In this article, we learn about the different types of mobile applications.
Different Types of Mobile Applications
The types of mobile applications in testing play a very important role in defining your testing process.
Three different types of mobile applications:
1. Mobile Web Applications: These are the web pages that you open through the mobile browser.
2. Native Applications: These are the applications that are developed for one particular platform. (iOS, Android, Windows 10 Mobile, Tizen, BlackBerry, etc).
3. Hybrid Applications: It is a combination of mobile web apps and Native Apps.
1. Mobile Web Applications
Mobile websites are used by multiple people around the world.
Example: Tutorials Point
Benefits of Mobile Web Applications
Easy Development: Developing responsive design displayed on a smaller screen/hardware will make any desktop website mobile friendly.
Easy update: Just update in one location and all the users.
No installation is required, as compared to native or hybrid apps.
Disadvantages of Mobile Web Applications
Mobile websites cannot use some of the features. For example, access to the file system and camera, etc
Many existing websites don’t support offline capabilities (which means the internet is required).
Users won’t have the app’s icon on their home screen as a constant reminder. The website needs to be opened in a web browser only.
While native and hybrid apps appear on the App Store and Google Play, web apps won’t.
2. Native Applications
A native app is developed specifically for one platform/OS. It can be installed through an application store (such as Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store).
Example: Whatsapp, Facebook.
Benefits of Native Applications
Native Apps live on the device and are accessed through icons on the device’s home screen.
They can take full advantage of all the device features they can use the camera, the GPS, the compass, the list of contacts, and so on.
Native apps can use the device’s notification system and can work offline.
Push notifications, alert users every time a new piece of content/text is published or when their attention is required to the user.
Native apps maintain the UI design of each operating system thus they offer the best user experience.
For example, a Native App can have a left-aligned header on Android and a center-aligned header on iOS.
Disadvantages of Native Applications
High cost for building the app: Native apps developed for one platform will not run on another platform.
An App built for Android will not run on iOS.
We need to build a different App altogether for iOS. Because of this reason, we need to maintain multiple versions of the App.
Costly to build Native apps
3. Hybrid Applications
Hybrid Apps are a way to expose content from existing websites in App format. They can be well described as a mixture of Web Apps and Native Apps.
Examples: Instagram, Wikipedia.
Benefits of Hybrid Applications
Developing a Hybrid App is cheaper than developing a Native App.
It can be built for cross-platforms, i.e. reduced cost for App development.
Maintenance is simple, as there are not many versions to be maintained.
It can take advantage of a few features available on the device.
It can be found in the App Store and Play Store
It has a browser embedded within the app only.
Disadvantages of Hybrid Applications
Graphics/UI are less comparatively, operating system as compared to Native Apps.
Hybrid Apps are slower than Native Apps.
Difference between Types of Mobile Applications
There are a few basic differences that set these apart:
Native apps have single-platform affinity while mobile web apps have a cross-platform affinity.
Native apps are written in platforms like SDKs while Mobile web apps are written with web technologies like HTML, CSS, asp.net, Java, and PHP.
For a native app, installation is required but for mobile web apps, no installation is required.
A native app can be updated from the play store or app store while mobile web apps are centralized updates.
Many native apps don’t require an Internet connection but for mobile web apps, it’s a must.
Native app works faster when compared to mobile web apps.
Native apps are installed from app stores like Google play store or app store where mobile web are websites and are only accessible through the Internet.