According to eMarketer, people spend more and more time on their phones, and the trend will only grow in the near future – according to forecasts, in 2022 people will sit on smartphones for 4 hours a day, and 88% of this time will be spent in applications. In this article, we analyze the types of mobile applications, how they work and how they differ from websites.

A mobile application is software that can be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet. It all started with simple games on push-button phones, but modern products can cover almost any need: pay taxes, make an appointment with a doctor, find vacancies on demand or a couple for the evening, order food and book a hotel.

If you plan to release your own application, we at AppCraft are ready to develop it and help with marketing – our team has been developing mobile services for more than 10 years and has created more than 200 projects for business. In the meantime, we’ll tell you what applications are and how they work.

Types of mobile applications

By business goals

Internal use

  • Services that optimize the work of employees within the company: corporate social networks and instant messengers, virtual office, cloud storage, etc.

As a marketing tool

  • Loyalty programs: discount aggregators, bonus cards and cashback systems for regular customers.
  • Online business services: programs for making appointments with a doctor, booking tours, hotels, etc. with the ability to conduct banking transactions.

In these cases, the application is used as a tool for implementing a marketing strategy – its interface allows you to send push notifications and reminders encouraging the audience to take advantage of a discount, buy a product, book a room or make an appointment with a doctor.

By appointment


Logic tasks, races, quests, quizzes, shooters, children, adults and family games – the possibilities of modern development are almost endless and allow you to create both a simple and a complex multistage virtual reality system.

For e-commerce and service industries

Here we collect everything that helps the company to reach as many potential audience as possible: programs for ordering a taxi, making an appointment with a beautician, buying tickets to the cinema, etc.


They help users to quickly receive relevant content: news from publications and newspapers, blogs with useful articles on psychology, exchanges with exchange rates and stock prices, tasks for language courses.

Social network

Services that help communicate via smartphone and tablet: VKontakte, Instagram, Facebook, Gmail, etc.

By the specifics of work


These are projects that are created for a specific platform, written in its native language and provide all the available capabilities of a smartphone: camera, contact list, GPS, health and sleep data, etc. Services for Android are most often written in Java, for iOS – Swift or objective-С.

Pros: high speed and performance, the ability to implement the maximum set of functions, an intuitive interface, the ability to work without the Internet, a reliable level of security, support from marketplaces.

Cons: high cost and long development process, expensive maintenance.

Mobile web apps

It can be called a site adapted to any phone. The web service can be set as a bookmark in the browser and used regardless of the platform, without downloading to the phone and without wasting memory.

Pros: simple and inexpensive creation process, no need to go through moderation and publish in every marketplace, easy access for users.

Cons: Internet connection required, limited interface, poor performance and speed, push notifications cannot be sent.


Universal services that are created for two platforms at once: iOS and Android and combine the features of web and mobile applications.

Pros: low cost and high release speed, cross-platform, offline updates.

Cons: the speed is lower than that of the native ones, incorrect work in the case of a bad Internet, limited visual capabilities.

How mobile apps work

How do they differ from websites

Mobile services are more difficult and more expensive to create, but they allow high-quality interaction with users – their costs quickly pay off and help build a loyal audience.

  • Notifications. Through the application, you can send push notifications and reminders, even if the person does not open the service, perform functions in the background and without an Internet connection.
  • Prompt feedback from the company via chat and technical support.
  • Individual service. It is possible to use geolocation, a person’s biological rhythm, data on interests and queries in search engines to offer an individual service: call a car to the house, create a diet and exercise regimen, offer the necessary analyzes taking into account medical history, or find a suitable pair according to interests.
  • It is more convenient to use: the application interface is adapted to user actions and has a clear structure with buttons.
  • Detailed analytics. With the help of statistics in the application, you can analyze the behavior of the target audience, draw up a more detailed portrait of the client and select effective marketing strategies.


There are two main blocks here: front-end and back-end parts. They act as a split system and interact with each other, transferring information and ensuring the smooth operation of the product.

Back-end the part is not visible to users, but it is on it that the entire logic of the site rests, data is processed and reactions are sent. Backend developers ensure the correct functioning of the interface, force each button to transfer a person to the desired page, make payments through banking systems and collect data.

Front-end provides the look and feel of the interface that users interact with. These are the design of pages, buttons, push notifications and other graphic elements, a map of the user’s journey and interaction with functions.

In which programming languages ​​are they created


Most of the Android apps in the Google Play Market are written on it.

Java is used for development for Android, cross-platform and hybrid interfaces, but in the latter two cases, you will need to use other languages ​​to take into account the specifics of each operating system.


It was created to overcome the shortcomings of Java and is used to write code for almost all new services on Android.

