Although it may not seem like it, mobile app development has been around for a long time and we want to provide you general information about apps: What are their types and characteristics? What are the differences between them and a mobile web?
Mobile apps have been present in phones for a long time; in fact, they were already included in Nokia or Blackberry operating systems years ago.
The mobile phones of that time had small, and often non-touch screens, and are what we now call feature phones, as opposed to the more modern smartphones.
In essence, an application is nothing more than software. To understand the concept a little better, we can say that applications are to cell phones what programs are to desktop computers.
Differences between Mobile App Development and Mobile Web Development
Mobile Apps are displayed on the phone screen in the same way web apps do; but while the former have to be downloaded and installed before use, a web app can be accessed simply using the browser.
However, not all of them can be viewed correctly from a screen generally smaller than that of a computer.
Those that are specially adapted to a mobile device are called "responsive" apps and are an example of liquid design, as they can be thought of as content that takes the shape of the container, displaying information as needed.
Regarding different criteria, an app can be thought to be web or mobile.
For example, mobile apps can run even if they are not connected to a network, and they can access certain features of the phone's hardware (such as sensors), capabilities that are currently beyond the reach of websites.
On the other hand, web apps can run in any device that has a browser, which is a great advantage.
It is not always necessary to choose between one or the other. Mobile and web apps are not competitors, rather, they can complement each other.
Mobile App design and development process
The process of design and development of apps ranges from the conception of the idea to the analysis after its publication in the stores.
The result of this stage is an application idea, which takes into account the needs and problems of users. The idea responds to preliminary research and subsequent testing of the feasibility of the concept.
Formalization of the idea
In this step of the process, the users for whom the application will be designed are described in detail, using methodologies such as "Personas" and "User Stories".
This is also where the basis of the functionality is established, which will determine the scope of the project and the complexity of the app design and development.
In the design stage, the above concepts and definitions are brought to a tangible level, first in the form of wireframes, which allow creating the first prototypes to be tested with users, and later, in a finished visual design that will be provided to the developer, in the form of separate files and model screens, for code programming.
The programmer is in charge of bringing the designs to life and creating the structure on which the application will be based. Once the initial version exists, the programmer spends a great deal of time correcting functional errors to ensure the correct performance of the app and prepares it for approval in the stores.
The application is finally available to users. After this transcendental step, the app is monitored through analytics, statistics and user comments, to evaluate the behavior and performance of the app, correct bugs, make improvements and update it in future versions.