application

In our days, we are witnesses to an important technological change. Smartphones and tablets are more and more present in our daily life; in some cases they can even replace our desktops or notebooks. There is a fierce battle between the main actors on this market. These are: Apple with its iOS operating system and Samsung and Google with Google’s operating system named Android. But, with the launching of Windows 8, Microsoft and Nokia are becoming important players as well. The future will be really interesting.

A native app can only be “native” to one type of mobile operating system: iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, Windows Phone, WebOS, etc. This is why an iPhone app works only on iOS devices — so if you want to also make your app experience available to Android or Blackberry users, you’ll need to develop and maintain a separate piece of software. That gets complicated and expensive.

In contrast, a mobile web app is software that uses technologies such as JavaScript or HTML5 to provide interaction, navigation, or customization capabilities. These programs run within a mobile device’s web browser. This means that they’re delivered wholly on the fly, as needed, via the internet; they are not separate programs that get stored on the user’s mobile device.

But what is a mobile application?

A mobile application (or mobile app), is a software program which can run on a device that has one of the operating systems mentioned above. Because these operating systems are made to run on mobile devices, a mobile app is made to run on a smartphone or tablet. These mobile apps can be found in a special place with a different name for each operating system: for iOS it’s App Store and for Android it’s Google Play.

Mobile apps for businesses!

The goal of such mobile apps is helping the users get in contact with the information give by a business. This information can either be: services, products, catalogues, etc. A typical business mobile app, that presents the products of a business, is usually made with the following pages:

– Business contact page(name, address, phone, map, etc)
– Category of products available for sale
– A page for each product(containing images, specifications, etc)
– A shopping cart page
– An ordering page

Mobile applications are a move away from the integrated software systems generally found on PCs. Instead, each app provides limited and isolated functionality such as a game, calculator or mobile Web browsing. Although applications may have avoided multitasking because of the limited hardware resources of the early mobile devices, their specificity is now part of their desirability because they allow consumers to hand-pick what their devices are able to do.

The simplest mobile apps take PC-based applications and port them to a mobile device. As mobile apps become more robust, this technique is somewhat lacking. A more sophisticated approach involves developing specifically for the mobile environment, taking advantage of both its limitations and advantages. For example, apps that use location-based features are inherently built from the ground up with an eye to mobile given that you don’t have the same concept of location on a PC.