Objective C

It began to be used in the 80s of the 20th century. It was built on top of C and Smalltalk, and in 2008 Apple released the iPhone SDK 2.0, allowing you to create programs for iOS. At first it was considered an add-on to C, but when NextStep and Apple licensed it, Objective C became the official language of all iOS interfaces.


Swift has not only adopted all the advantages of Objective C, but also has been endowed with new features that make it easier to write and implement code.


Rust began in 2006 by developer Graydon Hoare, who wanted to combine the speed of C ++ with the robustness of Haskell. In 2009, Mozilla joined him, and a year later he was presented at the Mozilla Summit. Rust is now one of the most popular among developers. Used to create native and web applications on Android, iOS, Linux, Windows and Unix.


Used primarily for Windows Mobile, but recently C # has learned to work on Mac, Linux, IoS and Android. Due to its convenient syntax, strict structuring and a large number of libraries and tools, you can write different types of interfaces on it and solve any problems with less time and resources.

When is it necessary for a business

If users use a phone more often than a computer. You can track statistics through Yandex.Metrica or Google Analytics. If more than 50% of customers visit your site via a smartphone, this is a sign for action: provide users with convenient conditions for ordering, before competitors do it.

There is a loyalty system. Replace plastic cards and paper coupons with stickers with a convenient online service (ideally, it will work even without the Internet). Offer customers an electronic bonus card with points, a discount for downloading the application, and a convenient personal account for tracking activity.

Competitors are already using the app. If the market has already begun to use mobile technologies, it is definitely not worth waiting for. Explore the offers of other companies, come up with additional features for your own product and start developing so as not to lose customers.

We need new sales tools. The service allows you to implement marketing campaigns: hold sweepstakes and promotions, talk about new products and services, remind you to register and offer individual conditions for each person.

Application creation – a complicated process, but in the hands of an experienced team, everything is created quickly without loss of quality and at every stage is tested on a real target audience.

The AppCraft team deals with all stages of development: from analytics to release, provides prompt code improvement and technical support.

Over 10 years of work, we have created several of our own projects and more than 200 applications – messengers, corporate social networks, systems for banking products and online stores. If you want to create your own mobile business application, we are ready to turn your idea into a functional and popular product.

Contact us via the form to discuss the details and find out the exact price.

Every year, the popularity of mobile applications only grows – with a few taps with a finger, we order food and clothes, buy tickets and make an appointment with a doctor. If you are already thinking about a mobile application, now is the time to create one – a convenient, fast and contactless service will come in handy more than ever in the next few years.

In the article, we talk about the main stages and principles of application development – from analytics and testing to market entry.

The main stages of mobile application development

It is important to start any project with detailed planning, studying your own business, audience and competitors. The better the research, the fewer problems and improvements there will be in the future.


During the research, determine the goals of the business, study the audience and communication channels, analyze competitors – this will help determine the correct positioning. Analytics typically include executive and client interviews, focus groups, and peer review.

Such preparation will help to collect all the requirements and package them into understandable visual models: business process diagrams, mind map, user paths, in order to determine the basis for development and go to the prototype.

Monetization options

An app is another way to increase profits, so think about a monetization scheme while on the shore to take it into account when creating an interface.

Leading questions will help you decide on monetization:

  • What problem does the service solve?
  • What opportunities are people willing to pay for?
  • How much time do you have to monetize? Can you wait to build your customer base?

What are the ways of monetization:

  • Advertising. The audience uses the product for free, but in return, you show them ads from advertisers.
  • Paid features. In addition to the main functions of the application, additional features are implemented that are available only after payment. For example, access to a new location in the game or hide the profile and advertising in the dating service.
  • Paid download. In this case, payment is received at the first contact, but first a high demand is created: your offer should be unique and useful. This option is often used by the creators of corporate platforms and programs for photo and video processing.
  • Purchases. People pay for real and virtual goods – clothes and equipment for themselves or playable characters, in-game currency or other features.
  • Subscription. After exploring the free content, you can subscribe to additional content to receive more information. This approach is used by platforms with podcasts, media and highly specialized materials.
  • Reward for actions. A person receives bonuses for a certain activity: watching a video, following the rules or taking a survey. As a result, all parties benefit: the advertiser talks about his brand, the developers get a bonus, and the users get rewards.


Without a marketing strategy, even the most promising project will sink into oblivion. Take care of promotion at the beginning so that by the time of implementation the application is already on the customer wishlist.

You can advertise using targeted advertising, native materials in the media and blogs, affiliate programs, and viral techniques. Describe a portrait of your audience, study ways to promote competitors, create your own strategy and change it depending on the circumstances.

Technical task

After the analysis and elaboration of the development strategy, the stage begins at which the technical documentation is studied and the terms of reference are prepared.

