What is mobile application development?

BY: EMMANUEL URIAS

Mobile Application Development

As defined by MicroServices, mobile application development is the established procedures and processes involved when creating software for small wireless computing devices like tablets and smartphones. Much like web application development, mobile application development processes have their roots in traditional software development.

Software Development

When it comes to mobile application development, one requires access to software development kits (SDKs) that enables programmers to design and test their code application in a controlled simulated environment.

Common SDKs used include:

  • Unity
  • Android SDK
  • iOS Developer License (required to develop applications for iOS)

To create a successful mobile app, programmers need to go through the following phases:

  1. The research– Refining of the idea through research
  2. Wireframing– Creating the skeletal framework of the application
  • Technical Feasibility Assessment– Taking into consideration the application’s back-end systems
  1. Prototype– A rapid prototype is the app concept in actuality
  2. Design– Includes coding and designing of the interface
  3. Development– progressive development of the application
  • Testing– Test for functionality and any bugs that need fixing.
  • Deployment- Submission of final mobile application.

Types of Mobile Applications

The exponential popularity of smartphones and tablets have led to the rise of software creation in line with mobile application development. The two leading operating systems, iOS and Android have set the paced in standardizing the different types of mobile application development for programmers.

These different types of mobile applications include:

  1. Native Apps

Native applications are built for specific device platforms either Android or iOS. They are downloaded/ installed through an application store and accessed through an icon on the device. Native applications are designed to take full advantage of device features like the GPS, camera, and contact lists amongst others. When you think about a mobile application, the first one that comes to mind is probably a native application.  Examples:

  • Social media apps- Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
  • Games- Pokémon Go, Candy Crush
  • Navigation programs- Waze

 

  1. Web or HTML5 Apps

Based on the standard universal web technologies namely HTML5, JavaScript and CSS, web applications are implemented as a website that merely looks and feels like native applications. They operate and run on a browser typically written in HTML5.

It only takes advantage of a device’s GPS and camera features.

Examples: AliExpress, OLX, and Twitter Lite

  1. Hybrid Apps

Built with JavaScript, HTML, and CSS hybrid applications are a combination of native and web apps. They are obtained from an app store and take advantage of device features as a native app. Like the web app, they are accessed from a browser and rely on HTML.

Simply put, hybrid apps install like a native app but operate as a web app.

Examples:

  • Streaming search engines like JustWatch
  • Social networks like Instagram and Untapped
  • Cryptocurrency applications like Cryptochange

Behind every mobile application you love, there is the mobile application development behind it. With over 1.5 million applications available across application stores, there has been countless research and time put into developing the best mobile application for your enhanced user experience.