Mobile app company: how to build a mobile application

We are a mobile app company that had been specialize in building software solutions for mobile devices for at least last seven years gaining expertise and experience in this IT sector. Our company also provides IT consultancy services for our customers and don’t mind to share with our knowledge.

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Mobile development

consumption of smartphones has increased by 78% in the last three years providing software companies with work. The demand for mobile software has grown encouraging people to create new ways of its development. Today, people can try to design an app with no coding skills and help of software companies simply using the DIY platforms or build them with cross-platform frameworks and web technologies. But only those who have the knowledge of native tools will provide you with a flawless user experience and full access to the devices’ capabilities.

Native vs. Cross-Platform vs. Hybrid

Mobile software is gradually integrating into every aspect of our life and work helping us to shop, play, access the information and the latest news, communicate with people and perform many other actions with a click. This penetration in our everyday life increases mobile programs significance and variety. The diversity of software development opportunities also increased so that software design companies can offer you several ways to build a mobile software. Each of this ways has its benefits and drawbacks, so let us compare them.
  • iOS & Android
  • python
  • html5

Native mobile apps

Software companies consider native app development to be the best way to empower the mobile devices functionally and provide a user-friendly experience. Because such programs are written in a native programming language using platform manufacturer's SDK and require twice more coding if a software company is asked to build a software solution for two operating systems. Thus, native apps for iOS platform should be written in Objective-C or Swift programming languages, Android operating system requires Java programming, while programs for Windows Phone platform should be coded in C#, Visual Basic, and XAML.

Why are native mobile apps the best option?

Native programs have full access to the devices and operating systems capabilities and features. Asking a mobile app company to build a native app will enable to integrate any functionality you have ever met in other mobile programs. Such programs can utilize advanced features such as access to USB input, camera, audio, memory management, complex networking, etc. They are fast and have no performance limitations, what plays a huge role when it comes to intensive graphics or millions of active users. Devices’ manufacturers recommend utilizing these technologies as far as they enable development companies to build out-of-the-box user interface which updates with the operating system updates. The unique, responsive and bugs-free user interface can be created only with native tools.

The drawbacks of native development

No matter how qualified is a mobile app company, it can’t build a this type of software for all operating systems with only one code. To support multiple devices which run different platforms, developers have to make two or more separate programs spending twice or more time on the development process. Code can’t be shared between these programs, and it will take more time to go to market. App company will need to test several codebases before the launch. And as far as it requires more time, it will cost more, too.

Cross-platform applications

An alternative option for software development which is presented in numerous IT companies is a usage of cross-platform frameworks such as Xamarin, Appcelerator, and React Native. As cross-platform frameworks enable writing programs with nearly native performance in an intermediate language, such as JavaScript or C#, the huge part of the code up to 80% can be shared across required platforms. The thing that makes mobile programs look and perform nearly native is access to platform-specific APIs and libraries.

Are cross-platform apps a better option than native?

Taking into account that cross-platform apps have a UI which is close to native and shared code base with only pieces of native programming, cross-platform development seems to be a more beneficial option than native coding. But it isn’t as simple as it seems to be. Even though, cross-platform apps have shared code the amount of it can vary a lot depending on the level of customization and required features set. Development companies still have to write additional code, and the more functional the program should be the more code should be written in for each platform. The program speed can be slowed down due to on the go interpretation of the intermediate language used as a core. Access to the device and platform features also depends on the chosen framework and plugin support limiting the abilities of the programmers. Besides, if your program needs a heavy UI, the amount of shared code decreases significantly increasing the development time and losing the major benefit of cross-platform development, its time and cost.

Hybrid mobile apps

Unlike cross-platform apps hybrid ones rely only on web programming language HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. They render the UI utilizing embedded web browsers with a single codebase. The capabilities of the devices can be accessed via third-party APIs and plugins. Minimum customization and single codebase make them reach the market faster than other cross-platform and native apps. The most well-known framework for hybrid development which is also used in our development company is a Cordova, also known as PhoneGap. Other frameworks which can be used in this type of development are Trigger.IO, Telerik Platform, and Ionic Framework.