Usually it is written in:

  • Objectives of the project.
  • User stories and a person’s journey map – describe what tasks people will solve using the service, and how they will do it.
  • Mandatory functions.
  • Technical requirements for interface, performance, user roles, security.
  • Implementation of functionality: UX and UI design.
  • Development stages.
  • Time required for all work.
  • Budget.

Describing interface requirements helps designers and developers understand exactly what the client wants and how it can be accomplished. The more detailed the TK, the higher the chance of getting what you really need and avoiding endless edits.

Most often, development studios help with the preparation of technical specifications. For example, in AppCraft, we always check the technical specification for compliance with platform requirements and develop it from scratch if you do not have enough time for it or if there are any difficulties.

Team organization

Usually, a dedicated project team includes: a tester, a UX UI designer, mobile developers – the number depends on the scale of the project – and a project manager who organizes the work of the team.

At AppCraft, we never involve external specialists for work, because we choose to work with time-tested people and closely communicate within the team. This approach has a big plus – each employee is focused on the final product and is interested in doing his job with high quality.

Design and prototype creation

At this stage, the UX / UI designer builds the logic of interaction between the pages of the registration and authorization screens, filling in data, personal account, shopping cart, purchase payment and order tracking. Develops the appearance of the future service in accordance with the terms of reference and corporate identity: selects a color scheme, fonts, renders icons, buttons, push notifications, sliders, etc.

After agreeing on the design, the designer prepares a prototype (if this was not done at the stage of preparing the technical specification) – it reproduces the basic logic, structure and functionality.

Typically, the prototype is created in the form of screens at each stage of the user journey. This is not yet a finished product, but it helps to build the foundation and test its functionality in order to fix bugs and improve the user experience at the initial stage.

More about prototypes in this article

Development of

One of the labor-intensive stages includes coding, architecture development and is divided into Back-end and Front-end development. Mobile developers must know the concept of the project, its uniqueness and be included in all processes in order to assess the viability of the idea and realize the wishes of the customer.

At this stage, Front-end programmers develop a well-thought-out and tested client interface and platform logic.

Back-end developers create a server for storing and exchanging information. Experts choose a programming language for writing code and hosting for the server and API, build a database management system. The better the options are selected, the faster the application will run.

Development can be done in several ways:

  • Native. A separate application is being developed for each mobile platform. This method is the most expensive, but reliable: you will receive full support from the stores, and the interface will work quickly and look as organic as possible.
  • Cross-platform. Developers use universal code for all platforms, but the operating system still runs it as native code. The most optimal option in terms of “price-quality”.

Read more about the pros and cons of native and cross-platform development in this article


Some companies set testing as a separate stage and thoroughly check the application only before release.

We think that testing the application should be carried out at every stage of development – when each part of the functionality is ready. It is better to spend more time fixing bugs before release than getting negative reviews on the page every hour after publication in the store. Therefore, we test each page as often as possible.


Before launching, it is important to carefully study the rules of the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and prepare page screenshots, marketing plan and description. After downloading, the stores check all the information, the relevance of the project and give a conclusion: will they publish the application or not. If everything went well, you can download it in a few days.

Publishing can be difficult, so it’s really important to read all of the store policies. At AppCraft, project managers do not leave clients alone with all this: they help with the publication of the application and advise on all issues related to registering accounts in stores, requirements for materials and their formats.

Refinement and technical support

After launch, you will be able to analyze which sections are the most popular and which are not very popular, how many people have completed targeted actions, and which pages should be improved. Carefully study and process all incoming data: they will help to refine the application and remove unnecessary functions. The analytics process is almost endless, so you will need technical support that will fix and promptly solve current problems, optimize the application and refine it.

In Appcraft, the warranty code support is 12 months. We completely transfer the rights to the application to the customer, but we continue to monitor system analytics and promptly fix problems in the application if they suddenly arise.

It might be interesting

Article: The cost of developing a custom mobile app for iOS and Android in 2021

Article: Checklist for developing and launching a mobile application

Article: Native or Cross-Platform Development? Side-by-side comparison.

In this article, I wrote about the features of developing android applications from scratch.

The stages described are a classic version of the development process, but we always discuss this process separately with each new client. Because it is important for us to synchronize with the customer and make the development process convenient and understandable.

At AppCraft, we handle all stages of development from analytics (basic primary analytics or deep research) to release and provide prompt technical support. For 10 years, we have created several of our own projects and more than 200 mobile applications for clients – messengers, corporate solutions, banking systems, e-commerce and social networks.

If you decide that you need a mobile app, think again. Will it solve your problems? Is there something in it that is not in any existing product? Are you ready to promote and support it? If you have doubts – write to us. We will share our experience and knowledge. If you are sure of your decision, write too. We will advise on all issues and turn your idea into a full-fledged product that will help maintain communication with customers and increase profits.