Think of as many mobile apps as you can. Now take that number and multiply it by... well, you get the point. There are so many apps on the market these days, it can be intimidating. But is it really any wonder given the ever increasing popularity of mobile devices? Different mobile platforms also come along with the various devices in existence today. This can pose a challenge. Consider that there are multiple types of apps that enable different capability and functionality depending on the platform they encounter. Think native and hybrid apps.
One way to approach the functionality of an app is to do so on a platform by platform basis. This is the basis of native apps. Specific languages are used for each platform when developed on their own and native apps follow suit. Thus, a iOS app will not work on an Android device, unless a separate Android version of the app is developed. And vice versa. It might seem counterproductive to have to write multiple versions of the same app, but there are some benefits. For instance, once downloaded and installed, mobile apps "live" on a device and can access features like the camera, accelerometer, GPS and so on. Such a setup also results in fast and reliable service. That being said, development time can take a while and overall costs can be fairly significant. In addition, suppor is also a major concern as it's much harder to maintain a platform by platform app.
How do you pick which app to pursue? There are going to be proponents and dissenters for each. One app is necessarily "better" than another. It largely depends on an individual/company. The important thing is to determine the type that fits your needs precisely and to stick with it. Consider a couple of key questions:
When it comes to mobile apps, you don’t have to go with just one type. There have been cases of companies choosing to create apps with any combination of native, web and hybrid or maybe even all three. Now, that might not be the right choice for you. Carefully considering options is a necessity that can determine a lot for your app. Sure, there’s a certain amount of risk involved with your choice, but there’s always going to be some risk involved. Moreover, it might turn out to be a fruitful endeavor.