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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.