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A Beginner’s Guide to Mobile Apps, Its Different Types and Popular Categories

Before introducing what a mobile app is, we need to acknowledge its importance in the current world. Indeed, the mobile application industry is the fastest-growing segment which attracts interest from a large variety of people, entrepreneurs, tech-savvies, and many others. No wonder, the different types of mobile applications have generated more than $600 billion in sales during the year 2020. From this, it is quite clear that the exploding popularity of tablets, as well as smartphones, has opened doors to various types of mobile applications – leading to an increasingly popular trend across the globe.

Mobile applications have now become an integral part of our lives, and we turn to them for pretty much everything. Currently, it seems like there is an app for everything. Whether it’s playing games, checking on breaking news, booking tickets, chatting with friends via social networking, or delivering groceries, mobile applications have surely made life easier. 

But, what exactly is a mobile app? How many different types of mobile apps are out there in the market? What kind of benefits does it bring to businesses? Questions that everyone asks. 

We have prepared a guide to answering all these questions and more, you shouldn’t be missing a single word out. No matter if you are a technology expert or a general reader, this blog will be quite helpful. Don’t skip, or close this window – trust me, read till the end, it’s all worth it.

So, let’s tackle the easiest and simplest part first…

What is a mobile application?

Let me begin with the word ‘app’, it is an abbreviation for ‘application’ – which is another term for a computer program. Typically, when people talk about the mobile application they are simply referring to software or programs that run on cellular telephones. 

But, in technical terms, Mobile application is software developed precisely to be used on wireless computing devices like tablets and smartphones. Remember, they are not used on desktop or laptop computers. Even though they are small individual units having limited functionality, cell phone applications manage to provide their users with quality experiences. The types of apps in mobile are designed keeping in mind the restrictions of smart devices but on the same hand, they deliver specialized competencies. 

After understanding what mobile applications are used for, let’s move forward.

Different Types of Business Mobile Apps

The cellular telephones we have nowadays have become a part of life and we rely heavily on them. Hence, we need to understand the breakdown of cell phone applications. So, a mobile app is categorized depending on its nature, whether they are web-based, native apps, or hybrid applications. 

The cellular telephones we have nowadays have become a part of life and we rely heavily on them. Hence, we need to understand the breakdown of cell phone applications. So, a mobile app is categorized depending on its nature, whether they are web-based, native apps, or hybrid applications. 

I am sure that after reading this blog, you would have a stronghold on the different classes of android and IOS apps and their cross platforms.

Although, there are thousands of apps available falling into many different categories. But, there are three basic categories:

  • Native apps which are developed for a single operating system or a platform
  • Web apps, there are responsive versions of the websites allowing the user to have the same functionality on their smart devices
  • Hybrid app, these are a combination of both the web and native apps.

After a brief introduction of what a mobile app is used for along with its different classes, let’s discuss each type of android and IOS application in detail.

Native Mobile Apps

Such apps are exclusively designed for a single mobile operating platform, and they can’t be used on a different platform. For instance, an application designed for android mobile (Samsung or Blackberry) will not be operational on an IOS operating system phone. To put it simply, users won’t be able to run iPhone apps on Android phones.

Native apps are popular due to their high-performance capabilities and delivering exceptionally good user experience. Additionally, they offer access to a broad spectrum of APIs; removing limitations in the native app usage. They have a strong tendency of reaching their target audience. But, yes they have a high cost of development and maintenance. 

Web Apps

Another type of app in mobile is a Web app, which is actually a software application requiring a web browser to run. Yes, they function similarly to a native app but are written using HTML5, CSS, or JavaScript. They are designed to redirect the user to the specific URL and offer an ‘install’ option by generating a bookmark on their webpage.

Undeniably, they use the smart device’s memory to perform along with a strong internet connection resulting in a poor customer experience. Another drawback is the limited access to APIs excluding the geolocation and few others. 

Hybrid Mobile Apps

These are built on multi-platform web technologies and are primarily web applications camouflaged in a native covering. In short, the native apps offer pros and cons of both web and native mobile apps. 