Should I ask mobile app company to build a hybrid app?

The time to market and shared code goes with prejudice to the program performance, especially on the older Android and iOS devices. As far as developers use Web APIs, the user interface looks like a website and quite general for all devices. Additional advanced features can be integrated only with the help of native programming using Objective-C and Java. The speed of the performance is also affected by the embedded web-browser control. Comparing Native, Cross-platform, and HTML5 Hybrid mobile apps the last one provides the fastest time-to-market with the most common user interface which is far from being called native. One of the biggest drawbacks of PhoneGap development is a problem of publishing PhoneGap apps on the App Store, but if you work with our development company we will ensure smooth submission taking all the worries.

Mobile-optimized web-based applications

Mobile app company can also offer you another option that will enable you to empower the employees to work remotely with access to the company data. It isn’t necessary to build native or cross-platform applications to mobilize the staff. One more option is to create a web program which is adjusted to smartphones and tablets. Unlike native, cross-platform and hybrid apps, web programs can not be discovered in any app store but can be easily accessed via an Internet browser and do not require any storage space. Such software is designed so that it could be used on both desktop and mobile devices adjusting to any screen size. It feels like an app on smaller displays and user interact with it with a touch-screen interface. The choice of software solution depends on your needs and the way you and your employees are going to use the program. If the main goal is to engage the users and remain on their mobile devices or provide offline access to the content and features that do not need an internet connection, mobile software development will be the most suitable option. Mobile-optimized software based on the web technologies can be a better choice for company’s internal processes, communicating, and data sharing.

Why DIY platforms can become a waste of money

Do-it-yourself platforms have got widespread currency among the entrepreneurs with limited resources and no coding skills. If your aim is to build a promotive application with simple functionality to claim your presence on the mobile market, you can try numerous DIY app makers instead of hire professional developers. Let’s provide you with information that you should know before you start working with an DIY building site.
What are the advantages of work with DIY sites?
  • Ease of use. Even if you had never worked with such site before, it wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to get the understanding how it works. Those who want to build a program with the help of such platform do not need any programming skills. Every element has its visual representation. You work with templates customizing them to your company image and adding relevant content. In other words, you get what you see.
  • One-way communication. One of the main challenges of mobile software creation is a communication challenge connected with a misunderstanding of the concepts, response timeout, and other reasons. Working with DIY app builders, you don’t need to wait for developers and don’t need to explain your needs and requirements.
  • Cost- and Time- saving. The usage of app making sites reduces the development time to a half of an hour letting you reach the target audience as soon as possible. The development and the maintenance will cost approximately $60 per month. At the same time, you will get a cross-platform solution that targets all major platforms.
The downsides of DIY platforms
  • Limited capabilities. DIY app makers offer only basic features creating a low-usable, common programs which reminds one another. It won’t let you build something remarkable and highly functional suggesting only simple mobile presence.
  • Buggy user experience. Even with an individual approach to each platform, developers face numerous challenges creating a bug-free experience. DIY approach inadvertently exclude a vast number of devices and users, making your app unable to perform on some of the smartphones and tablets. DIY makers try to embrace all the major operating systems with a single solution, but platforms are two different so that one solution can not be compatible with all their requirements.
  • Questionable benefit. DIY makers let release the program faster and cheaper, but the question is if this product meets your business requirements. Such a simple product won’t let you stand out from your competitors, won’t add value with fascinating functionality, won’t generate real return on investment and will be a hardly working program. Besides, it can dramatically influence your company reputation with poor quality.

Talk to a professional mobile app company

Our software company specializes in mobile software development delivering high-quality mobile solutions for U.S. and international companies all over the world. We will be happy to share our expertise on applications creation and discuss in details the difference between the types of mobile solutions as well as help you to determine the perfect solution for your particular case.