4 types of apps: which one to choose? We explain the differences

Technology offers us different possibilities to develop an app. There are at least 4 different types on the market. But how does an inexperienced person choose? Let's see them together, we will show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

4 types of apps: which one to choose
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The types of apps on the market

In the digital age we are living in, the smartphones they are one of the main devices that pervade the daily life of all of us.
Owning a smartphone is now taken for granted and banal, but what we are increasingly addicted to are applications.

There are many apps on the market, one of the most common and most used is certainly Whatsapp, but then there are social apps like Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIN and many others.

To keep pace with modern times, companies must adapt to changes, evolve and position themselves well in the digital market.
One of the digital tools that innovative companies cannot fail to have is thebusiness app. Having an app means that it is always within the user's reach.

One of fundamental steps what to do when you decide to develop an app is to choose the most suitable type for your company. Today's technology allows us to choose between 4 types of apps different. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages which mainly concern development times and costs.

App Native

​​The vast majority of apps downloaded every day are native apps. But what exactly are they?

Native apps are applications developed with the specification programming language of the operating system on which they are to be used.

For example, a native app for Apple will be developed in Swift language using the Xcode program, a native Android app instead will be developed in Kotlin language using the Android Studio program. Precisely for this reason, developing a native app requires specialized developers based on the platform on which you want to launch the app.

Native apps are definitely the apps with best performances, in fact they guarantee a higher speed, reactivity And resolution which ensure a better user experience.

Native apps are the only ones that offer the functionality push notifications, that allow you to warn users and get their attention.

This is the best type of application that can be developed, but obviously i development costs are very high and require very long timescales. This doesn't have to be a disadvantage, but if your business is small, it's definitely not the right choice for you.

Hybrid apps

An alternative to the native app is to develop ahybrid app.

Hybrid apps are usually written in HTML5 and Javascript. Thanks to the use of special technologies, such as Ionic Framework, it is possible to integrate HTML and Javascript code within one “native frame” so that the app can be used by both stores. The definition "Hybrid" derives precisely from the fact that the app is created by combining a frame written in native language with web code written in HTML/JavaScript.

What are the benefits?

Reduced development times compared to the native app e lower costs, as the app is programmed only once and with a very common language. By contrast, the performance is reduced and there may be difficulty integrating with the native components of the device.

Cross-platform app

Seemingly similar to hybrid apps, le cross platform apps they represent another variation on native apps.

Cross-platform apps are usually written in a language that varies depending on the framework used for the development. The most popular frameworks for cross-platform mobile app development are: Xamarin, Flutter and React Native.

The cross-platform definition comes from the fact that it is possible to compile the application for different operating systems using it same code. Unlike hybrid apps, which integrate two codes into a "native framework", cross-platform apps allow for the use of only one code.

THE benefits of this type of app are the reduced development time and the high performance, which are very close to the native ones.

You will say, but then what's the point of developing a hybrid app?

The hybrid app integrating two known programming languages is easier to develop, while it is generally very difficult to find developers who are expert in the languages used for cross-platform apps.

Web Apps (or PWAs)

A final type of app is the web app, also called PWA (progressive wep app).

Web apps are mobile apps written with HTML5 and CSS languages that are usable and downloadable directly from the web and not from the Apple and Google platform stores.
They work autonomously and are able to load pages instantly both online and in the absence of a network by exploiting the cache memory. They are always up-to-date because they automatically display the most recent version when launched.

One of the main ones benefits and the low cost and the very short development time. Furthermore, by allowing use directly from the web, it is not necessary to download the app on your device, eliminating the annoying problem of lack of memory on your device.

Obviously, these are apps with lower performance compared to the others and have difficulty integrating with the specific functions of the device.

So which app to choose?

The 4 apps, as we have seen, all have pros and cons. To choose the best type you need to take into consideration various factors of your business activity, first of all what are the your needs.

For example, if you already have some in the company developers particularly specialized on rare languages, the best choice might be to develop thecross platform apps, because you shouldn't have to research external resources, you will have high performance, reducing costs compared to developing a native app.

If, on the other hand, you are a young startup and you don't need a high performance app, the best choice is the web app. Lower costs and short times, essential elements for a newborn business.

The Native app is, on the other hand, the best choice if you need to create achat apps. This type is the only one that can offer the better user experience and also provides the push notification functionality, essential for a chat.

Finally, if you need to have features similar to a native app, but you don't have much budget and few specific internal resources, the best choice is thehybrid app which takes advantage of the integration of programming languages simpler than those of the cross-platform app and involves a lower cost than the native app.

We hope we have clarified your doubts a bit. Contact us if you want to develop your first business app!

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