They are renowned for being extremely fast and relatively easy to develop. Moreover, the single code base for all platforms in the native app ensures low-cost maintenance and smooth updation. Also, you gain access to several widely used APIs.

But, the sad part is that the hybrid apps lack behind in performance, speed, and optimization along with some design technicalities

Popular Categories of Mobile App

Hopefully, the questions like what is mobile app design, different types of mobile apps native and hybrid along with their advantages would be clear in your head. Now, we can move forward in learning the different categories of a mobile app. There are a total of 33 categories of applications in Google Play and 22 categories in Apple’s App Store. However, according to recent studies, only seven categories of mobile services apps are popular among the users, including:

Gaming Apps

It is among the most popular categories, capturing around 24% of users. It isn’t surprising that we humans love to spend our leisure time playing different games. Certainly, the mobile gaming segment has always been flourishing, encouraging a large number of android and IOS mobile application developers to invest their time and resources. Definitely, they have developed various innovative games and mobile versions of famous board games.

Here, the important thing to understand is that even from the user perspective, the gaming apps deliver a sense of achievement and engagement leading to higher gaming sessions. Did you know that an average person spends approx. 8 minutes in a gaming session? Moreover, to answer what is the most popular mobile games, then some of the examples include Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, Angry Birds Go, Temple Run, and many others.

Education Apps

What is the best phone app to achieve great success is the educational apps.  Though, the educational app is somewhat blurry as it covers a vast pitch of learning and educational apps. In simpler words, an app can be educational to some level and still will not fit into this category. Beyond this, modern society is more and more cautious about self-learning and education, resulting in increased use of educational apps. 

These apps are designed keeping in mind the learning requirements of children. It aims at making learning new concepts and methodologies more fun. Not only this, but educational apps are also quite useful for teachers, students, and even the general audience.

Lifestyle Apps

Probably the widest category among all is the lifestyle app as it encompasses numerous interests and human activities. Whether it’s fashion, fitness, shopping, or weight loss – it covers all programs focusing on enhancing personal lifestyle experiences. Such applications are the reasons behind technical innovations causing mobile app developers to design software that offers ultimate solutions. 

Entertainment Apps

The entertainment apps include chatting, searching for events, streaming, watching videos online, posting photos on social mediums, and so on. At some point, the gaming apps do clash with entertainment applications due to their similar goals – to relax your mind.

Moreover, this category has the tendency to provoke a level of dependency while keeping us engaged for hours. On a bright note, these apps have been more entertaining due to the imaginative power of app creators. They work hard to bring fresh and fun stuff into our lives, so we are never bored – and they surely have achieved it. 

Utility Apps

What is the future of mobile app development, if you ask, then let me tell you. The analysis of mobile apps encompassing the utility apps has clearly answered the question. It is indeed the most used application by becoming an integral part of our daily lives. Whether it’s paying the electricity bill, hiring a plumber, undertaking health care services, or booking a taxi. No matter the nature, they help in getting things done.

The negative side of these apps is mainly the shortest user session period as users get their work done and move on. Not only this, many practical individuals leverage their gadgets to their full potential, leading to heavy usage of the utility application.

Travel Apps

The main purpose of travel apps is to make traveling easier, comfortable, and fun-filled without losing the informative and enjoyment elements. Many of its users turn their cell phones into travel diaries and others use the apps as a guide, literally, by using maps and translation assistance.

Maybe this is the main reason behind today’s tourists that seem to be all digitally-savvy, the all-knowing travelers.  Indeed, the mobile app developers and agencies spent a lot of their resources in designing cutting-edge traveling apps and capturing more shares.

Summing up

Though the mobile application is quite comprehensive, this blog has surely answered the question of what is the purpose of a mobile app and the different types of mobile app. Obviously, there are more categories available on Google nonetheless, the most popular ones are discussed. No matter if you are a developer, tech-savvy, or an average human being, as with the advancements, we are faced with complex developments and programs. To make everything a bit easier, always remember the golden rule – no matter the type of application, it has to fulfill one main objective i.e. to make life easy.

Absolutely, each type of app has its strong and weak points but still proves to be an essential part of the growing industry. 

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