Mobile App Platforms
Mobile App Platforms
Are you looking to create mobile apps? There are lots of great platforms to choose from. But it usually comes down to 3 main options for mobile app platforms.
- Android Apps
- iOS Apps
- Progressive Web Apps
Which one of these is the best? Here’s a comprehensive list of pros and cons for each one of the mobile app platforms!
Mobile App Platforms – Android
Android apps are very easy to patch, mainly because there’s no acceptance gate like Apple has with its own store. And yes, you can create apps for multiple types of devices that support the Android platform.
The development process is very easy, there’s no need for specialized hardware. Instead, you can use Eclipse and just about any modern PC to use it. There’s no restrictions when it comes to the content you can create most of the time, so it’s easy to put any new ideas in an app form.
There are also 2 key markets you can reach, both the Google Play store and the Amazon App store, so the exposure is very good. And yes, there’s no restriction when it comes to beta or alpha versions either.
The downside is that there are lots of devices, and that means you have to test the app on as many devices as possible. Yet even if you try that, it’s hard to test on everything so you will have to release bugfixes more often.
There’s no checkup of the final app, so you have to do the QA yourself and see if it’s all good. The emulator is not as good as the one on iOS. And the OS fragmentation usually requires you to focus less on features and more on compatibility.
Mobile App Platforms – iOS
iOS apps are very popular and the iOS platform itself is considered to be one of the best for entertainment and business/productivity apps.
Creating iOS apps is great because it allows you to reach a premium market where you can charge more when compared to other platforms. It’s also easier to create apps for iOS, because there’s a small set of hardware and operating systems that you need to support. That alone makes it easier for you to optimize the apps/games too, which is very important.
The same thing applies in the case of UI standardization, there are certain rules in place and adapting everything is super easy to do. Also, publishing lower quality apps is very hard here, which means the quality is very high at all times. And they also have standard tool chains so any problems can be solved fast too.
But there are downsides too. Every release will require approval from Apple, and that can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days or more.
In addition, if Apple doesn’t like the app, they are not publishing it and you have worked for nothing.
Beta apps are rejected here, so you can publish only functional apps. It’s also very hard to get noticed and the search results aren’t that many per page, so your app can be hard to find. Another issue is that the reviews are shown for the current version.
Mobile App Platforms – Progressive Web Apps
Creating Progressive Web Apps makes a lot of sense if you want to do apps and content specifically for the web. It’s a very good idea to create these if you want to lower the development costs, not to mention that developing these will also take less time than you would imagine as well.
There’s also a lower installation friction, since the user won’t have to go through multiple steps in order to download and use an app. There’s also a much higher engagement rate, not to mention that the updating process is very quick and convenient. All these things add up to deliver a tremendous, valuable user experience.
But there are a few downsides too. For example, you don’t have an app store presence, so marketing the Progressive Web Apps is a lot harder. Plus, the marketing costs for such an app are higher.
There’s also the fact that running these apps requires a lot more battery life when compared to regular mobile apps. And the functionality is limited, mainly due to the technologies used for creating such applications.
While these are not major issues, it’s easy to see why some people will not choose to use such a technology when they want to create apps for their customers!
Mobile App Platforms – Other Considerations
You can create a native, hybrid, cross-platform or HTML5 app. HTML5 works great for progressive apps because these are suitable mostly for web use, even if they also work on mobile.
Hybrid apps are great because they tend to work on multiple platforms. But the problem with them is that they lack certain platform-specific features, mainly because they try to address to multiple markets with the same version.
Native apps are created specifically for a target platform. They are a lot easier to use and manage when compared to other apps, and you can feel free to adjust and adapt them to your own needs if you want. These apps are maybe the best solution for any developer, but creating native apps is more expensive when compared to the other options.
Cross-platform apps can be run on multiple operating systems and devices. This is where the developers only need to create one codebase.
Mobile App Platforms -Conclusion
As you can see, creating mobile apps is not that hard if you have the right ideas and if you pick the best platform. Don’t rush and try to find the right platform that suits your needs. It’s a good idea to create native apps or hybrid apps, but make sure that you question the target audience beforehand and understand their needs. This will make the entire development process a lot easier, since you know exactly who you are developing for and what they want from you!
- Android: Developer Guides – These documents teach you how to build Android apps using APIs in the Android framework and other libraries.
- iOS: Apple Developer Documentation – Browse the latest developer documentation, including tutorials, sample code, articles, and API reference.
- Progressive Web App Guidelines – These introductory materials and step-by-step guides walk you through key aspects of building PWAs